Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rock Solid Recrap: Giants four-run first does in Rockies

Allowing your opponent to score first isn't necessarily a death blow to your chances of winning. We saw that in New York when the Mets scored first in all four games and the Rockies managed to win all four games.

However, allowing your opponent to jump out to 5-0 and 4-0 leads in the first inning on back-to-back nights really is pretty close to a death blow. Especially when your opponent is featuring talented starters like Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez.

That's the position the Rockies have found themselves in the past two nights, and because of that have now dropped the first two in this overhyped April series.

Giants 6, Rockies 3 (boxscore)

-- Ubaldo Jimenez came out of the gates rusty tonight, which was to be expected. By the time he got his command and velocity back closer to normal levels, it was already too late. The Giants had their four runs, which ultimately proved to be all they needed.

The question: Would the Rockies have been wise to have Ubaldo throw a rehab start?

My answer: Perhaps. But if he goes down to Tulsa or somewhere and throws six innings of two hit ball, it feels like you wasted a good outing. I really had no problem with the decision going in. That feeling didn't change based on this performance and result.

-- The best at-bats of the game once again belonged to Dexter Fowler. He doubled leading off the game against Jonathan Sanchez. A rocket that continued sailing over Nate Schierholtz's head in right. The Rockies would go six innings until their next hit, which was another Fowler double, driving in two. That big hit made possible by Jonathan Herrera drawing a nine pitch walk.

-- Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki were a combined 0-for-8 and are now 1-for-16 in the series. That explains a lot.

-- A lot of talk about Ryan Spilborghs on Twitter after his ugly 0-for-4 performance.

Among his poor at-bats tonight were a four pitch strikeout as the tying run in the 7th. He was way overmatched by former Rockie Ramon Ramirez that time. But I honestly disliked his first inning at-bat even more.

After Fowler's aforementioned double leading off, Spilborghs pulled a weak a grounder to third on a 2-1 fastball. No advancement of the runner. Didn't appear (though I can't read his mind) that he was planning on going the other way. Just a lousy approach and a lousy piece of hitting out of the two-spot.

I'm not going to base any thoughts on one night or one at-bat. My opinion on Spilborghs has always been consistent over the years. As a 5th outfielder that plays exclusively against lefties, he can help you. As a 4th outfielder that obviously has to take some starts and big at-bats against righties, you're doomed to nights like tonight.

I already forget who said it, but it was said that if not for his personality and popularity, Spilborghs is easily replacable. That's exactly the proper assessment. Without the personality and likeability, which I do appreciate, he's just another guy that makes his mark and then gets replaced by the next guy with equal or better talent.

Now, all of this said, I'm not starting a movement here to have Spilborghs released or anything like that. The topic was just a hot one tonight and I felt like blogging my two cents. Hopefully he finds some success in the coming days and makes the topic go away. If he doesn't, there are going to be some awkward and heated exchanges among Rockies fans. You can bet on that.

-- Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow are pretty intelligent but mostly annoying announcers for San Francisco. Unfortunately only the annoying part rubs off on the vast majority of Giants fans I've interacted with over the years. I said majority, not all. They do have good fans. I know a couple.

Rockies have bad fans. I've seen one or two of those as well.

-- Jorge De La Rosa vs. Matt Cain tomorrow. Let's find a place to put those broomhandles that Giants fans are sure to be carrying.


David Martin said...

To me, Ryan Spilborghs is who he is. He is clearly struggling, and in that situation, he should never have been sent to the plate. To me, Jim Tracy allowed him to look foolish in a big situation. The whole reason a National League team signs Jason Giambi is for a situation like that. Short bench or not, you've got to use him right there.

Mark Townsend said...

Well, I agree that's what Giambi is here for, but Tracy obviously liked the Spilborghs-Ramirez and Giambi-Wilson matchup that loomed later on more than Giambi-Lopez. Factoring in the bench situation it was probably an easy decision for him.

All that said, it was nice seeing Spilborghs focus on the opposite field in his at-bat today.