Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rock Solid Recrap: Rockies play a stinker in opener with Giants

In the immortal words of Frank (@druidlove).

"Game stunk worse than a recrap."

He was at Coors Field for Monday's beatdown at the hands of the San Francisco Giants. I was still in Freeport, IL, yet I could smell the stench from here.

Giants 8, Rockies 1 (boxscore)

Let's start with the positives.

-- Clayton Mortensen threw six scoreless innings of relief. He allowed two hits, two walks, struck out only one, but induced eleven groundouts. This will not only serve as a positive in Monday's game, but a positive for the next 2-3 games as the core of the Rockies bullpen has been spared.

-- Tim Lincecum didn't throw a perfect game, no-hitter or a shutout.

And now the negatives.

-- Esmil Rogers entered Monday's game having gone 228 batters without allowing a home run. That was the longest active streak for any starting pitcher in the big leagues. Within eleven batters on Monday, he had allowed three.

Those included back-to-back two out homers in the first inning. Pat Burrell's was a devastating three-run shot that opened the deficit to 4-0. 1-0 to 4-0 in a four seconds. Nate Schierholtz followed that with a 467 foot bomb to the third deck. Freddy Sanchez then hit a two out solo home run in the second inning.

So again we have the same issue with Esmil. Inability to finish off hitters and innings in an authoritative manner. In past outings it may not have stood out as much because as I noted above, Esmil wasn't allowing home runs. But when some of those outs you can't get start landing in the those seats, or worse yet, coming around and scoring on a ball that landed in the seats, it stands out because the scoreboard lights up a lot faster.

It continues to be a work in progress with Esmil. He's in no danger of losing his starting spot at this point, nor should he be. But there needs to be an advancement in a positive direction in the next 4-6 weeks.

Whether it be Aaron Cook coming back, or the Rockies wanting to get a look at John Maine, or a guy like Greg Reynolds or Mortensen impressing someone in the front office enough to warrant an opportunity. The Rockies will look in another direction if they have to, because this team is built to win now, and they need to stay as strong as possible at all 25 spots.

-- The offense had a rough night. But honestly, when Lincecum is as good as he was on Monday, any offense would have a rough night. And as I've said several times, if your offense is going to have a bad night, there's no better night to have it then a night your pitching blows up. You'd hate to waste a brilliant outing or an offensive outburst, or both on two nights in a row.

That's how I cope with blowouts. Hopefully Tuesday brings much happier results and thoughts.