Friday, July 22, 2011

Rock Solid Recrap: Rockies lay another egg on getaway day

Just a wonderful game all the way with around with solid pitching, exceptional defense, and maybe not the most explosive offensive effort, but an exhilarating one thanks to Carlos Gonzalez's walk-off single.

Oh, sorry, that was the opening to Wednesday's Recap.

Different story for Thursday. What an absolutely miserable performance by a team that desperately needed to lock up a winning series and a winning home stand.

Braves 9, Rockies 6 (boxscore)

And it starts with Jhoulys Chacin. This isn't the first time I've gone into a series finale feeling good about the Rockies chances based solely on Chacin being the starting pitcher. It's also not the first time Chacin has let me down. The other time that stands out was a the one-game thing in Chicago, which was the final game of a three-game set in April.

He was terrible that day. He was terrible again here, walking SEVEN and allowing five earned runs over 4 2/3.

But as maddening as that is, I have to check myself before getting too annoyed. At 23, Chacin is still going through the normal ups and downs, ebbs and flows of your typical young pitcher. It's all a part of the process.

By the same token, those who anointed Chacin as the staff ace back in April and May also have to check themselves. He's not there yet. I'm sure he will be sooner than later, but it's a good time to back off that statement and just let him to continue refining his game and finding consistency. There's no need to heap any extra pressure on him now. Just let it happen.

By the way, it's amazing Chacin didn't get the loss with that line. Especially against an opponent like Tommy Hanson. I think even the staunchest baseball purist would have to admit the wins and losses stats are completely useless by now.

CarGo Hurt

I HATED that the Rockies never put Carlos Gonzalez on the DL. I HATED that Gonzalez received a cortisone shot last week and was back on the field by the weekend. And now you can see why. The wrist was never ready. It's still very weak, which has left him susceptible to further injury.

On the good side, word has it the MRI revealed only inflammation. That's pretty much the best case scenario, but the Rockies need to do the right thing here. DL him. Let him heal. Only bring him back when the MRI is clean and CarGo feels strong.

Bullpen Woes

Bad day for the bullpen. Matt Belisle couldn't keep his inherited runner from scoring. Matt Reynolds had a mini-meltdown, allowing three of the four batters he faced to reach. All three scored with no help from Matt Lindstrom. Reynolds took the loss.

Three positives

1. Dexter Fowler steals home: What a weird play. If you didn't see it you can watch it here. Usually when things like that go right for the Rockies it's in the middle of a long winning streak. Not the case here. Just an odd play in a crappy game.

2. Rex Brothers: He's coming on strong of late, getting more comfortable by the day. You can't get any better than what he was here. 1-2-3 eighth inning -- all strikeouts of left-handed hitters.

3. Rafael BetanCOURT: Court people. Not what you're all saying! He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, struck out two, and kept everything wrapped up in the clubhouse. Perfect afternoon for him.


Another series split and a 4-4 home stand. That's obviously not good enough with the hole the Rockies have dug themselves. Now it's on the road for nine within the division -- likely without CarGo the entire trip. Lord help us.