Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Recrap in a Nutshell: Another one of 'those' losses for Colorado

Isn't there a limit on the number of "season in a nutshell" losses you can have in a season?

And at what point does it go from "season in a nutshell" to "the norm" to "this team is utter fail"?

Those are the questions.

Here are the answers.

Yes, there is a limit.

They reached that limit in May. It became "the norm" by the end of May and we've ventured to "utter fail" every damn Sunday since.

Not that this team hasn't been capable of playing well at times. In fact, the first two games in Cincinnati were quite good. But those games only fuel my frustration, because that's the baseball you expect from this team. I really don't think those are or were unfair expectations either.

Anyway, they play two solid games, and then before you can compliment them for their improved efforts, they give you a presentation like Wednesday's where the ending becomes predictable in the 2nd or 3rd inning and you just coast to the inevitable with the only twists being how will they embarrass themselves tonight.

Reds 3, Rockies 2 (boxscore)

Well, tonight they embarrassed themselves by collecting 13 hits. That should be a positive, especially on the road where we're not used to quality swings and good contact in abundance. But it's not, because they only scored two runs.

Making the impossible possible once again.

Colorado hit into four double plays. Granted, it did take some good defense from Cincinnati's infield to turn over a couple of those, but they are still missed opportunities.

However, what happened in that 9th inning on the bases was train wreck television.

Started well with Eliezer Alfonzo doubling as a pinch-hitter. Then Tracy brings on Eric Young to run. He promptly steals third. It's a good setup.

And then this happens. (Video) 

According to Jim Tracy to contact play was on there. I don't know if anyone keeps track of how often that works, but I'd like to know what the normal success rate of the contact play is in comparison to the Rockies success. Regardless of the speed of the runner involved, I'm willing to bet the Rockies success rate comes in about 30% lower than league average. The only way that wouldn't be possible is if the league average itself was lower than 30%.


It's not at all EY's fault there. In fact, he did well to stay in the rundown long enough to allow Dexter Fowler to move up to second. But I'm kinda thinking Fowler wishes that hadn't been the case.

The hell you doing? (Video)

I don't even know what to tell you on that. You absolutely can't make that baserunning play at any point... in any game... at any level. Even if he's not the most instinctual player/runner, somewhere along the line someone had to drill the basics of baserunning into Fowler's mind. Why are they not sinking in?

What is Tracy telling these guys in the clubhouse? Is he turning their minds to mush with this "fearless" aggressive approach? I really don't get it. At all. And it's not just Fowler. He's the prime example this evening, but it's the entire group of them. Collective garbage on the bases.

Three positives

1. Kevin Millwood: Sure he allowed the three home runs, but did you see how he limited the traffic, pitched very efficiently, and worked himself deep into the game? That was a very professional pitching performance at a time the Rockies needed one. Major props to him.

2. Eliezer Alfonzo: I kinda like him. He's not going to hit over .350, let alone .250 if you give him consistent playing time, but he's hitting well right now, having fun, and his teammates seem to like him. Given all the problems, that counts for something.

3. Watch Troy Tulowitzki's 23rd home run 

Final thought

The Rockies will look to win a road series and end their 13-day game losing streak. It's an early one, and I will not be around to watch it live. I'm sure you'll barely notice.