And it was looking so good. Juan Nicasio was incredible, striking out a personal high and a Rockies season high 10. The offense, while again not explosive, came through with enough timely hits to take the lead into the late innings.
It couldn't have been set up more perfectly to end this dreadful Sunday losing streak. And then Rex Brothers, the pitcher who has been untouchable for the past month, couldn't get anyone out. And then Matt Belisle, the pitcher who's been so good at cleaning up messes for two seasons, couldn't clean this one up.
Next thing you know...
Padres 8, Rockies 3 (boxscore)
1. Juan Nicasio: Nevermind everything I previously wrote about Nicasio eventually becoming a late inning reliever. He's a starter now. He's going to be a starter for a long time to come. He had amazing stuff here. Don't care who it came against or what park it was in, it was fantastic.
2. Chris Nelson: More starts for Chris Nelson... please? I don't necessarily want to see Mark Ellis phased out, but Nelson needs to be given a fair chance to be evaluated. The Rockies have been so jumpy when it comes to wanting to give players a look, and then not showing nearly enough patience. It's happened to Nelson before, I don't want that to happen again until I have a real good feel for his upside.
3. Dan O'Dowd: No one truly understands or appreciates the way Ubaldo was shipped away on Saturday night. It was embarrassing to have him out there, and I think all of that has to fall on the shoulders of O'Dowd. He goofed there. BIG. TIME.
BUT... did you hear that interview during this game? Did you hear how honest that was? I appreciate that about him. I really do. I don't agree with everything he does, but I know he has the same frustrations we do with this team, and the same passion to see this get fixed.
He's willing to make harsh evaluations of himself and the organization. He sees what's broken right now, and he wants it fixed. You know how many GMs are completely unwilling to make those same evaluations? To admit when they're wrong? Just look at the Chicago Cubs and Jim Hendry. That organization will never move forward under his watch because he's gutless. Dan O'Dowd is not gutless.
He's done this before. He's had his back against the wall. It's been believed a time or two before that his fate was directly tied to a specific deal, and each time that deal comes up a winner. Maybe his "luck" will run out this time. Maybe it'll ultimately be his time to go, but unlike several players on this team that he's completely fed up with, he's not going down without a fight.
Phillies in town for three starting Monday night. Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick and Roy Halladay take the hill for them. So I'm thinking we better beat Kendrick.