Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bad Day: Recapping Another Rockies Loss And Remembering Jerry McMorris

The Rockies suffered a couple tough losses on Tuesday. One of them on the field, which I'll cover like usual, and a bigger one off the field, which I'll touch on at the end.

Padres 3, Rockies 1 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: We're on the road now so naturally this section will be filled with reports of didn't get the big hit, bad baserunning and made awful or old starting pitcher look great.

Tonight, that old starting pitcher was Jeff Suppan, who tossed five innings of one run ball on only four hits. Five Padres relievers took it from there, holding Colorado scoreless over the final 12 outs to get Suppan his second win of the year.

Speaking of bullpens, Jim Tracy is struggling to juggle his right now (when isn't he, honestly) as he elected to use Esmil Rogers to finish the 7th — which he did after his walk to Cameron Maybin loaded the bases and then he struck out Chase Headley — and start the 8th.

The 8th was, as many predicted, a mess. It started with a four-pitch walk to Yonder Alonso. Soon to be released Orlando Hudson followed that with an RBI triple. And then for good measure, Rogers intentionally walked John Baker before taking his leave.

It really was the most Esmil Rogers relief appearance possible.

Turning Point: Remember last night when the Rockies blew their best chance at a rally by making consecutive awful outs at second base?

They were even more creative tonight.

In the 9th inning, Colorado had runners at the corners with one out and Jordan Pacheco at the plate. My thought at that point being if Pacheco doesn't hit into a double play here, we have a chance because Carlos Gonzalez is due next.
Well guess what? He didn't hit into a double play. He actually punched a bouncer towards the hole between first and second that appeared to have eyes. This ball was so perfectly placed, if it didn't squirt through the hole, it was likely to be an infield single.

But we don't that for sure because, well, the ball hit Marco Scutaro on the foot. Dead ball on the spot. He's out. Tyler Colvin, who scores on the play regardless of any non-ball hits runner result, is forced to go back to third. So we're back to first-and-third with two outs now. Carlos Gonzalez can still be a hero.

But he wasn't, because he expanded his strike zone from Petco Park to Dodger Stadium. Three ugly swings later, the Padres were shaking hands and officially winners of this series. 

Alex White's Line: 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K, 90 pitches (51 strikes)

For the 12th time this season, a Rockies starter pitched into the 7th inning. It honestly feels like a lot less than that, but definitely should be a lot more.

Anyway, the concern with White after his struggles last year was his ability to stay relaxed and keep the ball down. He did that very well, with only a couple really noticeable mistakes of that nature. Of course, both of them make were hit pretty hard by Will Venable — 1st inning triple, 5th inning double — and ultimately led to San Diego's tallies against him, but it was a far cry from those short outings filled with hold your breath moments as an opponent takes a mighty cut from last season.

All in all, White was impressive. He even retired eight in a row at one point. I seriously can't remember the last time a starter retired more hitters in a row than I can count on one hand. So good on you, Alex. Now ice that foot so we can see you again in San Francisco.

Highlight of the Night: The Rockies did little tonight, so I'll instead recognize the fan who caught the foul ball in his beer. And then proceeds to drink the beer.

Screengrab of the Game
Tulo face.
What's Next: Christian Friedrich, come on down! The Rockies 24-year-old left-hander will make his long anticipated big league debut in Wednesday's series finale in San Diego. Unfortunately, it sounds as though there's no TV in Denver, so tune into KOA, At-Bat, or find an illegal stream at 1:35 MT.

Anthony Bass will get the start for San Diego. The young right-hander is 1-3 this year with a 3.51 ERA.

Final Thought: Original Rockies owner Jerry McMorris passed away on Tuesday at the age of 71.

I just wanted to wrap up tonight's post by acknowledging Mr. McMorris for the wonderful life he lived, and thanking him for the impact he made on my life, your life as a Rockies fan, and the game of baseball.

Thank you, Mr. McMorris, for all of the effort you put in to help bring baseball to the people of Colorado. Thank you for being so kind to my uncle when he was a regular at Mile High Stadium and Coors Field in the early years. Thank you for giving a 10-year-old boy a baseball team to adopt and root for. Thank you for giving a 30-year-old man a team to write about, complain about, analyze, but above all that, live and die with, 162 times a year.

Without you, I may not be as passionate as I am about the game of baseball. Without you, this blog would not exist, and my desire to inform, entertain, share laughs and interact with Rockies fans (and baseball fans) all over the world, may not exist, either. Basically, without you, your vision and your fight, I would not have been granted the opportunities I've had to cover this wonderful game over the past five years.

So from the bottom of my heart... Thank You Jerry McMorris. Thank you for everything.

More Rockies thoughts await you if you follow me on Twitter: @Townie813 & @HeavenHelton