Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rock Solid Recap: Marco Scutaro Helps Rockies Escape San Francisco With Unexpected Split

Rockies 5, Giants 4 (boxscore)

Winning Player: Marco Scutaro

Scutaro was out of the starting lineup tonight and didn't enter the game until an 8th inning double switch. That still left him plenty of time to play hero as his lead-off home run (first as a Rockie) in the 9th provided the difference in the game.

Turning Point: Of course it wasn't an easy path to get to that moment. The Rockies led 4-1 in the 7th before Josh Outman and Matt Belisle worked together to allow San Francisco to tie the game. More on that debacle and where the blame ultimately lies a little later.

When the bottom of the 8th rolled around, Jim Tracy continued to show confidence in Rex Brothers by throwing him into the fire. Naturally, four batters into the inning, the Giants had the bases loaded on three walks (one intentional). Everybody had a pretty good idea on how this would end, but Brothers actually flipped the script this time by overpowering and striking out both Brandon Belt and Melky Cabrera to escape the jam.

If I'm Bob Apodaca, I'm calling Brothers into the video room first thing tomorrow to make him watch that entire inning pitch-for-pitch, and then repeatedly tell him how damn good he can be and how much easier his life will be if he attacks hitters and trusts himself. That message needs to become lodged in his head.

Jeremy Guthrie's Line: 5 1/3 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 4 H, 4 BB, 4 K (season high), 90 pitches (50 strikes)

Was hoping Guthrie would be more efficient and work a little deeper in his return, but looking back at how the outing unfolded, I'll certainly take this line. The Giants had plenty of opportunities to make it an even shorter outing, but Guthrie survived it by making a quality pitch every time he needed one. He even racked up a couple strikeouts in those spots and doubled his season high overall.

Screengrabs of the Game
The overhead shots tonight were superb. Well done by CSN Bay Area.
What's Next: Remember when the Rockies finished a 3-6 homestand and we actually thought going on the road was a good thing? That was nine days ago. Now the Rockies are going home after a 2-6 road trip, and nobody really knows what to think anymore.

Anyway, the Arizona Diamondbacks and rookie left-hander Patrick Corbin (2-1, 4.50) will be waiting for them. Meanwhile, the Rockies will be countering with veteran lefty Jamie Moyer (1-3, 4.66), who needs a good outing here as the rotation continues to get healthy and more talented options emerge.

Final Thoughts: Good result aside, this was another horrifically managed game by Jim Tracy. Yes, the Rex Brothers inning worked out. However, his use of Josh Outman and the lack of attention to detail when making the move was inexcusable and predictably came back to haunt him.

Here's how it went down.

Outman was brought in straight up for Jeremy Guthrie during the bottom of the 6th and helped put up a zero there. That's the good part.

The bad part is Josh Outman then hit for himself leading off the 7th. So a free out for the Giants and basically a throw away inning for the Rockies offense had Tyler Colvin and Carlos Gonzalez not salvaged it with a pair of clutch hits and good baserunning.

But who knows, it could have been a much more productive inning if Tracy simply double switches knowing his plan was to extend Outman another frame. There was no good reason not to. And subbing Chris Nelson for Jordan Pacheco (who made the final out in the 6th) defensively honestly should have been a no brainer even if you weren't using Outman beyond the 6th.

Of course, as I mentioned above, Outman returned for the 7th, promptly walked the first two, and then exited after allowing a two-run double to Melky Cabrera. Matt Belisle, who Tracy has seemingly brought in three batters too late for the past month, eventually allowed the tying run to score and was then classified to be in a slump by beat writer Troy Renck.

I don't know, maybe it's a slump. Or maybe it just appears like a slump because he's constantly used in impossible situations against the toughest part of the order. I don't get the logic at all. I feel bad for Belisle. And I'm out of words to describe the ineptitude of Jim Tracy and the ignorance displayed by Dan O'Dowd and ownership, who continue to support Tracy's very flawed line of thinking that continues leading to unacceptable results.

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


David Martin said...

I have defended Dan O'Dowd. I think he has done a good job, with the exception of a few mistakes, building this team...however, I cannot understand how he and ownership can watch a game like last night and think that Jim Tracy just got un-lucky. Anyone who watches Rockies games on a regular basis knew what was going to happen when the move was made straight up. Giving away offensive outs in a park like that, with a small lead, is asinine. There is no other way to describe it. Utterly stupid.

Anonymous said...

Rarely do I ever leave a comment on line. But it is such a relief to read an assessment of the game that I agree with. The Root sports announcers and their "analysis" of the game is so filled with apologetic bs for the Rockies' performance and coaching decisions, it is sometimes like watching a news announcer cheerfully talk about a plane crash.

Mark Townsend said...

What happened last night was indefensible. I'm glad people didn't think I was too tough on Jim with my comments. If it was something he'd never done before, I would have noted it and moved on. But he's a repeat offender of several ridiculous infractions such as this one and I can't believe in all of his years he hasn't learned from such mistakes. Some 'baseball guy' he is.

And now I kinda wish I'd watched the Root Sports broadcast last night. I may have gone off on them more than Tracy. Can't apologize or make excuses for that type of managing. Slaps us in the face.