Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: The Machine Is Battered... Perhaps Broken

Dodgers 7, Rockies 6 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: This will give you a pretty good idea...

When the starting pitchers were in, this game was all Dodgers. Once the bullpens took over, though, the Rockies were able to fight — and I mean they fought valiantly — thanks to the outstanding work of Josh Roenicke, Matt Belisle and Matt Reynolds — seriously, those guys all deserve more than a simple pat on the ass — and a relentless offense that has feasted on bullpens during this homestand.

Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough... because.

Turning Point: In ten career starts and one relief appearance (64 innings) against the Dodgers prior to this evening, Chacin had allowed only ONE home run.

Four batters into this game, he'd already allowed two and trailed 4-0. He then allowed a third home run in the 5th to A.J. Ellis which ended up being the decisive blow.

WARNING: Graphic Pitching Line To Follow 

Jhoulys Chacin's Final Line: 4 2/3, 7 ER (career high), 11 hits, 4 BB, 3 K, 3 HR, 112 pitches (63 strikes)

If Dee Gordon's first career home run didn't rattle Chacin off his foundation right from the start, it's likely Andre Ethier's three-run homer that followed did the trick. It was a brutal start, and although he rebounded to a very small degree just to work into the 5th inning, it was an all around painful performance to watch.

On a 1-10 scale, his command was a 2. His velocity showed no improvement. Basically the Dodgers just sat back and barreled him up all night long because they're all professionals and that's what professional hitters do to struggling pitchers. In fact, of the 11 hits Chacin allowed, I can only picture one that was a cheapie. There may have been another one or two, but they all seemed to be struck with violent purpose.

It was bad. Very bad. I'd say it's becoming increasingly likely that the Machine will be going away soon for some maintenance (physical and mental). Please, when you send him back, at least give me the maddeningly inconsistent Jhoulys Chacin we're used to. I actually miss that guy and promise to appreciate him more this time.

But in all seriousness, we know how badly the Rockies need Chacin to be more than just another pitcher to throw at the back of their rotation. He's a special talent that they desperately need to be a difference maker. He's flashed that ability before, and I certainly don't think the ship has sailed for Chacin to be that guy consistently in the future, but this is a critical time for him and for the organization.

I guess all we can do is sit back and hope for the best.

Screengrab of the Game
This helps explain why the people of Colorado can't stand Joel Klatt. (Root)
Highlight of the Night: When I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I said Eric Young Jr. in centerfield was a recipe for disaster. He refused to be insulted.

What's Next: Wednesday's series finale is an afternoon affair scheduled for 1:10 MT and it will match a pair of very talented young left-handers. For Colorado, it's 23-year-old Drew Pomeranz. For Los Angeles it's 24-year-old Clayton Kershaw, who also happens to be the reigning National League Cy Young winner.

Count me in!

Final Thoughts: I really, really like a lot of things about this team. The current starting pitching isn't among those things, of course, but the work the bullpen has done to give them a fighting chance on more than of occassion is refreshing, as is the relentless nature of the offense.

Good things to build on to be sure.

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