Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: Offense Cools Further, So-Called Starting Pitching Remains Awful

Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 1 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: Dreadfully boring game. That's the first problem.

Also, the Rockies offense is no longer scorching hot... or even simmering. We can thank Ian Kennedy and now Wade Miley (8 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 5 K) for that. For an illustration of how outstanding Arizona's top two pitchers were, the Rockies only had four baserunners tonight after managing seven in their shutout loss on Tuesday.

This is bad news if it's a trend, because as I said several times during the recent hot streak, the Rockies will not be able to overcome rough offensive nights very often. It's sad and it's true. They'll need to come out swinging against the Angels this weekend or it could look an awful lot like the Atlanta series a few weeks back.

Turning Point: Arizona scored five runs in the first three innings against Josh Outman. Three of those runs came on two-out base hits. It's a problem that has plagued this pitching staff all season long, and I can tell you each and every one has stung just as bad as the one before. They're daggers.

Josh Outman's Line: 3 IP, 5 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 1 K, 69 pitches (40 strikes)

I'm not sure how to analyze or evaluate these spring training type Outman outings.

Well, actually, this one I can. He wasn't fooling anybody in Arizona's weakened lineup (no Upton or Kubel), and he couldn't make the pitches he needed to limit the damage. In other words, it was Jeremy Guthrie's last two road outings all over again... without the tape measure homers.

Bullpen's Line: 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.

Josh Roenicke (2 IP, 0 R) and Adam Ottavino (1 IP, 1 R) both deserve medals for their work this season. They're ready for Jim Tracy's call every day, and they've produced in a variety of roles. Without one of them this season would be in much worse shape. Without both I'm pretty sure somebody would have been fired by now.

Screengrab of the Game
Yes, this was a real question on the Arizona broadcast.
Highlight of the Night: Not a lot to choose from again tonight, so I'll used this space to talk about how impressed I've been with D.J. LeMahieu at second base. I don't think he's an every day type of guy there, but I also wouldn't mind seeing him get another extended look over Jonathan Herrera once Marco Scutaro is moved later this summer. 

Again, not sure there's a ton of upside with him, but he very easily could be the best among the Rockies current, realistic options, and at the very least looks like a bench guy that won't hurt you. 

What's Next: The off day on Thursday comes at a good time. Then again, any off day comes at a good time for Jim Tracy's bullpen. The Rockies will return to action Friday night against the Los Angeles Angels of Orange County. Alex White (2-3, 5.60) will look to equal or top his fine effort on Sunday against the other LA team. Oddball C.J. Wilson (6-4, 2.45) will provide the opposition. 6:40 MT first pitch.

Final Thoughts: Sooooo... Jeff Francis is back in the fold and looking like a good bet to make a start this weekend against the Angels.

That's cool. That's fine. He's healthy. The Rockies don't have enough starters that can say that. And hey, if he's just decent or even a little bit below that, he'll be an upgrade over 60% of the current rotation. Besides that, the Rockies are due a little bit of luck with pitching. Maybe this will be it!

That's about as far as I can reach for positives this evening. I'm honestly not excited or even a bit optimistic, but let's be fair and see what happens before unleashing anger.

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