Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: This Really Is The Road To 100

Phillies 7, Rockies 2 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: The Rockies showed up. The Phillies showed up. This game was pretty much over when those two things happened.

Turning Point: The Rockies led 1-0 (I kid you not) in the 3rd inning and Josh Outman was one out away from working three scoreless when he walked Jimmy Rollins. Naturally, Placido Polanco followed that up with an RBI double to tie the game. One inning later, Outman was again one out away from a scoreless inning when John Mayberry hit a two-run homer.

Long story short, the Phillies scored 6 of their 7 runs with two outs.

Josh Outman's Line: 4 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 72 pitches (40 strikes)

Game 1 of Jim Tracy's latest failed experiment (more on that later) went about like you'd expect. Josh Outman was, in two words, Josh Outman. That basically means a lot of baserunners, and the Phillies capitalized on their opportunities with those timely two-out hits. That said, without the new pitch count Outman likely gets through the 5th. That would have been nice for the bullpen.

Bullpen's Line: 3 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Adam Ottavino finally had a rough night (allowed all three runs), but I suppose we should get used to those now that he'll be overworked even further.

Highlight of the Night: Since MLB.com isn't making Todd Helton's brilliant pick a highlight choice tonight, I'll instead go with EY's diving catch in center field.

What's Next: Alex White (2-5, 5.56) will throw 75 or less pitches (or maybe more, I dunno how this works) on Wednesday at 5:10. He'll be opposed by Joe Blanton (6-6, 4.93). I can't wait. Can you?

Final Thoughts: Let's look at the Rockies last 24 hours.

-- Doctors are stumped by what's causing Troy Tulowitzki's discomfort in his groin/hip/leg area. (Denver Post)

-- Carlos Gonzalez is day-to-day and Dexter Fowler STILL can't find his way into the lineup.

-- Jeremy Guthrie to the bullpen.

-- Jim Tracy announces a four-man starting rotation with a 75-pitch limit.

Folks, we've reached the point of no return under the Jim Tracy regime. We've long since established he's not capable of elevating a team through his leadership or gamesmanship. He's not worth a single win over the course of a season, and I don't care if there's a piece of evidence that says otherwise. But he's certainly more than capable of taking any teams he manages and dragging them lower than even the most pessimistic person could expect.

When you step back and look at it, it's really quite amazing how great he is at being insane.

There are times and places where a four-man rotation makes sense. Those times are usually April (where there are many scheduled off days and postponements) and September (as a team hopes to make a run at the playoffs), and in both cases it's a temporary solution. The place should be with a team that has four starting pitchers that you can trust to throw more than 75 pitches and still be ready to come back in three days.

It's June 19.

The Rockies have MAYBE one Major League ready/capable starter on their roster, and they just signed him about 10 days ago. That's not to say Alex White and Christian Friedrich won't develop into those guys over time, but it sure as hell won't happen under these circumstances

This isn't the time. This isn't the place to reinvent the pitching wheel. It reeks of desperation, because that's exactly what it is. It's also reeks of incompetence, because that's exactly what it is. And the reaction to it around baseball has been exactly what you'd expect.

That's right, the Rockies, a team five years removed from a World Series appearance, three years removed from a playoff appearance, and a team MANY experts believed was capable of playing deep into October in 2011, are now the laughing stock of Major League Baseball. I didn't believe this until earlier today, but I now honestly think they're a team that could lose 100 games.

There are no shortage of reasons for this complete organizational meltdown. Injuries would be high on that list. But if forced to make a list, Jim Tracy would have numbers 1-10 all to himself. He's a bumbling, excuse-making buffoon. But to his credit, he's a really kind bumbling, excuse-making buffoon, so he's one small notch above Bud Selig.

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