Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: Another One For The Pile

Cardinals 11, Rockies 6 (boxscore)

Turning Point: The Cardinals plated four in the 1st on a Matt Holliday two-run double and a Carlos Beltran two-run homer. The Rockies wouldn't fold there, though, immediately cutting it to 4-2 and then 6-5 in the 6th. That's when Holliday delivered a the dagger against Adam Ottavino in the 7th (two-run homer). No turning back at that point.

Jeff Francis' Line: 4 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 56 pitches (38 strikes)

This is Francis' second rough outing of his last three, but only his third overall in 11 starts since returning to the Rockies. If you had told me this would be the case when he signed, I would have done cartwheels. However, if he struggles again in the next outing, it's probably time to assume he's hitting the wall in this paired pitching system much like Alex White, Christian Friedrich and pretty much everybody involved in it have to date.

Adam Ottavino's Line: 2 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 0 K, 2 HR

It's probably time to start treating Ottavino like a regular reliever (which is what he always should have been) rather than a piggyback reliever. It's not fair to him. It's not fair to the team. It's not fair to us watching. It's just not working.

Highlight of the Night: Josh Rutledge is winning over Rockies fans very quickly. And who can blame us with a swing like this...

Couple Things I Liked: Eric Young Jr. (three hits, double, two runs) had a solid night at the plate as a last minute for the ill Dexter Fowler. As did Jordan Pacheco (three hits, two doubles), who really made Cardinals closer Jason Motte work (10 pitches) for the final of the game despite a lopsided score. That could be important tomorrow night if the Rockies stay close enough on Wednesday night.

Screengrab of the Night: (Via Twitter)

What's Next: If you're interested, the Rockies and Cardinals will meet again on Wednesday at 6:40. The pitching matchup will feature Drew Pomeranz (1-6, 4.99) against Jake Westbrook (9-8, 3.61).

Final Thoughts: A lot of debate over the Rockies lack of movement before Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline (yes, trades can and will still go down in August). There are several ways to look at it, but without knowing precisely who the Rockies talked to or what they were offered (for say Rafael Betancourt or Ramon Hernandez), it's impossible to determine if they did the right or wrong thing in standing pat.

I know on the surface (in the standings, too) it looks rather silly to stand pat, but I'd honestly rather they do that than force a trade with two guys who do hold value and are under contract next season. That means you can move them this winter or at the next deadline for better value. That route is not without risk, of course, as the market and values change constantly, injuries can occur, so on... but an insignificant return now does no good. I'd rather roll the dice that their value will improve either through performance or the developing needs of others.

And yes, I know it's possibly foolish of me to trust that Dan O'Dowd is doing his due diligence and/or formulating sound judgments, but I do believe that making trades just to make trades more times than not will dig you in a deeper hole. That's how Jim Hendry operated in Chicago, and now Theo Esptein will spend years trying to fix his mess.

So yes, it's disappointing to some degree that the Rockies couldn't find a match that helped them improve in the future, but the market didn't play out to their liking. Is what it is, and what is is not the worst thing in the world.

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