Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: Edwar Cabrera Looks Better, Bats Not So Much Against Joe Saunders

Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 2 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: The Rockies offense against Joe Saunders and the Arizona bullpen was two Michael Cuddyer home runs and a Josh Roenicke single. That's it. Three hits - one coming from a relief pitcher. That won't get it done in support of a pitcher making only his second career start, let alone the other pitchers currently employed by the Colorado Rockies.

Particularly awful was Carlos Gonzalez, who simply had no game plan against Saunders other than to swing at everything out of his hand and pray he left it in the middle of the plate. Saunders never made that mistake, so CarGo went 0-for-4 with some of his ugliest looking post-Aprils swings.

Rookie Josh Rutledge shared in the misery, going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. The scouting report is already getting around, so now it'll be up to Rutledge to make the necessary adjustments going forward. Jim Tracy might be wise to give him a day off tomorrow to refresh his thoughts a bit, but should definitely continue giving him the bulk of the ABs at short or second.

Edwar Cabrera's Line: 3 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 4 K, 81 pitches (45 strikes)

This was a calmer, more confident looking Edwar Cabrera than we saw in his disastrous big league debut back on June 27, yet he was still pretty erratic and looks to be another 15-20 more starts in the minors from being a real option in the big leagues. Whether or not the Rockies will decide (or can afford) to give him those starts in the minors is yet to be determined, but there's definite upside here that I think they'd be risking a little bit if they keep throwing him out there at this stage in his development.

Overall Grade: C

Bullpen's Line: 4 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

Rough nights for Josh Roenicke and Rex Brothers, who each allowed two runs in their outing. Roenicke was victimized by Chris Young's monster two-run homer in the 5th. Brothers was unable to handle left-handed hitters (Jason Kubel doubled, Miguel Montero singled home two) in his one inning.

Turning Point: The Rockies were never going to compete in this game unless the offense stepped up, but if I had to look at one sequence that kinda told us where this game was going, it was Miguel Montero's 13-pitch at-bat in the second inning that ultimately resulted in a single. It didn't lead to a run, but Cabrera ended up throwing 33 precious pitches in the inning.

When you know going in you only have around 75-80 to work with, an at-bat/inning like that changes your whole outlook. Cabrera was never able to get it all together afterwards, though he did show some promising survivor skills in a couple spots.

Screengrab of the Game
That's exactly how I watch most Rockies games.

Highlight of the Night: As I mentioned, Michael Cuddyer was the offense tonight with a couple of no doubt home runs. The second of which was a freakin' missile that exited Chase Field in a spot you don't see very often.

What's Next: The Rockies have a chance to not be swept on Wednesday. It all depends on how well Jeff Francis (2-2, 5.24) bounces back from his stinker in San Diego, and how well they can handle Trevor Cahill's (8-8, 3.77) sinker. Tune in at 7:40 to see what happens!

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