Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: So You Want To Be A Catcher?

Padres 3, Rockies 2 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: Rough day for the offense against Ross freaking Ohlendorf and company.

How rough?

Hitters 3-6 were a combined 0-for-14, with the only production coming from Carlos Gonzalez (two walks, two stolen bases). It will take a special day from the bottom of your order and/or your pitching to overcome that.

As you can tell by the score, the Rockies almost did.

Turning Point: Jordan Pacheco's second big league start behind the plate on Sunday turned out to be quite the experience, which you had to expect it would be given how this entire season has gone for the Rockies.

Naturally his day got off to a very active start in the first inning. Before the Rockies could off the field in that frame, Pacheco was forced to attempt blocking a pitch in the dirt, which did not go well at all. Rather than drop to his knees and smother it, he went backhand and baseball went to screen. He also had to go way up the line to knock down a throw from the outfield. He did that well. And then he handled a pop up right up the elevator shaft without any problems.

All in all, not the worst possible start.

Then comes the play at the plate in the 4th inning. John Baker singles to Eric Young in center, Everth Cabrera comes charging around third with the tying run. EY makes a good, strong throw home, but the ball and Cabrera unfortunately arrive at the same time, and Pacheco paid the price for it.

That play wasn't a matter of inexperience (Pacheco does have two years worth in the minors anyway), it was a continuation of the Rockies miserable luck. Plain and simple. But it was also the turning point in the game, and another reminder of how brutal that position can be on the players who put on the equipment day in and day out.

By the way, Cabrera would also score the winning run for San Diego, coming around on Will Venable's 7th inning pinch-hit single.

Christian Friedrich's Line: 5 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 2 K, 82 pitches (47 strikes)

The walks continue to plague Friedrich, as does his own defense, as he committed his third error of the season. But overall I'm just relieved he hasn't fallen apart physically or mentally in the paired pitching system.

On a related note: Drew Pomeranz's next start will be pushed back due to soreness in his arm. When will these frickin' imbeciles realize their doing far more harm than good with this experiment?

Screengrab of the Game

Josh Rutledge gets home with a gorgeous slide.
What's Next: On to Phoenix we go for a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Monday's opener will feature the Rockies debut of Jonathan Sanchez (1-6, 7.76 in Kansas City), so that will definitely be interesting to observe and analyze. He'll be opposed by a 2011 Cy Young contender in Ian Kennedy (7-8, 4.33), who has struggled at various points this season, but is coming off a one-run, eight-inning performance in Cincinnati. First pitch is slated for 7:40.

Highlights of the Afternoon: We'll close on a positive note today. The Rockies were sloppy at times, but also made a few standout plays. Have a look.

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