Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rock Solid September Recap: These Are Rare

Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 2 (boxscore)

Since starting this blog in 2010, the Colorado Rockies record in games from Sept. 15 on is 9-33. That's including Monday's win over Arizona, which broke a nine-game losing streak.

That bad. That real bad.

But Monday was good... so let's talk why they finally won one.

Winning Player: Andrew Brown

Was leaning towards Tyler Chatwood here but Andrew Brown's late home run changed my mind. It was a solo shot in the 8th, but that insurance run was a big one to get for Rafael Betancourt. Brown also had a double earlier in the game and a run-scoring groundout. Productive night all around offensively, and the adventurous catch out in right field was a highlight too.

Honorable Mentions: Chatwood (more shortly), the bullpen (more shortly), along with Charlie Blackmon and Tyler Colvin who each contributed two hits.

Turning Point: After Arizona scored two in the 4th to take a 2-1 lead, the Rockies battled right back with two of their own in the bottom half (Brown's RBI and a D.J. LeMahieu RBI single). Chatwood then put up a big 0 in the 5th to stabilize things, which allowed the bullpen to bring it home.

Tyler Chatwood's Line: 5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 85 pitches (52 strikes)

This was easily Chatwood's best outing since back-to-back strong outings against San Francisco (5 IP, 0 R) on Aug. 10 and Milwaukee (6 IP, 1 ER) on Aug. 14. Since he's kinda of gone back and forth between ugly and meh, so that little thing called consistency still eludes him. But he has a good chance to end 2012 on a real high with a good outing in Los Angeles.

Bullpen's Line: 3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K

Josh Outman finished the 6th and record the first out in the 7th. Guillermo Moscoso then pitched 1 2/3 completely spotless innings in the setup role. That was a little stunning. But not so stunning was Betancourt pitching around traffic to earn his 30th save. Well done by all.

Highlights of the Night: A double dose of Josh Rutledge dazzling on defense.

He's a big leaguer, folks. Nice pick by Matt McBride, too.

What's Next: The 59-94 Rockies welcome the 59-94 Cubs to Coors Field on Tuesday night. First pitch is coming your way at 6:40, and it'll be thrown by Jorge De La Rosa (0-1, 12.27). The Cubs will counter with rookie left-hander Chris Rusin (1-2, 6.00). The battle for the #2 pick in the draft is on!

Final Thoughts: CBS Sports' baseball writer Jon Heyman had a nice piece Monday on Wilin Rosario, calling him the best rookie in baseball that nobody is talking about. The article is a good read that includes several quotes from the humble 23-year-old catcher, and a couple quotes from the increasingly delusional and arrogant Dan O'Dowd.

Here's the link...

Heyman: The Rockies' Wilin Rosario may be the best rookie you're not hearing about

Now here's a quote from O'Dowd...

“It blows me away he gets criticized locally, and nationally he never gets mentioned,'' Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said, asserting that Rosario is actually the most deserving of all the position players to win Rookie of the Year.

I just don't understand O'Dowd anymore. Why take shots at the local media and even the fans with this quote when it's clear the Rockies front office and manager Jim Tracy that have initiated most of the criticizing. Not that they're wrong for being critical, mind you, because Rosario's defensive issues have been extensive. But own it, stand by it. Don't act like other people are blown something out of proportion while completely ignoring your own role in it.
And here's another from O'Dowd.

“He caught one of the worst pitching staffs in the history of the game,'' O'Dowd pointed out. “There's certainly room for growth, but somebody needs to cut this kid a break.''

1. Whose fault is it the Rockies pitching staff is among the worst ever?

2. I don't care how true this is from a starting pitching perspective, the Rockies have thrown a lot of young, unpolished pitchers into a very tough situation and taken a Little League approach to developing them. I don't think they deserve to be bus tossed like that by their own GM. Also, the bullpen deserves a lot more credit than this quote gives them for holding up so well under an immense workload.

3. I'm more than ready for O'Dowd to go away now. He's not the root of the problem, but he's proving to be less of a realistic solution with each passing day.

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