Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: Pirates Don't Mind Stealing, Will Also Take What They're Given

Pirates 6, Rockies 2 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: Like I indicated in the headline, pirates make a living stealing, but the ones from Pittsburgh didn't have to tonight. This win was furnished for them, free of charge. 

Some of the bigger issues for the sloppy Rockies on Tuesday night:

— The inability to finish innings on the mound and capitalize at the plate against the often injured, always overpaid Erik Bedard. More to come on these.

— Wilin Rosario had another awful night behind the plate with his league leading 12th passed ball and a costly wild pitch allowed. Obviously there's a long way to go in his development, but there's no sense taking playing time away. He has to learn on the job. But you're still allowed to cringe and not like it.

— Down four runs late, Jordan Pacheco inexplicably attempts to advance to third on a groundball to third base. He was tagged out easily, killing a scoring opportunity.

— In the 9th, Carlos Torres made a lousy throw to second on what should have been a double play. Rockies end up getting no outs (thanks to the throw and a missed call). Amazingly, that one didn't lead to a run, but still maddening.

As small as many of those miscues appear to be, there's no way you're going to win at this level when you make that many of them in one game. Especially against this Pittsburgh team that executes well under Clint Hurdle and does a wonderful job of getting the most out of the least. Not to mention it gets increasingly difficult to watch with each passing game, because you expect to see some improvement somewhere along the line. It just never happens. And just when you think it's about to, it disappears.

Turning Point: Rookie Josh Rutledge triples home the go ahead run in the 4th. I wish I could say that was the turning point. Unfortunately, though, it was the Rockies inability to bring Rutledge home (there were no outs) that started the shift in the game's outlook. Christian Friedrich struck out looking. Eric Young struck out looking. Marco Scutaro flied out harmlessly to center field.

That was the start of it. In the top of the 5th... well... keep reading.

Lineup Card: Rockies vs Pirates 7-17-12

Monday's Recap: Embracing The Drama


Colorado Rockies (35-54)
  1. Eric Young Jr. (RF)
  2. Marco Scutaro (2B)
  3. Dexter Fowler (CF)
  4. Carlos Gonzalez (LF)
  5. Michael Cuddyer (1B)
  6. Jordan Pacheco (3B)
  7. Wilin Rosario (C)
  8. Josh Rutledge (SS)
  9. Christian Friedrich (P)
Alright, well, now we have Dexter Fowler hitting third, and I must say I'm a lot more intrigued by this move than I was hitting Pacheco third. I mean, ultimately I think that's the spot Carlos Gonzalez should hit because he's the best hitter on the team, but there's no doubt Fowler has been the next best hitter (and provides more pop than Pacheco) pretty much all season, so I can actually see this arrangement sticking awhile.  

More roster moves... Jonathan Herrera (shoulder) and Chris Nelson (irregular heartbeat) hit the DL today. We wish them both speedy recoveries (especially Nelson). On the way up are infielder D.J. LeMahieu (who played respectably in his earlier stint) and outfielder Andrew Brown (who is hitting extremely well in AAA). Brown should fill the right-handed bat off the bench role and draw a handful of starts. 

Pittsburgh Pirates (49-40)
  1. Alex Presley (LF)
  2. Drew Sutton (RF)
  3. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  4. Casey McGehee (1B)
  5. Neil Walker (2B)
  6. Pedro Alvarez (3B)
  7. Michael McKenry (C)
  8. Clint Barmes (SS)
  9. Erik Bedard (P)
More Rockies thoughts await you if you follow me on Twitter: @Townie813 & @HeavenHelton

Rock Solid Recap: Embracing The Drama

Rockies 5, Pirates 4 (boxscore)

When you enter play at 34-54, you'll take a win any way you can get it, even if that includes suffering through an hour long delay in the 9th inning, blowing a 4-1 lead in said 9th inning through the combined efforts of Rafael Betancourt (credited with a "hold"), Rex Brothers (vultures a "win") and Pedro Alvarez (certified Rockie killer) before ultimately scoring the game winner in a dramatic bottom of the 9th.

It was miserable.

It was painful (especially seeing Jeff Francis lose a much deserved victory).

It was also quite predictable.

It was Rockies baseball at its Rockiest... right up until Dexter Fowler's sacrifice fly clinched them victory #35 (Yes, I was expecting Wilin Rosario to slip on a wet spot 80 feet down the line).

I'll take it.

Winning Player: Jeff Francis: 5 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 73 pitches (42 strikes)

Solid contributions from a number of players tonight (Dexter Fowler, Wilin Rosario, Josh Roenick, and even Eric Young Jr. and Jason Giambi off the bench), but Francis is simply rolling right now and deserves the nod.

Every fourth day you know you're getting at least five innings from Francis, which under our current system is like a guaranteed eight innings every fifth day. He's pounding the strike zone. He's putting up zeroes. He's also bringing a small bit of stability to a rotation that needs a lot of it, but what any little bit is definitely appreciated.

Keep it rolling, Francis.