Thursday, September 20, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: Rockies Swept In De La Rosa's Return

Giants 9, Rockies 2 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: We always go into these west coast series (especially in San Francisco) half-jokingly and half-seriously expecting the Rockies to get swept, but this wasn't even close or competitive on any level. What a lousy, embarrassing series that saw the Rockies outscored 24-7 over the four games.

But perhaps the worst thing we saw or heard today were these pregame comments from manager Jim Tracy.
I understand the comments likely didn't come in the context of 'can you explain why your team is limping to the finish line again', but come on, I'm tired of the excuse-making and bus-tossing from Mr. Clownshoes. It's old, it's tiresome, and it just shows again that he's not willing to accept responsibility for his own short-comings, of which they are many.

Were the 2010 and 2011 teams loaded with rookies too? Why did those teams completely mail it in in September? The way this team finishes (or doesn't finish) really has little to do with experience, but at some point has to begin reflecting on a manager that can never keep his team focused for 162 games, and also consistently puts his team in a position to fail. That includes over-managing and running his relievers into the ground setting them up for a brutal finish.

I'm so, so, so over this guy as the Rockies manager. Play the hand your dealt and make the team better. But this guy just isn't capable of doing either.

Turning Point: The Giants scored six runs with two outs in the 4th. The first of those runs scored on a wild pitch, which is maddening enough. Then came the walk to Angel Pagan. Then came the RBI single from Marco Scutaro. Then came the Pablo Sandoval three-run homer (off Edgmer Escalona) followed by Buster Posey's home run (off Edgmer Escalona).

What a fitting disaster inning for such a disaster series (season).

Rock Solid Recrap: Cained Again In San Francisco

Giants 7, Rockies 1 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: The Rockies were playing the Giants in San Francisco. The Giants starting pitcher was Matt Cain. The odds of anything going right were slim and none, and slim left the building about three batters into the Giants half of the 1st. Clearly he or she had more important things to do.

Tyler Chatwood's Line: 4 IP, 3 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 84 pitches (56 strikes)

Coming into this game Tyler Chatwood's 1st inning ERA was an even 9.00 over his first nine starts. That number actually goes up after Pablo Sandoval's three-run homer. From there Chatwood had to work very hard and deal with constant traffic to limit the overall damage and keep the game close. To his credit, he accomplished that (and didn't walk anyone), but it's clear he has to do a better job coming out of the gate sharper and more focused so the team isn't always in comeback mode immediately and so he can finally start working deeper into games.

Bullpen's Line: 4 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K

Rough go again for Adam Ottavino as San Francisco touched him up for three runs in the 5th. That means he's now allowed 10 earned runs over his last 1 2/3 innings, raising his ERA from a very respectable 3.56 to 4.68. It's a damn shame, too, because along with Josh Roenicke and Matt Belisle he's been about as reliable as one can expect for a middle or setup reliever. He's just plain out of gas right now and his numbers are going to suffer for it.

Matt Cain's Line: 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 8 K, 116 pitches (74 strikes)

Even on a night when he doesn't have good command, Cain makes the Rockies lineup like they belong in Modesto. Dominant to the point where it's unfair and slightly embarrassing.

Turning Point: Sandoval's three-run homer was the point of no return, but the Rockies did mount a little rally against Cain in the 5th when they scored the lone run and then loaded the bases with two outs. They even had the ideal man at the plate in the returning Carlos Gonzalez, but after a good battle he rolled over a grounder to second base and then Ottavino's rough 5th finished the game off.

Highlight of the Night: I didn't know what to expect from Carlos Goznalez tonight but he looked pretty healthy while making this fantastic running catch.

What's Next: Finally a game to look forward to! The return of Jorge De La Rosa will finally happen Thursday afternoon at 1:45 at AT&T Park. According to Troy Renck and others it will be the first of at least two starts for Jorge, which likely depends on how good he looks here. But here's to hoping he just looks healthy. Good pitching results would also be nice, but good health and clear confidence in his stuff outweighs that in my eyes.

Oh... yeah... he'll be opposed by Barry Zito (12-8, 4.21)

Final Thoughts: It was my duty once again this season to write the Rockies eulogy for Big League Stew. This year our theme was concession speeches, so for the first time ever I dabbled in something political and hopefully came up with something you'll enjoy and maybe even agree with while fitting within the guidelines.

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