Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rock Solid Recap: Maligned Rockies Come Up Big

If Baseball is a game of what have you done for me lately, then three of the Rockies biggest targets for criticism have taken the elevator from outhouse to penthouse in San Francisco.

I'm fully aware outhouses don't have elevators but just go with me here. It's late.

Rockies 2, Giants 1 (11)

Winning Player: Clint Barmes

Aside from Franklin Morales, no Rockie has taken more flack than Clint. Granted, some of it has been warranted, but the majority of it has been complete nonsense and/or a fabrication based on useless statisitcal analysis. .

Whatever the case, I think almost all of that criticism -- warranted and nonsense -- is going to die down for the next few weeks. He's earned a break.

Barmes has done so by carrying the Rockies offensively and defensively the first two games in SF. His two-run single off Tim Lincecum was the icebreaker and difference maker of Monday's game. He made a couple big defensive plays later that helped Jimenez seal the deal on a shutout.

His game on Tuesday was twice as big. Barmes knocked in both of Colorado's runs with two clutch, late inning, professional plate appearances.(Highlights:  Sac Fly Game Winning Double)  And his defense was sparkling again.

Give the guy some credit where credit is due. He's not an all-star. He probably will never win a Gold Glove. He's not the guy you build your offense around or rely on. He's just a solid baseball player that most winning teams need to have to be successful.

I mentioned three Rockies were in the penthouse...

Jason Hammel pitched his best of the season tonight. His only blemish was the solo HR allowed to Andres Torres in the 4th inning. The Giants mounted a mini rally right after that, but Hammel got a DP ball of the Panda's bat and worked his way out. He doesn't get a win, but he gets a pat on the back for matching Barry Zito pitch-for-pitch.

The other guy is Melvin Mora.

Yes, Melvin's baserunning gaff was among the worst you'll see, but that was more than made up for by the double that sent Olivo to third, which allowed Barmes to drive him home. Then, in the 11th, Mora worked an 8-pitch walk, extending the inning, allowing Barmes to be the hero again.

Folks, Mora is just a flat professional hitter. Now that the Rockies can keep him away from second base defensively, his value only increases. Expect to see hm spell Ian Stewart more going forward, especially against lefties.

And before I head to bed here... Miguel Olivo. Wow. You're one tough SOB and you're exceeding everything I could have expected from you. I hope to heck you keep it going!

Good night... and good morning.


Blake said...

After the game last night, I told myself I am going to be nicer to Clint Barmes. That guy gets yelled at a lot through my tv. Then it occurred to me. If we are depending on our 8 hole hitter to be driving in runs like our 3,4, and 5 hitter we're in a ton of trouble. Great couple of days for the Rockies 2b whipping boy.