Monday, June 7, 2010

Rock Solid Recap: I Prefer That Jason Hammel

Rockies 5, Astros 1

No mystery tonight...

Winning Player: Jason Hammel

I said something to this effect recently.

When Jason Hammel starts avoiding the disaster inning, he'll turn into one damn solid starter in a big league rotation.  

Seems Hammel has gotten, or is in the process of getting over that hump. A good indication of that was tonight's second inning.  The first two batters reached on infield singles. If anything is a recipe for disaster, it's making two solid pitches, forcing two weak swings, and getting no outs to show for it.

That didn't happen tonight.  Hammel got the 6-3 double play off the bat of Tommy Manzella, then struck out the pitcher to end the threat.  Hammel did a pretty good job of limiting his traffic from that point on, but the real key to his success was that great pitch when the situation called for a great pitch.  A hit allowed there and who knows which direction this game goes in.

Lineup Card Rockies vs Astros 6-7-10

No cakewalks.  Houston is currently playing its best baseball of the season having won 5 of 6.  

Rockies Lineup (29-27)

  • CF Gonzalez
  • LF Spilborghs
  • SS Tulowitzki
  • RF Hawpe
  • C   Olivo
  • 1B Helton
  • 3B Mora
  • 2B Barmes
  • P   Hammel
Astros Lineup (22-35)
  • CF Bourn
  • 2B Keppinger
  • 1B Berkman
  • LF Lee
  • RF Pence
  • 3B Feliz (Rockie killer)
  • C  Quintero
  • SS Manzella
  • P   Rodriguez

Pitch Count Concerns

Interesting question posed to me by David Martin from Rockies Review and Bleacher Report.  If for some reason you're not familiar with David, he's a fantastic writer and a passionate Rockies fan.  Check out his work.

I figured it would be easier to answer David's question with another quick post rather than a comment because it's a question many Rockies fans and baseball fans alike are pondering in regards to Ubaldo's pitch counts in 2010.  

My Opinion

It's definitely a concern.  It's a concern because Jim Tracy has shown a tendency to squeeze Jimenez until gets the last drop out of him.  That's a dangerous road to travel.  Knowing what I think I know about Jim, it's a road he'll continue on until it hits a dead end.

I don't fault Tracy for having that much confidence in Jimenez, but that's not what this is about.  We all have confidence in Ubaldo.  This is about knowing a manager can give his team the best chance to win a given game, while also protecting a gifted right arm and giving his team its best chance to win 2-3 months down the road.