Friday, June 18, 2010

Rock Solid Recap: Nothing Noticeably Different

We're one game into the Troy Tulowitzki injury recovery period. So far, I'd say the impact has been minimal.

The offense still can't score. They're still getting fantastic defense from the middle infield. Jason Hammel is still on fire. The bullpen is still shutting the door.

Yup. Nothing's changed.  They won't miss Troy a bit.


Rockies 2, Brewers 0

Winning Player: Jason Hammel

When people were down on Hammel earlier this season I went out of my way to defend him as a well above average 4th/5th starter, with a chance to jump into that 3 spot. I'm not patting myself on the back for that, because even though I truly believed that and I was right, I never envisioned him going on a run like this.

If not for Jimenez doing what he's done just this season, Jason Hammel would currently be on the greatest roll for a Rockies starter ever. Seriously. 25 1/3 scoreless innings. With a big hat tip to Rafael Betancourt tonight for keeping that intact tonight.

A lot of people outside Colorado attributed his success post DL stint to an easy schedule. Well, he's now done it against two of the league's best offenses (Toronto and Milwaukee), and he's done it at Coors Field.

Jason Hammel has turned the corner. No way around it.

The Offense

Has not turned the corner. We just have to be thankful they scratched out what they did tonight and that it was enough.

By the way, Jason Hammel executed a perfect suicide squeeze and laced a double off Manny Parra. When your starting pitcher takes complete ownership of a baseball game like he did tonight, he better not pay for dinner out of his own pocket for the next 4 days. The offense has some paying up to do.

Shutout Record

The Rockies recorded a single-season franchise record 9th shutout tonight. They have 95 chances to make that double digits. I'll take those odds.


I want to see Chris Nelson. I'm not really dying to see him or anything, I just think I have a decent read on what Jonathan Herrera offers, and I'd like to see if Nelson can offer more. Herrera is the definition of serviceable, which could work well if the rest of the offense was at least partially clicking. In this offense, it doesn't work. The Rockies need to make sure they maximize every little thing they can.

They also need to get Jeff Francis a win!

Lineup Card: Rockies vs Brewers

Rockies Lineup (4-2)

  • LF Smith
  • 1B Helton
  • CF Spilborghs
  • RF Hawpe
  • C  Olivo
  • 3B Stewart
  • SS Barmes
  • 2B Herrera
  • P   Hammel
Life without Tulo begins.  You know who I'm looking at to step up?  Ian Stewart.  It has to be him.  He a guy that can absolutely carry the team if he heats up.  Looking at you, Ian.  Let's go!  

Brewers Lineup (28-38)
  • 2B Weeks
  • RF Hart
  • LF Braun
  • 1B Fielder
  • 3B McGehee
  • C  Lucroy
  • CF Gomez
  • SS Escobar
  • P  Parra

Rockies Aren't Dead Just Yet

I thought the lack of news last night and today was a good sign. How wrong I was. Tulo's out 6-8 weeks thanks to that worthless Twins reliever named Alex Burnett.

The Rockies, who were already operating with small margin for error thanks up and down play the first 10 weeks, are now... well... playing with paper thing margin for error.

The Rockies have two choices at this point.

  1. Curl up and die.
  2. Get motivated.
This season isn't over.  As long as you can pitch and defend, you're never out of it.  I know a lot of Rockies fans don't subscribe to the "pitching and defense win championships" mantra.  They may not WIN them, but they can keep you afloat.  That's what this team needs to focus on.  Stay afloat.  

Sustaining good play will be very difficult, but it's not impossible.  Other teams and fans are going to count them out now based on this.  The Rockies can take advantage of that if just keep showing up and playing ball.

It's not over.  It just got a whole lot more difficult.  But good things can still happen.  Let's try to not lose sight of that.   More importantly, let's hope the 25 now wearing Rockies uniforms (including Chris Nelson) also realize that.  

Ubaldo Is A True Stopper

Did you know that in five different series this season, Ubaldo Jimenez has prevented the Rockies from being swept?

Granted, not all five wins have come in the final game of the series, but five different times he has pitched his team to their lone victory in a series.

Did you know that of those five, ALL five came on the road?

April 5th in Milwaukee (Opening Day)

April 17 in Atlanta (The No-Hitter)

May 20th in Houston (The Cramp Game)

June 6th in Arizona

June 17th in Minnesota

Everyone weighs Opening Day pretty heavily, so you can easily say all of those wins came at a time the team badly needed one.  There really are no limits to how special he has been, and how important he is to the team.