Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lineup Card: Rockies @ Dodgers

Apparently it's farewell to Brad Hawpe night in the Rockies clubhouse.  He's expected to be traded or released at some point in the next 12-24 hours.  More thoughts on that when it becomes official.

Rockies Lineup (61-57)
  1. 2B  Young
  2. CF  Fowler
  3. RF  Gonzalez
  4. SS  Tulowitzki
  5. LF  Smith
  6. 1B  Helton
  7. 3B  Stewart
  8. C    Olivo
  9. P     Hammel
The weeding out of Clint Barmes continues tonight.  No problem there.  EY needs to play as much as possible, and he needs to not play the OF.  This works.  This lineup makes the most sense for the Rockies (save Olivo) for the next 5-6 weeks.  Stick to it.  

Dodgers Lineup (61-59)
  1. CF  Podsednik
  2. 2B  Theriot
  3. RF  Ethier
  4. 1B  Loney
  5. 3B  Blake
  6. LF  Gibbons
  7. SS  Carroll
  8. C    Ellis
  9. P    Kuroda
My lord this lineup is somehow worse than their lineup last night.  Jay Gibbons, ladies and gentleman.  Jay freaking Gibbons.  

Rock Solid Recrap: Never Stray From The Script

Apparently that's what Jim Tracy writes on his precious white board every time the Rockies and Dodgers hook up, because the script never changes. Same crap, different day, series, season.

It almost makes me wonder if the teams really play 18 games, or if the networks continue airing canned footage of previous Rockies/Dodgers game. They all look the same.

Honest assessment of Jhoulys Chacin...

As I tweeted during the game, the only bridge left for Chacin to cross is the pitch efficiency/command one. It's a big one. It took Ubaldo a good two years of Major League experience to navigate it. Chacin and Ubaldo are very comparable in my opinion, so there's a lot of hope.

Also a lot of talent. His breaking ball was electric when he was commanding it.

But the bottom line is five walks are too many, and will kill you every time. Tonight was no different, though the Rockies didn't help Chacin out a whole lot with their...

1. Offense

Another brutal night at the plate, especially with RISP (0-for-10).

Holy hell that is awful.

2. Defensive Alignment

The Rockies over shifting and inexplicable defensive positioning is probably... no, not probably... is definitely the most frustrating factor in this team's impending demise. It's awful. Tonight was especially awful. The entire Dodgers five run 5th inning was aided by Rockies not being where they should be.

Troy Tulowitzki covered second base on a hit-and-run, which left his spot open. AJ Ellis hit the ball right where Tulo would have been. 1st-and-3rd, no outs. Problem.

Credit the Dodgers with getting a hit-and-run ball in play, no doubt, but also discredit the Rockies for having the SS moving when a RH batter was at the plate. That's completely ass backwards, and I don't care if you have some silly stat that says he hits the ball a certain way more often. Play it right.

Could have easily been a 6-4-3 even with the runner in motion.

A few batters later, Casey Blake shoots a ground ball to right side and into RF for an RBI single. For some reason, probably because a dumb stat told them so (or maybe for the daylight play), EY Jr. was positioned right by the 2B bag. Would have been an easy 4-3 if he's at home.

These aren't just my opinions. Dodgers legendary broadcaster Vin Scully spent a good three minutes in the next half inning looking back at the Rockies defense and even offered an opinion that the game would have remained scoreless had the Rockies not outsmarted themselves.

There's no higher authority in the game than Vin Scully. He's seen it all. If he's selling it, I'm buying it.

So that sucked. But not everything sucked.

Eric Young & Dexter Fowler

All kinds of love for these guys. They played like guys in a dogfight to keep their team's playoff chances above water. They played like men determined to prove they belong in the big leagues. They played like winners.

Those attributes don't always stand out, mainly because they shouldn't have to stand out, but since they're the only two guys in a Rockies uniform that played this way, it stands out.

If Jim Tracy has any balls or brains, he will reward these two young men for their effort tonight. He will reward them by penciling their name in the lineup every damn day from now until the end of the season. Why not? This team needs fight and energy. Those are your guys right there.


Anyone care? I feel obligated to at least give you the pitching match up.

Jason Hammel vs Hiroki Kuroda

Let's play a new game. Guess the opposing starting pitcher's final line. I'll start.

Kuroda -- 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K