Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rock Solid Recap: Depth Matters

I mean it really matters. That's what gives the Rockies such a huge advantage over all the other beat up squads come September.

Think about it. This team has released Brad Hawpe. They lost Ian Stewart to a ribcage injury. They lost Clint Barmes to major suckage. Aaron Cook takes one off the lower leg (which turned out to be awful news). Melvin Mora needs a nap. Todd Helton needs a couple innings off.

No problem.

The Rockies just keep finding guys to plug in the holes.

Seth Smith in RF -- HR (highlight)

Johnny Herrera in for Mora who was in for Stewart -- Clutch 2-run single to start the Rockies scoring. (highlight)

Eric Young at 2B -- 2 hits, 2 RBI, good defense, pain in the opponent's ass. (highlight)

Esmil Rogers relieves Cook in the 6th -- Gives the team a couple innings. Had some traffic, but limited it to only one run. Now we'll have to see if it's Rogers or Jeff Francis who takes Cook's place in the rotation. I'm betting on the latter.

Chris Iannetta plays a little 1B -- With the Rockies up 9-1 in the 6th, I suggested tonight could be the night we finally see this happen. I honestly didn't think it would happen, but every now and then the blind squirrel finds the nut.

Other contributions came from Manny Delcarmen, Samuel Deduno, and Jay Payton even reached base. None of those guys were officially on the roster 10 days ago. We even saw Michael McKenry make his ML debut. Quality 7-pitch AB that ended in a popout.

Of course there were contributions from old faces as well. Namely a guy known as Tulo. Two bombs for him tonight (HR #1 & HR #2) And one can't overlook the five solid innings from Aaron Cook before the unfornature injury ended his night, and possibly his season.

I have so much respect for Aaron Cook and everything that he has overcome in his career. It just makes me sick that he comes back looking mentally recharged and physically refreshed, only to have another bout of bad luck. Real shame. Get well soon, Cookie.


Could the Rockies sweep yet another first place team?

Jason Hammel vs Travis Wood

I have to tell you, this Travis Wood can do some things. He held the Rockies to one run over six innings back in July. A game the Rockies won 1-0 behind Cook. Wood also hit his first ML HR in his last start. He's an all around player with a quality arm.

But I'm thinking Hammel gets this job done and seals the deal.

Lineup Card: Rockies vs Reds

A couple links from earlier in the day...

Some CarGo Thoughts & Links (Heaven & Helton)

MLB Network: Six Seconds of Stupid (Bugs & Cranks)

Rockies Lineup (74-64)
  1. 2B  Young
  2. CF  Fowler
  3. LF  Gonzalez
  4. SS  Tulowitzki
  5. 1B  Helton
  6. RF  Smith
  7. C    Olivo
  8. 3B  Herrera
  9. P    Cook
Melvin Mora gets to take his much needed nap tonight.  

Reds Lineup (79-59)
  1. CF  Stubbs
  2. 2B  Phillips
  3. 1B  Votto
  4. 3B  Rolen
  5. LF  Gomes
  6. RF  Heisey
  7. C    Hannigan
  8. SS  Janish
  9. P    Arroyo

Some CarGo Thoughts & Links

The buzz around Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is at an all-time high this week. Some of the buzz is good, while another portion has been dismissive and/or doubting.

We begin with Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated (CarGo Home, CarGo On Road)

It's a lengthy read. Among the things discussed: His lack of walks, maturity, home/road splits, and a logical look at how Coors Field affects Rockies hitters when they go on the road.

He concludes...
This is not to say that CarGo’s season isn’t bizarrely inflated by Coors Field. It is inflated, no question. But I think it’s a bit more complicated than that. He’s have an amazing offensive season, an absolutely amazing season, and in my mind it should not be written off because he’s destroying the ball at Coors Field.
Rob Neyer questions whether or not CarGo would deserve the MVP honor. (The meaning of CarGo's home/road splits)
But would he deserve it?

Umm, maybe. Even with so few walks, depending on which defensive metrics you trust (or don't), Gonzalez might be the second- or third-most valuable player in the National League ... or he might be the eighth- or ninth-most valuable. I think it's safe to suggest that if he does win the Triple Crown, he'll have finished the season on a tear, moving him up a spot or two on whichever list your prefer.
Personally, I don't trust anything as flimsy as defensive metrics. But whatever. I know how good an outfielder he is. Unfortunately, stat nerds who don't watch the Rockies don't know how good he is. They're too busy determining his range with math equations that have nothing to do with anything.

Our final link today is a case of stat geekdom gone too far.

I present to you... (Fungoes -- Holliday for MVP?)

As soon as I saw this headline in my Twitter feed yesterday I knew clicking it would lead me to a bunch of charts, graphs and nonsense. It's just another case of a sabermetrician manipulating the numbers to make it say whatever he wants it to say.
We expect that Votto, Cargo and Pujols will share the bulk of MVP votes, primarily because of their pursuit of the Triple Crown. But Matt Holliday makes a strong case that individual stats, combined with context, matter. Just ask the Cardinals.
I'll pass on asking the Cardinals. And reading your blog again.