Friday, September 24, 2010

Rock Solid Recrap: Giants Play Better, Win

Amazing isn't it?

Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants came into Coors Field, pitched nearly perfect baseball, and won a baseball game. Who would have thought the Rockies would allow such a thing to take place, especially with their season hanging by a thread.

There's no sense talking about the big picture right now. Too depressing.  So let's look at some positives and negatives from this evening,

Positive: Jhoulys Chacin continues to prove himself. He's already on the cusp of top of the rotation status, and I think (hope) he will only get better as he develops better command and better pitch efficiency. When that happens, the Rockies 1-2 punch could rival any 1-2 combo in the league.

Negative: Chacin made one mistake tonight, which was sadly one more mistake than he could afford. Tim Lincecum was just better on the stage, and that's why he has two Cy Young Awards at home next to his other valuables.

Positive: No base running errors.

Negative: Only two base runners.

Positive: Jim Tracy managed a clean game.

Negative: Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson were so good that it didn't matter.

Positive: Ian Stewart returned to the hot corner.

Negative: Only because Melvin Mora's pregame meal didn't agree with him.

Positive: Ummmmm... Matt Reynolds!

Negative: Huston Street received his 5th consecutive day off. And this rate we won't need him again until early July 2012.

Positive: From all accounts the fireworks show after the game was spectacular.

Negative: The in game show sucked.


Jason Hammel vs Barry Zito

So I guess that means Zito will be the one mouthing "Bleeping juiced ball bullbleep" under his breathe when the Rockies mount an offensive rally. Looking forward to that.

Lineup Card: Rockies vs Giants

Here's to hoping Jim Tracy can find a role for his closer and setup man tonight.  Preferably it'll be in those exact roles, but down a run or two might not be the worst spot either.

Rockies Lineup (82-70)
  1. 2B  Young
  2. CF  Fowler
  3. LF  Gonzalez
  4. SS  Tulowitzki
  5. 1B  Helton
  6. 3B  Mora
  7. RF  Smith
  8. C    Olivo
  9. P    Chacin
So much for the prevailing thought that red hot Ryan Spilborghs would receive another start.  

Giants Lineup (86-67)
  1. 3B  Fontenot
  2. 2B  Sanchez
  3. 1B  Huff
  4. C   Posey
  5. LF  Burrell
  6. RF  Guillen
  7. SS  Uribe
  8. CF  Ross
  9. P     Lincecum
If you haven't heard, Pablo Sandoval has been demoted to a bench role for the Giants.  Mike Fontenot takes over at 3B and the lead-off spot in the order. 

Rock Solid Recrap: How Not To Manage A Must Win Game

This was awful. The way Jim Tracy handled the game tonight was embarrassing and bordering on asinine. You can't label a game a must win (which it was) and then turn around and manage like it's April 27th.

Why the hell are you saving Betancourt and Street and Belisle and Reynolds?

For what?

For when?

For who?

This was a game you absolutely had to have, and here are the arms our genius manager used.

  • Franklin Morales 
  • Esmil Rogers (he actually made sense in his role, but was left out there to die. No excuse for that.) 
  • Manny Delcarmen 
  • Joe Beimel 
  • Octavio Dotel

Either that's a manager saying I don't believe my offense has what it takes to turn this game around, or he's just clueless. Either freaking way, he didn't give his team the very best chance to win a must win game tonight.

Inexcusable. Unconscionable. Downright hideous managing.

Because guess what? His team had fight in them tonight. His team battled their asses off to turn an 8-2 game into one run, one swing from taking the lead game. Not just one swing, but on two separate occasions they were mere feet or inches from taking the lead.

Yeah, I know Jeff Francis didn't give the team as much as they needed. Yeah Rogers didn't pitch well. The entire team obviously needed to play better tonight, the entire series, and at various points throughout the season, but if Tracy had just used the best arms he had available to keep the game from snowballing in the 6th-8th innings, the results could have been so much different.

He failed at his job. Miserably. No excuse.

He failed his players. He failed the organization. He failed the city of Denver and the state of Colorado. And above all he failed the diehard Rockies fans.

His legacy in Colorado will not be all the "Tracy is My Homeboy" nonsense that followed 2009. He was merely along for that ride just like the rest of us were.

His legacy now is how he unsuccessfully managed arguably the most talented roster in the NL (for sure the division) into a longshot playoff hopeful.  A no doubt 95 win caliber team is very unlikely to even reach 90.

This tweet by Joe Sheehan last night will be forever remembered by me because it tells the story so well.
@joe_sheehan There's an alternate universe in which Jim Tracy retired before the season, the Rockies hired [anyone else] and went 98-64. #rockies

Of course now they will sweep the Giants and the Padres will manage to lose two of three over the weekend to make the final week interesting again. But even then it won't matter because as much heart as this Rockies team has -- and they DO have heart -- they don't have a brain in the dugout.

If they only had a brain.