Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rock Solid Recrap: That'll Just About Do It

Even though I have been bracing myself for this moment since the Pittsburgh/New York road trip, it is still difficult to admit the 2010 Rockies won't be getting over the hump.

See... I can't even spell out the proper words here. I guess I'll save those for when it's official.

I admire the heart this team has shown to rise from the dead on more than one occasion. I stand it awe of the other-worldly seasons turned it by our three legitimate superstars. At the same time, when I look at those two factors, it just makes everything all the more frustrating. The Rockies were better than the results will show.

This team wasn't missing much. I know a lot of folks look back at the trade deadline as a missed opportunity. Maybe it was, I can't say for sure. But I do believe they could have and should have won with the group they had.  It just never all came together for a prolonged period of time like we saw from May 28th until the end of last season.

Injuries, inconsistencies, lack of fundamentals (who saw that rundown today?), poor decision making in the dugout and on the bases, lack of urgency in the early months.

There were so many things this team did wrong, yet somehow they found themselves well over .500. Looking at the standings, I don't feel like the Giants or Padres stood in their way at all.  The only thing stopping the Rockies was themselves, and far too often they couldn't out of their own way.

Today was pretty simple, though. Matt Cain overwhelmed the Rockies from start to finish. He allowed an infield single to Jay Payton and a 2-run HR to Melvin Mora in the 8th inning. There was a walk and an error earlier, a Carlos Gonzalez single in the 9th, but the Rockies mounted no serious threat to even knock Cain from the game. It was complete and utter domination.

And it came at a time when his team absolutely needed it.

Jorge De La Rosa wasn't awful himself. He started slow, but bounced back to get the Rockies through six innings and within hopeful striking distance.

The decision on Jorge in the off season will be an interesting one. For the money he's likely to be demanding, I think I would rather have a guy that I know will be efficient. The five walks today are just not good enough. Though he has improved greatly from when he was acquired, I'm not sure Jorge can be the guy we saw late last season consistently.

What happens there will all depend on what he asks for and how the Rockies view him. But you already knew that, and I think we all already feel certain he'll price himself out of range.

I hear Cody Ross likes the city of Denver. You know, I kind of like Cody Ross, too. It doesn't matter which uniform he wears, he always has a monster game and series when he visits. He plays all three outfield position (though not always smoothly). I don't know, the Rockies could do worse for a platoon partner with Seth Smith should this be the off season Ryan Spilborghs is traded.

I have no knowledge that he will be traded. Just thinking out loud.


Ubaldo Jimenez vs TBD

Ubaldo goes for his 20th win. That gives us all something to look forward to. Of course in the back of my mind I wonder if he does with number 20, will this be his final start of the season. I guess we'll know all the answers soon enough.

Lineup Card: Rockies vs Giants

Rockies were in full on survival mode last night.  Too late?  Very likely, but it's not too late to take the Giants down to Baseball Hell with us.

Rockies Lineup (83-71)
  1. 2B  Young
  2. 3B  Herrera
  3. CF  Gonzalez
  4. SS  Tulowitzki
  5. 1B  Giambi
  6. RF  Spilborghs
  7. LF  Payton
  8. C    Olivo
  9. P     De La Rosa
Giants Lineup (87-68)
  1. CF  Ross
  2. 2B  Sanchez
  3. 1B  Huff
  4. C   Posey
  5. LF  Burrell
  6. RF  Guillen
  7. SS  Uribe
  8. 3B  Sandoval
  9. P    Cain

Rock Solid Recap: Satisfaction

To quote one of my favorite people on Twitter...

@Townie813 That is without question the most satisfying #Rockies victory of the season. For so damn many reasons.
Amen to that.

I have to start by giving Jason Hammel credit for attempting to pitch through his dead arm. It may not have been the smartest thing for him to do, or for the Rockies to allow him to do, but they almost had no choice in the matter. His performance was lacking, his guts were not.

The last 48+ hours have been a nightmare for Esmil Rogers. I don't know what has gone wrong there. It may be a confidence issue. Possibly a mechanical issue. Whatever the case, there's no reason to be concerned about his long-term outlook, but it doesn't look like he'll be a positive factor the final week. Disappointing, but understandable for a young guy.

Huston Street has been located. He was found alive and well in the Rockies bullpen tonight. He then went on to pitch two scoreless innings and found himself in the win column.

The Rockies offense was sensational tonight.

The usual suspects were involved...
  • Troy Tulowitzki: 4 hits, 2 doubles, home run, 5 RBI, walk-off hit. (webgem)
  • Carlos Gonzalez: 3 hits, 3 runs, scored the game-winner.  (webgem)
Had to squeeze those webgems in there somewhere.

And the veteran role players were involved as well...
  • Jay Payton: 2 hits, triple, run 
  • Melvin Mora: 2 hits, double, triple, 2 RBI.
In the span of four hitters in the 5th inning, those four men tripled, tripled, homered and then tripled, in four consecutive plate appearances. If anything deserves a "That Was Awesome" chant, that inning was it.

I even have praise for Jim Tracy tonight. Real praise, as I thought he managed almost every situation appropriately. Unfortunately he didn't get what he needed from Rogers again, but all the other buttons pushed made sense.

Now I have some fake praise. Warming up Franklin Morales in the bottom of 10th was his best strategic move of the season. Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki looked out there, saw that, and made damn sure we never saw an 11th inning. Excellent piece of managing right there.


Jorge De La Rosa vs Matt Cain

The Rockies will attempt to keep their fading playoff hopes alive... or at the very least play a roll in keeping the Giants from getting there themselves. I'd much prefer the former, but would learn to savor the latter.