Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rock Solid Recrap: A reminder from Jim Tracy

It's a reminder we didn't need, but it goes like this:

There are going to be 8-10 games this season where Jim Tracy is going to make every nonsensical decision possible, and either the team overcomes it, or we're all left pulling our hair out wondering if the right captain is steering our ship.

The latter is where we are after Tuesday's difficult loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

D-Backs 4, Rockies 3 (boxscore)

If I had the opportunity to interview Jim Tracy after Tuesday's game, I bet the conversation would have gone something like this.

Me: Why?

Jim Tracy: Why what?

Me: Everything.

Jim: *Removes cap, scratches head*

And then I would have asked why his gameplan involved using Matt Lindstrom for two innings with a fresh bullpen. When Lindstrom said he couldn't go because his arm was sore, his next option was Felipe Paulino. That makes no sense on any level. Tie game and a fresh bullpen means your top guys are in play.

After Lindstrom in the 7th it's either Betancourt pitching his customary 8th or even Matt Belisle. It absolutely under no circumstances can be Felipe Paulino, who has proven to be your least reliable reliever. Guess what? He was again - and you lost.

I have no idea why he didn't pinch-hit for Jose Lopez or Ryan Spilborghs in the 8th with two runners on. That was your chance to win it! And guess what again, they didn't win. Seth Smith and Jason Giambi eventually got their calls, but they came against closer J.J. Putz and the situation was less favorable.

Tracy actually had Giambi pinch-hit for Jonathan Herrera, which I didn't really disagree with the strategy, but seriously, it's bordering on asinine to pinch-hit for Herrera when you refused to pinch-hit for Lopez in a better situation. That tells me either the manager has no instincts, which is how I will lean here, or a manager has his hands tied by a higher up. I don't believe that to be the case.

Or I pray it's not.

But this isn't to say 100% of this loss is Jim Tracy's fault, or 50% or even 25%. It's not. The Rockies just didn't play well enough. They could have and should have taken the game right out of his hands at a couple different points, but he also failed them by not putting the best pieces in the right place.

And that's frustrating.

I could on some more about this but it's been a long night and I need to try to catch a little shuteye. Hopefully we'll have something to better to write about later tonight.


Unknown said...

Using Paulino was absolutely the wrong decision. I can't believe the Rockies didn't get a run home in the 8th. Between those two things, they deserved to lose. Why does Tracy insist on playing Lopez before Iannetta in the order, and why doesn't he pinch-hit for him much earlier in the game? Let me know if you get that interview with Tracy, because those are the questions I'd like to ask.