Sunday, July 3, 2011

Rock Solid Recap: The honeymoon continues for Mark Ellis

We're getting a really good look at how dangerous the Colorado Rockies lineup can be with an effecitve hitter slotted into the #2 spot. Of course it's anything but a guarantee that Mark Ellis will continue being that effective hitter, but his first two games give us a lot of hope that he will be a measurable upgrade over those who played before him.

And I'm not just talking about this season. I'm talking about several seasons.

On Saturday, Ellis collected three more hits -- three more doubles to be exact -- making him 6-for-10 with five extra base hits and five runs knocked in through two games as a Rockie. Something tells me he's not going to miss the Oakland Coliseum. Or anything about Oakland for that matter, but especially that graveyard for hitters.

But I think the most important part here is that twice Carlos Gonzalez has been intentionally walked ahead of him, and twice Ellis made the Royals pay with an extra basehit. If Jim Tracy wants to continue hitting Gonzalez lead-off, which I can live with, he absolutely needs a respectable hitter to protect him. Ellis will start earning that respect with a couple more clutch knocks.

Rockies 9, Royals 6 (boxscore)

Other quick thoughts on a mostly postive night.

Greg Reynolds: He is what he is, which is Triple A roster filler/desperation spot starter at best. Which is sad for a former #2 pick overall. The good news (for Reynolds at least) is that it sounds like he has a high opinion of himself. Now I think I fully understand why he never has and probably never will break through as a major league pitcher. Going to need a more drive and higher expectations than that.

Oh, but look, Reynolds was the winning pitcher tonight. The Kansas City Royals truly are the cure for everything.

Huston Street: The one pitch save! Alright, so it's little discouraging he was even needed in a game Colorado led 7-0, but we're just in the business of collecting win right now, so whatever it takes it fine by me.

Rafael Betancourt: He's still not right. Hmm.

Chris Iannetta: Pretty strong performance. Three hits. Walked once. This coming one night after Chris drew a little bit of criticism on Twitter. That's just the way it's always going to be with Chris, because there's a wide range of opinions and expectations placed on him.

He's equally maddening and efficient. He's a plus player for his position and spot in the batting order, but I, along with others, still believe there's untapped potential here that isn't coming out. It's a very unique situation. But everybody has to be happy with a game like this one.

Other offensive heroes
  • Carlos Gonzalez: (two hits, two runs) 
  • Todd Helton: (two hits, two RBI) 
  • Troy Tulowitzki: (home run, two RBI) 
  • Seth Smith: (two hits, run, RBI)
All kinds of goodness.

Time for the Jim Tracy Drinking Game: Play along at home!

Overall: One thing to say. Let's get a damn SWEEP. No excuse not to! Get it done!