Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rock Solid Recrap: A night of frustration, fail and fury

Brewers 8, Rockies 7 (boxscore)

Where do we begin?

Frustration: The ninth inning. The same destructive pattern that always seems to get Huston Street got him again. Not the one where he gives up a lead-off single. He responds well to that pressure. It's the pattern where he retires the first two batters easily, walks the third hitter, and then allows a painful home run.

Happened in Florida and Pittsburgh last season. Happened once or twice this season. That's how he gets burned. But I'd much rather have this happen once every six weeks than watch what's happening in Chicago, St. Louis, Minnesota, Baltimore, so on and so forth. And it's not like walking Prince Fielder there is a bad idea there either, so it is what it is. Weeks beat him. Tough loss.

Also, I know I promised I wouldn't go over the top to defend players because it's backfired on me so much in the past, but this has to be said about Huston Street.

If he hasn't won fans over by now. If he hasn't earned their respect as the best closer the Rockies have had in 20 years (which he is by a significant margin), then he never will. For a guy like me that has lived through Jose Jimenez, Brian Fuentes, Darren Holmes, the list goes on, it's difficult to grasp why he's not more appreciated or respected. It disappoints me to a degree, but I understand fans need a lightning rod. Closer is always the best position to find one.

Fail: Oh, Todd. What happened? I don't think I've seen him have a game quite like that before. The bat was good. His two-run double in the 7th and RBI single in the 9th were important, but they weren't enough partially due to... Todd Helton's defense.

I've never said that before. And it wasn't just one play, it was two! The glove toss was a bad idea. Todd knows it. But then there was the throw to the plate that was offline that allowed another run to score. So when you break it down, one run would have scored on the glove toss play, but his error allowed a second run. And the bad throw (while not an error) led to another run. That's two runs.

Rockies lost by two. Plenty of blame to pass around.

Fury: "A little background on Cory Blaser. He actually lives in Colorado, and he's 11-years-old." -- Bob Uecker while introducing the umpires.

Love you Bob. And yes, there's no question Cory Blaser looks like a young kid. Unfortunately, that's also the age he acts while umpiring professional baseball games.

How he blew that call tonight I have no idea. He was looking right at Corey Hart as he slid into the plate. He was looking right at Chris Iannetta's tag, which was applied to Hart's hip well before the foot came down on the plate. But he ruled him safe.

That was awful enough.

Then he compounds the stupidity by ejecting Chris Iannetta at the first hint of a disagreement. Alright, so it was a pretty demonstrative jamming of his face mask into the ground, but no umpire should think twice about that if he believes he got the call right. He should at least let the player have his say before determining what action to take. It's an emotional game between the lines played by emotional players. The umpire's job is not to fuel that.

This little worm knew he'd blown it, and he seriously overreacted to Iannetta's reaction because of it, which set off a wild argument at home plate. I've never seen Chris Iannetta like that. And you rarely see Jim Tracy go bat shit crazy. That all could have been avoided by 1) a correct call or 2) an umpire being professional.

That's all I read into that. I do hope that Iannetta's reaction and passion can serve as a rallying point. I'm not sure it will. This team has had plenty of reasons to take off emotionally in the past, and they haven't been able to sustain it. Guess time will tell on this one.

Three positives

1. Watch that play again and admire the throw from Dexter Fowler. That was terrific.

2. The Ian Stewart revival continued with two more hits... and two more strikeouts. But two more hits... including a triple!

3. The Rockies turned a two-out strikeout into three runs in the second. This is the same team that two weeks ago couldn't turn three hits with no outs into one run. We're making progress!


We've been here a time or ten this season. Another one of those games (especially at Coors Field) where the Rockies have every reason to win. They do a lot of things right. They get key hits. They get a good start from Jhoulys Chacin. They even catch a big break in the second inning. It just doesn't happen for them. It slips through their fingers. 

Now we have to focus on Sunday. Here's a chance to win a series and end the 12-game Sunday losing streak with Aaron Cook on the mound. He'll be opposed....  forget it. It doesn't matter. This can't end well.