Monday, August 29, 2011

Rock Solid Recap: Sundays are fun again!

But to be truly be fun again, wins on Friday and Saturday would be necessary. 

Such was not the case for the Rockies weekend, but hey, it's nice to feel like the Sunday crap is behind us.

Rockies 7, Dodgers 6 (boxscore)

Here's something we've been saying a lot lately: The Rockies offense jumped out to a lead. And they did so against a pitcher they've never faced before in Nathan Eovaldi. I know what you're thinking... and I agree, that's a really strange name.

The Rockies plated five of Eovaldi in a near 40-pitch first inning. The 21-year-old righty could have trimmed about 10 pitches and 4 runs off that total with a little help from right fielder Trent Oeltjen, but Kevin Kouzmanoff's blooper to right center bounced off his wrist and actually turned into the weakest base clearing double I've seen in a quite awhile.

And that's taking nothing away from Kouzmanoff. Believe me. He got the ball in play That's something we haven't seen nearly enough of in those spots, so he earned it.

Eliezer Alfonzo would follow with his own two-out, RBI hit. That was also critical, because all of those runs would end up being important. As would the RBIs Seth Smith and Kouzmanoff collected in the 5th, which turned a 5-2 lead into a 7-2 advantage.

Alright, so looking at Jhoulys Chacin. Again, we're in the same spot we've been with him for 2-3 months. He's continuing to struggle with inferior opponents, and he's struggling to wrap his arms around the role and expectations of being a #1 starter. I'm not even going to throw the word "ace" in there, because there can be a difference between a true ace and a #1. I just mean he's struggling to be the guy you can rely on for innings and effectiveness.

Like a Matt Garza in Chicago or even our old pal Wandy Rodriguez in Houston. Those pitchers aren't true aces, but they're guys that are consistently deep in games and bulldogging. That's where Chacin has to get to next, then he can advance from there, because he has better stuff than those guys.

He will get there at the very least, and I'm still certain he'll get beyond that point and realize his potential. It's just looking he won't be taking those steps this season. That's fine. He has time to grow. And the Rockies rotation figures to be much deeper next season, which will allow that growth to continue with a little less pressure.

That's especially true if Drew Pomeranz breaks camp with the MLB squad.

I feel like I repeat a lot of that with each passing Chacin start. I'll try to go a different direction next time.

Nice bounceback outing for Rafael Betancourt. He's never been given an extended look like this at closer, and despite the home run allowed to James Loney on Saturday, I'll say he's doing a fine job. It'll be very interesting to see how the saves break down down the stretch. As well as Betancourt is going, and despite the general belief a player (Huston Street) shouldn't lose a gig to injury, the Rockies would be wise to throw some of these opportunities to Rex Brothers.

As I stated earlier in the weekend. Whatever Jim Tracy decides to do, trust that his logic will make no sense, even it's ultimately the right call.

Final thought

If the Rockies win this series in Arizona I'll be totally shocked. The Snakes are playing lights out baseball right now. I really think they understand the importance of creating distance on San Francisco before they can right their ship (if they can), so I'm expecting top notch efforts from them.