Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rock Solid Recrap: That's what a motivated Brad Hawpe looks like

See, I didn't know Brad Hawpe was the kind of guy who takes being released by the organization he grew up in personally. Now I know. Now the Rockies know. And now the Rockies are probably going to pay for it time and time again.

But this game was about a lot more than just Hawpe coming back to haunt the Rockies. This was about the Rockies shooting themselves in the foot... repeatedly, allowing a 7-1 seventh inning lead to slip away and turn into a 9-7 loss.

That's epic. That can't be done in one at-bat or on one pitch. That takes a collaborative effort from several sources to pull off. And the Rockies pulled it off almost flawlessly.

Padres 9, Rockies 7 (boxscore)

In started when Jhoulys Chacin loaded the bases to start the seventh. Eric Patterson hit one back to Chacin that bounced off his glove. When he finally collected the ball he took an ill-advised glance towards home, and then made an even iller-advised throw to first that sailed over Todd Helton's head. Chacin was charged with two errors on that play that led directly to two runs. It also put two more runners in scoring position that eventually came around to score, narrowing the gap to 7-5.

All things considered, Chacin pitched a solid game today, but that one misplay that turned into a bad decision undid most of it.

What Chacin didn't undo, Rafael Betancourt finished off by throwing an awful inning that included three hits, two runs and one balk. And to make it worse he made it last what felt like three years.

That set the stage for Brad Hawpe to absolutely unload on a 2-2 Huston Street offering in the ninth. It was not a good outing at all for Huston, who needed a little defensive assistance to prevent a lead-off double from scoring. But there was no saving him from Hawpe's second deck blast. Even more frustrating is Street was ahead in the count 0-2 and couldn't finish him off.

Awful baseball.

Offense did well to light up Aaron Harang. It was nice to see that, but no baserunners over the final four innings certainly did not help halt the momentum San Diego was gaining. Last night they were able to keep adding on and kicking San Diego while they were down, today it just didn't happen.

I've seen some frustrating Colorado Rockies losses in my day. This one here is a gut punch that can rival most of them. But it definitely reminded me of one specific loss last season. The final day before the all-star break, where the Rockies imploded against these same San Diego Padres.

A Matt Belisle error on a play very similar to Chacin's opened the door for the Padres, who ended up winning that game by the same 9-7 score. Eerily similar on many levels. Even the weather conditions were about the same, only warmer. And Chacin pitched that day as well... in relief.

Lineup Card: 5-14-11 Rockies vs Padres

If you're looking for Rockies game lineups and you don't feel like searching all over Twitter or waiting for to post them, check back to Heaven & Helton about 60-90 minutes before first pitch. They should be here waiting for you.


Colorado Rockies (20-16)
  1. CF Dexter Fowler
  2. 2B Jonathan Herrera
  3. LF Carlos Gonzalez
  4. SS Troy Tulowitzki
  5. 1B Todd Helton
  6. RF Seth Smith
  7. 3B Ty Wigginton
  8. C   Chris Iannetta
  9. P    Jhoulys Chacin
San Diego Padres (15-23)
  1. RF Will Venable
  2. SS Jason Bartlett
  3. 3B Chase Headley
  4. 1B Brad Hawpe
  5. CF Camerom Maybin
  6. LF Ryan Ludwick
  7. C   Kyle Phillips
  8. 2B Eric Patterson
  9. P    Aaron Harang

Rock Solid Recap: Confidence and aggression key offensive breakout

That was quite a different looking Rockies offense we saw on the field Friday night. Even when they were finding ways to win in Pittsburgh and New York, we didn't see nearly enough of what we saw here.

We saw aggression. We saw them attacking early in the count, driving baseballs back through the middle. We saw them putting runners in motion, putting pressure on the defense. We saw them taking 90 feet when it made sense, not waiting for it to be handed out or running into easy outs.

But more importantly than that, we saw confidence. Swagger as the kids call it today. They conducted themselves like a team that knew it was supposed to win, supposed to dominate a mediocre pitcher, and they went out and did it. No excuses. No questioned asked. They blooded Dustin Moseley's nose early, and they kept kicking his ass until Bud Black threw in the towel.

Where that came from I don't know. How it could appear so quickly after being nowhere to be found I can't tell you. Even the Rockies probably couldn't tell you. But it was damn nice to see for one night, and I hope it's something that sticks around for weeks and months to come.

Rockies 12, Padres 7 (boxscore)

-- Ryan Spilborghs: Three hits, two runs, one RBI -- By far his best game in a long time. I'm sure that can be attributed to getting back-to-back starts for the first time in a long time as well. Let's see if Tracy sticks with the hot hand again Saturday again.

-- Troy Tulowitzki: Three hits, home run, three RBI -- I knew his line out on Thursday was a good sign. But even when you've seen a player for so long and you recognize good signs, it's still nice to see them build on it. San Diego pitching is going to leave town with a negative attitude thanks to this guy.

-- Carlos Gonzalez: Three runs, walk, triple, two steals -- It's easy to forget that Gonzalez has game changing speed and pretty solid base stealing instincts. If he can continue showing the patience we've seen over the past 3-4 games, special things will start happening.

-- Todd Helton, Seth Smith & Jonathan Herrera: Two hits each -- Helton left the game with soreness in his left calf. Hopefully that's something that will calm down quickly. Smith and Herrera did a fantastic job setting the table and establishing the mindset with their performance.

-- Jorge De La Rosa was far from his best in this one. He struggled to put his foot down every time the Rockies offense gave him breathing room, which made the game more interesting than it had any right to be. That said, Jorge's been the victim of lousy support several times himself, so he was more deserving of having the offense pick him up.

-- It took the Rockies several weeks to blow their division lead. It only took the Giants one day. Yay us?