Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: Here's Your Free 90 Feet, Mr. Crisp

Athletics 10, Rockies 8 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: The Rockies hit extremely well. Got a starting effort from Josh Outman that sadly probably qualifies as a best case scenario. The bridge relievers (Adam Ottavino, Rex Brothers and Matt Belisle) weren't exactly sharp, but managed to get the ball to Rafael Betancourt with an 8-7 lead.

And then it happened. The 9th inning.

Turning Point: Coco Crisp led off that 9th inning with the most Coors Field bloop single possible (a popfly that dropped between LeMahieu, Cuddyer and Fowler), and then advanced to second on Jemile Weeks' bunt. I guess it was a sacrifice(?) but it took a great play from Betancourt and Helton to get that out.

That brings us to our big turning point here.

Crisp is an aggressive base stealer. He grabbed 49 bags last season. Had a respectable eight this year despite a DL stint. So naturally Betancourt pays him no attention and Crisp takes the 90 feet without so much as an acknowledge from Rosario, because he was already high-fiving Mike Gallego when the pitch was received.

A handful of pitches later, Crisp scored the tying run on a shallow flyball to right field. Michael Cuddyer made the play close at the plate, but Crisp expertly slid around the tag. So we had some bad luck involved here that put Crisp on base in the first place. That is what it is, and who knows how the Weeks at-bat plays out in a different scenario. But that lack of attention to detail with Crisp at second is what's mind-boggling and maddening.

I know it's important to not lose focus on the hitter, but 90 feet in a one-run game is as valuable as an out. Of course Seth Smith followed by doubling off the wall (leading to the two-out rally that won the game for Oakland), which to some renders the whole thing moot, but you just never know how different the approaches and mindsets are without those free 90 feet.

Lousy attention to detail.

Losing baseball.

Josh Outman's Line: 5 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 HR, 77 pitches (51 strikes)

Tracy Ringolsby tells us (via Twitter) that Outman had allowed one home run and a.185 average to lefties in his career before Seth Smith hit a two-run homer in the 1st and Brandon Moss' two-run blast in the 4th. Those were the only two glaring mistakes the transitioning left-hander made in what I would deem an unspectacular but servicable outing considering his circumstances.

Screengrab of the Game
A swing of beauty. Todd Helton connects for his 7th career grand slam. 
Highlight of the Night: Michael Cuddyer also had a big night. 4-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R.

What's Next: The Rockies wrap up the pathetic homestand on Thursday at 1:10. Alex White (2-4, 5.66) goes against Jarrod Parker (2-3, 3.19) as the Rockies look to avoid back-to-back sweeps.

Final Thoughts: It sounds like the Troy Tulowitzki setback was minor in the sense that there was no further damage to the area, but obviously it's still vulnerable enough that Tulowitzki feared making it worse by continuing in the game. So it's a best case scenario in one regard, but we won't be seeing Tulo again for awhile. And we shouldn't until he's 100% pain free and there's 100% confidence he can stay that way.

In the meantime, Troy Renck reports that Michael Cuddyer took a few grounders at second base this afternoon. He notes it's a longshot he'll be used there in a game, but I've mentioned a couple times that the Rockies will need to be creative to keep the best lineups on the field. That takes on more importance now with Tulo missing more time, so we'll see what happens.

More Rockies thoughts await you if you follow me on Twitter: @Townie813 & @HeavenHelton