Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: Same Starting Pitching. Less Offense. More Bad Results.

Braves 7, Rockies 2 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: At the risk of becoming repetitive, I will skip this section. You already know.

Turning Point: Two up, two down for Juan Nicasio to start the 3rd inning.

Three batters later. Three-run home run Freddie Freeman. 3-0 Braves.

I've said it repeatedly in these Recraps, Rockies pitchers must become stronger finishers. That doesn't mean throwing 95-97 in the 7th-8th innings, either. That means throwing quality pitches with two strikes and/or two outs to finish off hitters and close down innings. They have to be the absolute worst at this in baseball, and it seems to cost them every single time an inning is extended.

It's how you lose close games. It's how you blow big leads. It's how you lose games before they're even started. It's losing baseball.

Make some damn pitches and let the offense do work.

Juan Nicasio's Line: 5 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 93 pitches (49 strikes)

Not the outing Colorado needed from Nicasio. Not enough strikes. Not enough outs. Just not enough. But I won't come down too hard on him individually. He's carried a heavy load so far and I expect much better his next time out.

Meanwhile, Adam Ottavino made his Rockies debut and tossed two completely perfect innings this afternoon. Carlos Torres then threw a perfect 9th after throwing a perfect 8th last night.

You know what was really cool about those four innings?

47 total pitches, 33 strikes.

Lineup Card: Rockies vs Braves 5-6-12

Saturday Night's Recrap (if you can stomach it): Pitching Continues Circling The Drain


Colorado Rockies (12-14)
  1. Marco Scutaro (2B)
  2. Jonathan Herrera (3B)
  3. Carlos Gonzalez (LF)
  4. Troy Tulowitzki (SS)
  5. Jason Giambi (1B)
  6. Michael Cuddyer (RF)
  7. Ramon Hernandez (C)
  8. Dexter Fowler (CF)
  9. Juan Nicasio (P)
I think Jim Tracy got the memo on his Sunday lineups. He'll never admit that, of course, but they have definitely improved since he commented on them a couple weeks back. 

Atlanta Braves (17-11)
  1. Michael Bourn (CF)
  2. Martin Prado (LF)
  3. Freddie Freeman (1B)
  4. Dan Uggla (2B)
  5. Jason Heyward (RF)
  6. Juan Francisco (3B)
  7. David Ross (C)
  8. Tyler Pastornicky (SS)
  9. Brandon Beachy (P)
No Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, Eric Hinske or Matt Diaz? So, you're saying there's a chance? Or are they all going to show up in the later innings to destroy our weekend? 

Don't answer that. 

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

Rock Solid Recrap: Pitching Continues Circling The Drain

First are foremost, my thoughts are with the fan who was struck by Tyler Pastornicky's foul ball during tonight's game. That was a really, really scary incident. Hopefully the reports we hear continue to be positive. 

Braves 13, Rockies 9 (boxscore)

What Went Wrong: There's a reason I listed flawed and frustrating ahead of fun when describing the Rockies the other day. The current starting rotation is flawed to the point of giving Colorado absolutely no chance 3 1/2 times out of five. Just a miserable, embarrassing mess. And we're already seeing the wear and tear that's taken on the bullpen leading to awful results in the later innings, almost to the point of total predictability.

Yes, everybody knew coming in that this possibility existed, but not to the point we've seen over the past 10 days. This is a quagmire. A total cesspool of incompetence on several levels.

Point at Bob Apodaca. Point at Dan O'Dowd. Point at Jim Tracy. Point at Esmil Rogers, Edgmer Escalona, Guillermo Moscoso, Jhoulys Chacin, Rex Brothers, Jeremy Guthrie's bike.

Point at everybody and everything. You won't be wrong. And assuming things continue as they are (or at least close to it), a lot of those names — player or otherwise — will soon be erased from the Rockies official roster.

They'll have no choice. You can't continue fielding a pitching staff that has 4-5 big league arms at best. You can't continue making excuses for those who field that roster, fail to provide depth, or fail to mold those fringe arms into usable talent.

To quote Jim Tracy... "You just can't."

Oh, and did I mention you can also point at the awful defense? How about four more errors tonight — Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Esmil Rogers and Tyler Colvin. That should keep their spot as the worst defensive team in baseball pretty secure.