Friday, July 6, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: A Much Appreciated Blackout

Cardinals 6, Rockies 2 (boxscore)

In what may be a first, I'm actually thankful tonight's game was blacked out here in Illinois. That's because it allowed me to keep both of my eyes on two of the best games I've seen all season: Phillies-Mets in New York and Giants-Nats in Washington.

But that doesn't mean I wasn't listening closely to the Rockies, or that I haven't sought out the highlights of the games key plays and studied the boxscore.

I don't like what I see, by the way.

Christian Friedrich's Line: 4 1/3 IP, 6 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 5 K, 89 pitches (55 strikes)

Friedrich's control abandoned him again in the middle innings, much like it did in Detroit a couple weeks ago. Naturally, those two professionally built offenses made him pay for it, and all we can do is hope that serves as a learning experience. Losing focus or command at this level, even for two or three batters, can be a death sentence. You have to stay sharp or things can and will unravel quickly. 

That's the lesson. But the overall good news is that when Friedrich is pumping strikes he's pretty effective. It's just a matter of maintaining it and also finding better ways to navigate the rough waters when they rise. Unfortunately, though, the latter has been the undoing of too many Rockies pitcher to name.  

Turning Point: Without being redundant, the 5th inning is where it all went to hell, and it's easy to point at the moment where this game jumped the shark for Colorado. It happened when Friedrich walked Lance Lynn to load the bases. Sure, the bounce back strikeout of Rafael Furcal was nice, but there was no chance he was escaping that undamaged after walking the opposing pitcher. None.

Highlight of the Night: Here's your nightly Tyler Colvin did something good video clip.

What's Next: Out of the frying pan in St. Louis, into the fire in Washington. The Rockies will open a three-game series there on Friday night, and they'll do it with Drew Pomeranz (0-3, 3.72) on the mound. He'll be  opposed by Stephen Strasburg (9-3, 2.81), though I tentatively write that because is suggesting that decision hasn't been made official. I'll take Edwin Jackson as a substitute if possible.

Final Thoughts: Remember when I said Wilin Rosario was becoming my favorite Rockies catcher ever? Well, I may have to exercise my right to change my mind. Here's why...

That can't happen. That run cannot score there. I understand Matt Holliday is a large man and he's moving fast, you still have to get that out. You have to stand in there, you might have to take a hit, but you have to get that out for your pitcher and your ballclub.

There's no way around it. I don't want to see Wilin get hurt, obviously, but I want to see a willingness to stand his ground and make the right play. I'm disappointed it didn't happen there. Very disappointed. 

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