Sunday, May 29, 2011

Half-Clutch

Rockies 3, Cardinals 4

The Diamondbacks now sit atop the National League West, if that gives you any idea what kind of day this has been. I must congratulate them for taking advantage of the vacuum the Giants and Rockies have left. But ick.

I prefer that the Rockies not rally in the 9th anymore. Just don't do it. It's so much worse for us when they start a comeback and can't finish it. I would honestly rather they go quietly. I would also rather they not score 21 runs in 3 games and only win one of them. Just some simple requests.

They were so close today it really was physically painful. This game was harder to watch than the 10-3 loss on Friday, because at least the team fell out of that one early and never climbed back in. This time, they started to climb, but lost their grip at the last minute.

Is it too much to ask that the Rockies FINALLY have a walk-off win? It's starting to seem like perhaps they are not allowed to win in the final inning, although I cannot come up with a reason for why that would be. I need them to have one soon. I keep picturing Ryan Spilborghs running down the line and throwing his helmet in the air after hitting that grand slam in August 2009. What a spark that seemed to light. We could really use a spark like that again.

Okay, I've gone on long enough without giving you actual details about the game. I promise not to make that a habit. Here's what happened: Jhoulys Chacin had a weird outing. He gave up 6 hits but also struck out 7. And two of those hits drove in 3 runs in the 1st inning, which would give the Cardinals a lead they would not lose. The 4th run was a lead-off home run by Colby Rasmus in the 4th. Matt Reynolds, Matt Lindstrom, and Rafael Betancourt each pitched a hitless inning. Good effort, guys.

Once again, the Rockies often couldn't seem to get each other home. They did put together a nice 3rd inning: Chris Iannetta doubled, Chacin bunted him over to 3rd, and Eric Young Jr.'s sac fly brought him home. But in the 5th they had 2 on with 1 out and didn't score. In the 7th, things started out well with a Todd Helton double and a Ty Wigginton RBI single. Spilly singled and Iannetta walked to load the bases with NO out. Jason Giambi came in to pinch hit and struck out. There were still 2 outs to burn when EY came to the plate, but he drove the ball right into the glove of second baseman Tyler Greene, who stepped on the bag and doubled off Spilly. That is the absolute worst way that inning could have gone following the walk. The worst. Good teams do not load the bases with nobody out and fail to score. Period.

It was the 9th inning that hurt real bad though. Spilly walked and then advanced to 2nd on defensive indifference. EY came to the plate with 2 out and delivered with an RBI single. Dexter Fowler followed that with a single that moved EY to 3rd. (I can't help thinking, IF ONLY he had stolen 2nd he could have scored on Fowler's hit ...) All Carlos Gonzalez had to do was hit through a hole in the infield. Anything other than an out would have scored EY. But he grounded into a force out, and that was the game. It's that much harder to see them start to come back, start to come through in the clutch, and then fall short still. The Brewers walked off against the Giants on Saturday with a brilliant suicide squeeze. Those are the kinds of plays we need to start seeing, bold, strategic moves that may or may not win the game but will at least get the guys fired up and feeling lucky. Their next chance for a walk-off will be June 9th, but maybe they can find a way to win in extra innings during their upcoming road trip.

Tweet of the Game is also one of the best tweets of the season thus far. Some people just have the right words to describe how we're all feeling, as did our friend @chrischrisman: "Bases loaded ... Nobody out ... Zero runs. I feel like Ralph Parker after he decoded the Little Orphan Annie message."

2 comments:

  1. Somehow it just seems wrong. . .as if no one is holding the reins. Or perhaps they are holding the reins too tightly. . or perhaps one and then the other erratically. At any rate, the guys I love are not performing as a unit. It appears that attempts have been made from the bottom up, the individual players in varying positions and orders. Is it time for a top-down change? Maybe that is just one more excuse. Where is the glue that makes them a team again?

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  2. Anna - you're right, they are not playing as a team right now. It's very frustrating to see when in the past they've always played great as a team. I don't really have an opinion at the moment on the Tracy/O'Dowd situation. It is easy to blame them for what's going on but, while Tracy has mismanaged the bullpen and lineup at times, nothing is working consistently, and that I have to blame on the players. If it becomes clear that the issue is management, then I hope the ownership will make the right call.

    Thanks for commenting!

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