Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Morales-Paulino Train Wrecks Again

Rockies 2, Padres 8

So the Rockies just lost their fifth straight series, and their third at home. I am to the point where I wish they'd just had a normal April. As a longtime Rockies fan, I'm very much used to a crappy spring, a hit-and-miss summer, and a hard-charging fall. It was just a big giant tease for the Rockies to start out so well and then hurt our feelings like this.

Offensive highlights: Basically none. The Toddfather continues to show us all why he is the Rockies most deserving of our respect. He hit his 6th home run of the season in the 6th. Of course, Troy Tulowitzki's popout just before that meant it was a solo homer, the Rox very favorite kind during this homestand. The Rockies' only other run scored in the 1st and was the result of 2 walks and a throwing error. Only Helton and, shockingly, Jose Lopez had a 2-hit day. Tulo hit two balls very very hard, but they were caught on the warning track.

Jason Hammel had a good outing. His is the latest in a long string of "good" outings that featured a couple costly mistakes, a starter who went too deep into the game, and a bullpen that failed to do its job. In his first 6 innings, Hammel gave up just 3 hits and struck out 5. One of those hits happened to rocket off of Ryan Ludwick's bat and into the stands, scoring him and two of his teammates. The win was still completely in reach at that point, but Jim Tracy chose to leave Hammel in for the 7th inning. His spot in the batting order would lead off the bottom of the inning, so in theory it made sense to give him a chance for the win and pinch hit for him. But he was at nearly 100 pitches by then, and showing signs of fatigue. He gave up 1-out singles to the Padres' 7- and 8-hole hitters and a pinch hitter before Tracy finally took him out.

I thought watching Franklin Morales and Felipe Paulino give away the farm was fun on TV. It is just a barrel of juggling clowns in person. Morales threw exactly one pitch, and Will Venable served it up to the gap in left center. Paulino lasted a little longer, but still allowed 3 runs to cross the plate on another double and a single. It would have been slightly less depressing if I hadn't been expecting something exactly like that to happen. I can't add anything to the Morales-Paulino conversation that hasn't already been said. They must go. End of story.

Matt Reynolds came in to pitch the top of the 9th and did just fine. Why didn't Tracy bring him in in the 7th instead of Morales? I have no clue.

The Rockies went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, but that's nothing new. For all the pop their bats seemed to have in the past three games, they still do things like strike out with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 2 outs in the inning (Dexter Fowler), make the last out with a runner on 2nd who got there by stealing it (Helton and Chris Iannetta), and hit a ground ball directly at the 3rd baseman when there's a force play at 3rd (Lopez). I like to see that they're hitting more singles and fewer long flyouts (with the exception of Tulo, who doesn't seem like he'll ever stop swinging for the fence). But the pieces aren't coming together yet.

Now that we've lost series to the Mets and Padres at home, we get to go play road series against the Phillies and Brewers. Awesome. Oh, but first a little two-game series against the Giants at Coors. And with their rainout in Chicago today, we will not get to dodge the Tim Lincecum bullet this time.

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