Monday, August 15, 2011

Rockies Choke on National Television

Rockies 2, Cardinals 6

Okay, we all saw this game, right? It was on ESPN. So I don't really need to tell you what happened, do I?

All right. If you wisely chose to go to bed early and missed it, I'll share the lowlights. Perhaps the worst of all was the fact that things actually started out well. For a very very brief moment, we (well, I) thought that just maybe this ridiculous Sunday streak was over. Mark Ellis hit a solo shot and then Carlos Gonzalez hit a ground-rule double. Troy Tulowitzki singled him home. It seemed like the Rox had figured out Edwin Jackson and were going to hammer him. But then, a pair of walks loaded the bases with 2 outs, and Chris Iannetta struck out swinging. That didn't feel like a good thing. With the bases loaded, we really needed him to be patient and see if he couldn't take the walk. Jackson was missing his spots like crazy, so the chances of Netta getting a free pass were high. Instead: 3 runners stranded before the 2nd inning. At the time I tweeted that I was afraid they would come back to haunt us. Well.

Fortunately for Cardinals fans, Esmil Rogers was every bit as shaky as Jackson. In the bottom of the 1st, he gave up 2 walks, 2 doubles, and a BLAST to Albert Pujols that made the score 4-2. It was Rogers's 26th birthday, and he celebrated by walking 7 over the course of 5 innings.

The Rockies had so many chances to bring this thing back around (as ESPN's commentators so ingratiatingly reminded us over and over and over). Neither team capitalized on the struggles of the other's starting pitcher, but the Rockies failed large at that. After the 1st inning, they reached base 9 more times and didn't manage to bring another run across. They grounded into 3 double plays. They struck out 10 times, 4 with runners on base. This occurred most painfully in the top of the 7th. The bases were loaded with 1 out, and Tulo was coming to the plate. He is not my favorite person in the clutch, but when he's on a hot streak he's good most of the time, and he's definitely on a hot streak right now. Surely he could get the ball into the air and bring at least one run home, right? Struck out on 5 pitches, at least 2 of which would have been excellent grand slam candidates. Then Todd Helton did the exact same thing. OUCH.

It quickly became clear that the offense had no intention of trying to overcome the meager 2-run deficit, despite the fact that the Cards weren't scoring either. So why not try out a new pitcher and give him a couple innings of work, since this game was burned anyway? Jim Tracy's pitcher of choice was Edgar Gonzalez, a "journeyman" who's put in 325 innings of work in 9 major league seasons. He has a long road ahead of him anyway, after making the questionable choice to wear #38. Either he knows that's Ubaldo Jimenez's old number and doesn't have the proper respect for that fact, or he doesn't know it in which case - how could he not know that? Anyway, I feel deeply prejudiced against him and sure that I'm not the only one. He did nothing to change that opinion when he pitched 2 innings and gave up 2 runs on 5 hits.

I had allowed myself a tiny bit of hope that the Rockies might use this national stage to overcome their Sunday issues in epic fashion. Instead, they had an epic choke, and rather than the kindness and gentleness of Drew Goodman, George Frazier, and Jeff Huson to soften the blow, we got Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine. Who wasted not one breath telling us how much our team sucks.

Tweet of the Game: @HeatherBelieveR: "ESPN keeps highlighting all of the Rockies negatives. We get it. They aren't having the season everyone thought they would. Enough morons." Cosign.

Oh, and then there was the thing where Rich Dauer got hit in the face with a Chris Nelson throw during batting practice. He's okay, aside from the broken nose, but really? Really???


  1. Okay , guys, let's have a team walk-up song "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter. Keep playing it until it cheers us up and we stop having so many bad days.

  2. I bet we could get him to play it live at Coors! Poor guy could probably use the gig.