On July 15th, Rockies fans were looking forward to a heated race between themselves and the San Diego Padres for the National League West title. Less than two weeks later, putting the Rockies and playoffs in the same sentence is laughable.
On Wednesday night, Aaron Cook continued showing that his struggles are no fluke. He gave up his league-leading 14th lead. In a whopping 11 of those situations, Cook gave up the lead immediately following his team getting it for him. That kind of pitching is not just bad for a team, it is crippling.
Wednesday was essentially a must-win game. Despite the Rockies two huge runs in 2007 and 2009, the reality is, the odds are stacked high against an under performing club.
Making up an eight game deficit in the final 60 games of the season is not impossible. It is highly unlikely, but still attainable. However, the fact that the club is not just chasing the Padres, but chasing the Giants and the Dodgers as well. Very few times over the course of the next two months will all three of those teams lose on the same night. That means the Rockies have very little room for error.
Getting to the playoffs could become an after thought in the next couple of days anyway. Rumors are swirling around the club about possibly dumping salary and getting rid of key components to the big league roster.
Names like Joe Beimel, Ryan Spilborghs, Brad Hawpe, Jorge De La Rosa and Aaron Cook are being thrown around as possible candidates to be moved.
Frankly, if the Rockies were able to move Cook, even if they got nothing in return, it would be a huge one-sided trade in the Rockies favor. The redhead is awful. The excuse will continue to be that ground balls simply found holes. That excuse might work for one or two games, but any pitcher will say that balls find holes and loopers fall in when the pitcher does not have his best stuff.
The Rockies are not playing good baseball. That goes without saying. However, the sloppy play, which continued on Wednesday, has to fall on someone's shoulders. Good teams do not make the same mistakes over and over and over again.
Troy Tulowitzki was the guilty party on Wednesday as he tried to go from first to second base on an overthrow. Anyone watching the game knew that Tulo had little to no chance of making it to second base in time. At that point the Rockies were down three runs and in desperate need of base runners and Tulowitzki's run would only get them one run closer. He wouldn't tie the game or win it. He should have stayed on first base and waited for another base hit to move him over.
The next couple of days will be filled with something new for Rockies fans. There won't be questions of Ubaldo Jimenez and his chances of winning 30 games, there won't be questions of if the Rockies can catch the Padres. There will, instead, be questions of who will be dealt and who will remain with the club.
To say the least, coming to that conclusion this early in 2010 is a huge disappointment.
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