Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ubaldo Jimenez looks better, but offense fails to show up again

The Colorado Rockies dropped another game on the road on Sunday, completing another disappointing trip.

The Sunday version included the Brewers completing a three-game sweep of the Rockies with a 3-1 victory. Once again, Ubaldo Jimenez failed to pick up a win. He went eight innings, giving up just three runs on two hits. He walked five batters and hit another.

The complete game by Jimenez was the second complete game loss for a Rockies pitcher on the trip. The right-hander looked better, but his command is still lacking. Jimenez is getting better, but the drop in velocity is concerning, and has removed his greatest weapon. Hitters can now catch up to his fastball when he usually was able to throw it by a hitter at any given time.

Even with Jimenez not at 100 percent, he was able to put the Rockies in a position to win the game. Giving up three runs, when the offense that the Rockies possess, should be plenty to give the Rockies a victory.

Instead, the club could only scratch out one run on four hits, none of those hits coming in the eighth or ninth inning, when getting a runner on base meant the team was one swing away from tying the game up.

The struggles are baffling. The Rockies have added a curveball machine to their baggage, they have changed hitting coaches, they have made a larger focus on hitting on the road. For all of the changes, the Rockies performance on the road is the one constant.

Is it time for Jim Tracy to stop playing around with the lineup? On Sunday, Alfredo Amezega hit in the leadoff spot and played second base. Jose Lopez was in the lineup again, along with Ryan Spilborghs in right field. Spilborghs generally takes on the task of facing tough lefties, as the Rockies saw with Randy Wolf on Sunday.

It is important to keep bench players fresh and ready, so that when they are called upon, they are ready to go. However, when the club is staring at a three-game sweep at the hands of a team who is inferior to them talent wise, is it worth taking one of the most consistent bats in Jonathan Herrera out of the lineup?

With Seth Smith hitting as well as he has been, even with a tough lefty on the mound, is it right to put Spilborghs in the lineup?

Maybe the Rockies struggle on the road because there is no consistency. Most teams seem to have a set eight guys who play everyday, with the exception of a day off every here and there. With Jim Tracy, the lineup seems to be a constant shift. The Rockies have great depth on their bench, but maybe they would be better served with a few less talented players who were not as much of a temptation to play.

That may or may not be the problem, but at this point, the struggles are baffling. It makes no sense that the club continues to fall flat on their faces away from Coors Field. It just doesn't make sense.


  1. I esp. loved that Ublowdo at bat in the 4th with bases loaded and 1 out. I'm screaming at the TV. leave the bat on your shoulder you bonehead. Tracy's asked after the game says he never considered asking Ublowdo to sit pat. Jim "the brains" Tracy.

    D-BAX half a game behind now.

  2. Rocky-
    Ubaldo swinging was a horrible thing, but that was just one of many horrible things that happened to the Rockies over the weekend. They need to figure out what is going on on the road, and figure out how to swing the bat and win baseball games. It is getting ridiculous.