Sunday, June 5, 2011

Colorado Rockies spoil another Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel is extremely familiar with the scenario. He pitches well, and his offense fails him.

That was the story on Sunday, and it has been the story for Hammel since the beginning of May. Despite having an ERA below 3.50 since the beginning of the dreadful month, Hammel is 0-5 with two no-decisions.

On Sunday, the right-hander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before giving up two hits and a run and leaving the game once again, with a no-decision, despite being dominant.

Look no further than to blame the Rockies lackluster offense once again. The club completes a three-game series in San Francisco scoring exactly four runs. They have now scored two or less runs in five-of-the-six games on the road trip. In the two games that they won, they scored three and two runs respectively.

There seems to be no answer to the struggles at the plate. The Rockies have shipped off Jose Lopez. They have demoted Ian Stewart, they have called up Eric Young, Jr. and Chris Nelson to try and get some different looks, yet they cannot find a way to put runs on the board.

The biggest elephant in the room comes from the struggles of Carlos Gonzalez, whose ink is still drying on his $81 million deal. The lefty struck out four times in four at-bats on Sunday. His plate discipline is nowhere to be found. It is clear that the scouting reports say not to throw a pitch anywhere near the strike zone. In the ninth inning, Giants closer Brian Wilson made Gonzalez look completely foolish, swinging at three pitches that weren't within a foot of the strike zone.

Gonzalez must find a way to relax at the plate. In a situation like Sunday's, with the club down a run, the pressure is on Wilson. He doesn't want to walk a guy and put the go-ahead run at the plate in the form of Troy Tulowitzki. If Gonzalez makes him throw strikes, there is a chance that he might be able to get a pitch to hit, perhaps even a pitch to drive, which could have knotted the game up with a chance to go ahead.

It would seem that these Rockies hitters would eventually figure it out. However, through the month of May, plus nearly a week in June, they are showing no signs of breaking out. They look lost at the plate, swinging at horrible pitches.

What is amazing is that the offense was so highly touted coming out of spring training. Even the national media was saying that the Rockies would be tough to beat because they would be scoring seven runs per game. Instead, they look worse than a San Francisco lineup comprised of underachievers who can barely scratch out a few runs.

So what is the difference between the Rockies lineup and the Giants? The Giants do the little things right to give themselves a shot at winning. The Rockies can't bunt, they can't move runners by hitting the ball the other way, and they can't hit sacrifice flies when they need to. They do not play fundamental baseball, which usually results in a loss, especially in close games.


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  2. Hammel must want to punch a wall right now. I feel terrible for him, but the way he's handled himself (and the other Rockies pitchers as well) speaks highly of his character. He just keeps getting better and giving the team their best chance to win. He's definitely earned my utmost respect.

    Good job again, David. Hopefully happy recaps aren't too far away.

  3. Cargo is looking more and more like a left sided version of Clint Barmes. Chasing sliders out of the strikezone again and again, not able to stop himself like a bird that keeps flying into a pane of glass.

    This is such a krappy baseball team.
    Good job DOD.

  4. Mark-
    Thanks for reading. I would like to think that happy recaps are around the corner, but I doubt it. Until then, we will just have to keep writing the same story over and over again.

    Cargo is lost at the plate, no doubt about it. His last at-bat was the worst of his career. He couldn't have done worse. Why anyone would throw him a pitch in the strike zone is beyond me.