|Guillermo Moscoso couldn't hold a 5-0 lead on Friday.|
On Friday night, after being staked to a 5-0 lead against Tim Hudson and the Atlanta Braves, Rockies starter Guillermo Moscoso couldn't throw do enough to hold the Rockies lead. In fact, he couldn't do enough to make it out of the 5th inning.
"That was not a good starting performance," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy. "I can't sugar coat it."
The Rockies made no excuses in the offseason. They made it very clear that the talent that they had put so much stock into did not end up panning out the way they thought it would. That is why Dan O'Dowd and Co. went out and changed the clubhouse culture, getting veterans who could help win now while the talent on the farm developed.
That plan worked. Michael Cuddyer has been a huge weapon, both on offense, and as the fans saw on Friday night, on defense as well. Marco Scutaro and Ramon Hernandez have also proven to be positive additions for the Rockies.
With the offense looking good, it leaves the pitchers. That is where the Rockies didn't find the answers that they were so desperately looking for. Jamie Moyer has been surprisingly good. He has proven the skeptics wrong and gone out and been effective. In addition to Moyer, Juan Nicasio has also been a huge surprise, keeping the Rockies in games despite still being inexperienced and more importantly, coming off a near-death injury.
Beyond those two, the Rockies starters have been abysmal. Jhoulys Chacin, shipped off to Triple-A on Friday, has led the charge for under performance. His home opening start was the beginning of what has turned out to be a head-scratching year for the righty.
This was the year that the reins were going to be handed over to Chacin. The 24-year-old didn't take a step forward, however, he took several steps backwards. His command is off. He seems to overthrow, and when things go wrong, instead of putting his foot down, he lets one run turn into four or five, spiraling out of control.
Chacin isn't alone. Jeremy Guthrie, acquired from the Baltimore Orioles for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom was sold as an ace. He was a veteran who could eat innings and produce outs. Before falling off of his bike on the way to Coors Field, his ERA sat at 5.92, not exactly what the team was hoping for from their Opening Day starter.
The Rockies offense has shown that it is capable. They have a fight that they didn't show in 2011. When they get behind, they don't quit, they fight back. They have picked up their starting pitchers on numerous occasions. However, that cannot be expected to last a whole season. At some point, the starters have to pick up their weight.
"All you can do is keep fighting," said Cuddyer. "We will keep fighting until the last inning. Unfortunately, we came up short tonight."
They may fight to the end, but like many fighters, at some point, they are going to get tired if they are forced to get beat up night-in and night-out.
If the Rockies have any postseason hopes, which their offense says they do, they need their starting pitchers to become a force, not a burden.
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