Friday, May 11, 2012

Common story continues for Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium

Is the Jamie Moyer experiment about to come to an end?
Same story, different year. If you've seen one Colorado Rockies game at Dodger Stadium over the years, you've seen them all.

The script usually remains the same. The Dodgers score a run or two early, while the Rockies get a few hits in the early going. It seems like the Rockies are right in it, like they might actually have a chance if they can just scratch a few runs out.

The Rockies bats usually go cold, but there is nothing to worry about because the Dodgers only have a run or two and really haven't threatened too much.

Then it happens. Suddenly the Dodgers get a couple of guys on base and then the unlikeliest of hitters comes through with a bloop double or a ball that finds a hole right in the perfect spot for a couple of guys to come around and score.

Suddenly a game that was within reach is now 5-0 and it is the 7th inning. At Dodger Stadium, with the Rockies history in that park, may as well be a 15-0 score.

The results year-in and year-out are almost maddening. It doesn't seem to make sense that a franchise, with as many different faces as have come and gone, seem to carry the same baggage into the west coast swing that happens three different times per season.

Sure, Dodger Stadium and AT&T Park are tough places to hit, but there is no reason why the home team finds ways to push runs across and the Rockies offense is nowhere to be found. On top of that, talent-wise, the Rockies have had the better lineup the vast majority of the years.

The results make no sense. However, one thing that does seem to be a constant is that Rockies pitching does not get the job done. The common reasoning why the offense doesn't get the job done is because those west coast cities are so tough to hit in. The only problem is that the home team usually finds a way to score a few runs.

Speaking of common stories, staring pitcher Jamie Moyer re-wrote the same script that seems to be plaguing him since picking up his record win.

As nice of a story as Moyer is, and it is an incredible story of perseverance, the reality is, the 49-year-old must find a way to be effective for more then four innings. The issue is that his slow speed throws batters off for the first couple of times they see him. Then, suddenly the batter has figured out how to wait on the 79-MPH heater. If the batter isn't off balance, that slow of a pitch suddenly becomes like batting practice. They keep their weight back and drive the ball. This has been the case in Moyer's three previous starts.

The Rockies, with the emergence of Alex White and Christian Friedrich, and with Jeremy Guthrie's scheduled return, have enough depth at the Major League level that they might need to make a tough decision when it comes to Moyer. The story is great, but the reality is, this level of baseball isn't about great stories, it is about winning. If Moyer can't give his team a chance to win, it may make more sense to see what the young kids can do.

The Rockies suddenly find themselves in a position similar to what they were in at this point in 2011. At this point, when the team seems like it isn't going to have much of a chance to compete, it is easy for players to start thinking about their own numbers. Instead of moving runners over and doing the little things that help a team win, it will become easy for players to start thinking about contracts and hitting home runs to earn bigger amounts. If that starts to happen, the season will go from bad to worse in a hurry.

The Rockies try to figure out Dodger Stadium again on Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 PM.

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1 comment:

  1. The Rockies seem to embrace the "It Happens Every Spring" romantic mentality each year that they embark upon Spring Training. They have the mentality that they optimistically expect that everyone they bring in is going to have a career year, every year. To wit: They started this season with a No. One who has led MLB in losses over the last few years (Guthrie), a youngster who is coming off a broken neck (Nicasio), a young pitcher whose work ethic they publicly questioned (Chacin), an injured prospect who they were dearly hoping would wipe off some of the egg on their face after the Jimenez debacle (Pomeranz), and a 49 year old "feel good story" who hadn't pitched in a year. Somehow they expected that ALL of these guys were going to "get well" in the toughest MLB ballpark to pitch in. You could make a case that other clubs wouldn't have ANY of those guys in their starting rotation. (For instance, I truly doubt if ANY of those Rox starters could break into the lowly Red Sox rotation!)Yet, we heard all these wonderful thought s that THIS was the year that we'd win the division for the first time! Smoke and Mirrors!
    So now, they have Guthrie hurt, Pomeranz and Chacin back in the minors, and both Moyer and Nicasio struggling. What a fiasco! In the meantime, a fairly efficient bullpen has been burned up and we aren't yet even into mid-May.
    And, with this miserable state of affairs, we can be assured that nothing is going to change in the future because Jom Tracy has a "lifetime contract" and O'Dowd has the backing of the clueless Monfort brothers. Danny has carte blanche to "blow up" the Rockies again (for what: the 7th time in his tenure?), and we'll have to suffer with a "Big League" team that is out of the race before Memorial Day once more!!! Yeah, the Royals and the Pirates have it worse than we do, but besides them, who else?