Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Colorado Rockies continue to not make changes, so nothing changes

Jeremy Guthrie's career may be ruined by his 2012 campaign.
It's the curse of loyalty.

The Colorado Rockies lose night in and night out using the same script. Forget feeling comfortable with a big lead. Forget feeling like any game is in the bag. The Rockies starting pitching is so bad it is beyond a joke.

In the Rockies 8-5 loss on Tuesday night at Coors Field, it was the same old thing all over again. Jeremy Guthrie, the starter in which the Rockies were leaning on to be the veteran leader on the mound, has been terrible. In fact, there aren't enough bad adjectives to describe how poorly Guthrie has been.

Guthrie is lost on the mound. He is yelling at the umpire. He is nibbling at the strike zone. His body language suggests that he has no confidence that he can get anyone out. On Tuesday night he gave up two huge home runs to Brandon Moss, a guy who came into the game with one RBI all season long and a batting average well below .200.

After the game, Guthrie admitted that Coors Field has had more of an impact on his pitches than he thought it would. He said that his pitches are "different" at altitude.

That answer underscores the lack of confidence that Guthrie and the rest of the pitching staff has. As tough as it might be to pitch at Coors Field, the Rockies make it that much more tough by talking about it. Rarely does a home game go by in which Jim Tracy doesn't mention how hard of a place Coors Field is to pitch at. Clearly, the message has sunk in.

It was the seventh time in 2012 that the Rockies have blown a lead of three runs or more, by far the most in the big leagues. Usually a four run first inning spells an easy victory. Not this team, it seems like a good start, but nowhere near the amount of runs it will take to win the game.

As bad as things are for the Rockies, the reality is, this is what the team deserves. They have made it very clear that no changes will be made. Dick Monfort put his faith in Dan O'Dowd, O'Dowd put his faith in Tracy, and Tracy put his faith in the coaching staff.

Of course, no one person is to blame for this mess. Everyone deserves a fair share of the blame. However, at some point, someone has to be the fall guy. What does it say when a starting pitching staff can be on pace to be the worst starters in the history of baseball and the pitching coach doesn't even feel the temperature raise on his seat one degree? What organization wouldn't have made changes? The loyalty is sickening.

The Coors Field excuse is so old it is ridiculous. The team throws it around so freely that anyone can blame the altitude for their struggles, no matter how poorly they perform. Pitching coach Bob Apodaca has to love the Coors Field factor. It gives him a free pass every single day that he comes to work. He can simply point to the field and say that he has the toughest job in baseball. The front office has to believe him because they are the ones who created that excuse for him.

How in the world can a team who doesn't have a starting pitcher with an ERA below 5.28 insist that coaching isn't the problem? How does a team who consistently watches pitchers leave Colorado and pitch well, sometimes to the tune of being an All-Star the way Jason Hammel is on pace to be, and not have at least the coach on the hot seat?

As tough as it might be to pitch at Coors Field, the opponents, who should be more intimidated by pitching at a mile above sea level, seem to be doing just fine with it. Despite a high-powered offense, opposing pitchers seem to be just fine on the mound at 20th & Blake. Look to the home dugout and the story couldn't be more opposite. The team is convinced that pitching there is impossible, even though they seem the opponent do it night in and night out.

The Rockies have now lost six straight games. They haven't really even been in any of the games that they lost either. Sunday they may have had their best chance, but the opponent put 10 runs on the board.

The starting pitching has been beyond terrible. However, the Rockies have decided to make that the second biggest issue at Coors Field. The biggest issue is the lack of accountability that the front office demands from it's management. It is disgusting. Plain and simple.

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