Saturday, June 30, 2012

Colorado Rockies ridiculous theory burns them in loss to Padres

Friedrich was robbed of a win.
Colorado Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd insists that the third time through a batting lineup is when the most damage is done to a starting pitcher.

That theory is what has shifted the way Rockies starting pitchers are handled, including Saturday night when Christian Friedrich was removed from the game after throwing five innings of one run baseball, having delivered just 81 pitches.

The theory might be just fine if the team has really good middle relievers. The back end of the Rockies bullpen is solid, so bridging the gap is the key to success.

The problem for the Rockies is that their middle relievers, or as they refer to them, their "piggyback" starters, are not good enough to come in for two or three innings and keep their team in the game.

On Saturday it was Jeremy Guthrie who piggy-backed on Friedrich's start. The righty continued to be an albatross in the Rockies season, giving up a home run to the third batter he faced, which came immediately after he hit Carlos Quentin with a pitch to put the tying run on base.

Friedrich had thrown exceptionally well. In his five innings of work he didn't walk a batter, struck out five and effectively exercised the demons of Coors Field that had haunted him in the early going of his career at home.

Guthrie stepped to the mound with a 2-1 lead. His job was to get through two innings in order to hand the ball to the back end of the bullpen to secure the series victory. Instead, he continued down the same path that has Rockies fans longing for the day when the club will return to conventional baseball and quit using Coors Field as an excuse.

Why Guthrie remains a member of the 25-man roster is a question that only O'Dowd can answer. If the Rockies were given an offer for Guthrie and O'Dowd turned it down, it is further evidence that it is time to turn the page on the O'Dowd era in Denver. The mistake was made by bringing him in, it is time to cut losses and move on.

Adam Ottavino didn't fare much better. In his inning of work he gave up four earned runs, effectively ensuring that the Rockies would head back to the clubhouse as losers.

The reality is, pulling a young pitcher who was doing as well as Friedrich was, with only 81 pitches under his belt, is a slap in the face to a young prospect. It is also a slap in the face to everyone watching the game and paying money to be at the park. The 75-pitch limit may not make sense, but it is fine if the starter gives up a few runs and is shaky.

However, when that starter is on his game, is pounding the strike zone, and has given his team a chance to win, there is absolutely no reason to remove him from the game. The team knows what it has from the pitcher that day, whereas the guy in the bullpen is a question mark at best. In Guthrie's case, a question mark would be on his best days.

As the Rockies continue to lose, as they continue to make a mockery of their franchise, fans can only sit and wait and hope for changes in the offseason. Those changes are long overdue and need to be swift. Unfortunately, the Rockies have become a franchise of excuses, a franchise that truly believes that they can't win in a park where they play 81 games per year. That mindset will never allow the Rockies to win with their current leadership, therefore, it is time for a sweeping change.

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  1. Cue the clown music every time this team takes the field. The Players have to be embarrassed to be a part of this. That is two great starts this week, Francis and Friedrich, that have been destroyed by this asinine 4 man 75 pitch rotation. If fans insist on going to the games, which apparently they do, they should be wearing paper bags.

    1. David- It is really bad. No way around it. I would love to hear what the players are saying about it when no media is around. You know they have to hate it.

  2. I would love to go to a few Rockies game during the course of this season; however, I refuse to support a team where the front office doesn't try to win. If I was Tulo and/or Gonzo,I'd be livid that I signed a long term contract to play for this sorry franchise.

    As a fan, I'm PO'd that the Rockies are given a stadium to play in at the expense of the taxpayers, and the front office still doesn't show any interest in putting a winner on the field. Nothing worse than screwing the little guy to make the rich richer.

    1. I agree with all of the above. When we lived in
      Colorado we were season ticket holders from the very first game in Mile High. Today it is really hard to watch the Rockies any more. You just have to wait until they find a way to lose.
      It is time for a shake up in the front office and maybe a time for Tracy to go also.

      Rich from Bernalillo, NM

  3. It is LONG PAST time to dump Tracy, O'Dowd, and Lansford. This team got measurably worse when Carney took over as hitting coach; they hung on to Apodaca way WAY past the point of no return; Jim tracy is a JOKE as a manager, and O'Dowd has proven himself time and time again as being bereft of ideas, and incapable of selecting talent to build a contending franchise again, much less a winning team. Shitcan the lot of 'em and start over!

    1. Wasn't it Monford who told O'Dowd to take ownership of the team? Boy was that a bad statement, in additon a new owner is needed, someone who cares about the team as a whole and not about the $$$$. The current management sticks!! Wonder if there's anyone out there who is ready to buy the Rockies at a rock bottom price. Because the way it's going the franchise is at the bottom of the "rock pile". Time for a "clean sweep" of the "good ol' boys"

    2. correcting a typo "STINKS"!!