|Jim Tracy did it again on Friday night.|
Once again, Tracy's lack of understanding of how outs work. In the 5th inning with the Rockies down 2-0, Todd Helton led off with a single. Wilin Rosario hit into a fielders choice, forcing Helton out at second base. Jordan Pacheco then laced a double to left-center field. After Josh Rutledge struck out, Drew Pomeranz, who had already delivered 73 pitches, came to the plate.
Common sense would suggest the easy decision. Pomeranz was two pitches short of his limit and he had already given the team five strong innings, giving up only two runs. He gave the Rockies a chance to win the game. However, Tracy defied conventional wisdom and allowed Pomeranz to hit for himself. He grounded out to first base, stranding the two runners on base.
In typical Tracy fashion, Pomeranz only got one more out on the mound before being removed from the game after giving up two hits.
There isn't any logic that can be used to justify the move. Even if the Rockies have another built-in off-day, giving Pomeranz another day of rest, there is no reason to extend him beyond the 75 pitches that his arm has been conditioned to pitch, especially considering the lefty had already needed extra day of rest due to fatigue after his last start.
With the Rockies down 2-0 and Bronson Arroyo clearly fooling the Rockies, it was Colorado's only chance to tie the game up. Instead of taking a chance to get a game-tying base hit with a pinch hitter, Tracy elected to leave his young, fatigued starting pitcher in the game, regardless of the fact that he had already given the team a strong five innings.
In baseball, opportunities to score don't come every inning. It is hard to score runs, and when a pitcher has his best stuff, a manager has to put his team in the best position to put some numbers on the board. When Tracy had that chance, he passed. All too often, Tracy waits for the later innings to strike when he has the chance to do it before the opposition's plus-side bullpen comes in.
There are still a select few who defend Tracy. There are still some who believe that he is a good manager. When he makes moves, or fails to make moves like he did on Friday night, and the team loses when they only had that one chance to score, it gets hard to defend him.
The Rockies are long out of the race. They have no chance to make the postseason and they are in sell-mode. However, that doesn't mean that they should accept mediocrity. They shouldn't justify terrible moves that have make no logical sense. Where is the accountability from Tracy? When will he admit that he made a mistake?
At this point, it almost figures that Tracy would make that move. He has made the same mistakes over and over again, but has yet to learn from them. How many times have the Rockies been burned on the contact play, where the runner at third base take off for home with less than two outs, regardless of where the ball is hit? How many pitchers have been pulled early, or allowed to hit for themselves when the game was in the balance?
These are the types of moves that drive apathy from Rockies fans. It is already hard enough to win a big league baseball game, but when a team is at a disadvantage because of their own managers moves, it becomes difficult to stomach.
In a way, Friday night was a fitting game for the 2012 season. It was a game that the Rockies had a chance to win, but poor management snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Until something changes, don't expect the Rockies to be good.
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