Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Colorado Rockies lose for third consecutive night in San Francisco

It was over when this guy homered in the 1st inning.

As the state of Colorado fell asleep late in the night, the Colorado Rockies were busy losing another game in San Francisco. The Rockies dropped Wednesday night's game 7-1, forcing them to win on Thursday afternoon to avoid the four-game sweep.

With the season long over, it was an easy decision for most fans to flip the TV off on Wednesday night. Tyler Chatwood got in trouble in the 1st inning, allowing the first two batters to reach base. With Pablo Sandoval at the plate, Chatwood made a great pitch three inches off the plate and four inches off of the ground. With a half swing, Sandoval somehow made contact, sending the ball down the right field line. Amazingly, the ball hit  the foul pole, giving the Giants a 3-0 lead before the Rockies had recorded an out.

With Matt Cain on the hill for the Rockies, the game was essentially over. Cain rarely gives up runs, and hasn't lost a game in which his team gave him more than two runs of support. With those statistics staring the Rockies in the face, the Rockies had a tall order to get back in the game.

They did, however, get their chance. In the 5th inning, the Rockies loaded the bases and Carlos Gonzalez came to the plate. After a good at-bat, Gonzalez rolled over a pitch and hit a ground ball to second base, ending the threat. In San Francisco, the visiting team usually only gets one chance to win, if they don't take it, it usually means a loss. That was exactly what happened to the Rockies on Wednesday night.

Just as the Rockies give one final reason not to watch and let them peacefully fade into the offseason, the club gives another intriguing reason to keep paying attention.

On Thursday afternoon, Jorge De La Rosa will make his 2012 debut. After a year-and-a-half on the disabled list, the Rockies former ace will make his return to the mound. The biggest question will be how well he mentally holds up. De La Rosa bounced through four organizations because he could never corral his emotions and became his own worst enemy, despite having top-of-the-rotation stuff.

The Rockies were able to consistently send him to their mental strength coach, who worked with De La Rosa on turning the page and moving to the next batter. Suddenly he became elite.

The question has to be not how De La Rosa's surgically repaired elbow will hold up, but rather if the lefty will be able to pitch with the confidence that made him a very good pitcher just a few years ago.

It is very good for De La Rosa to get a few starts in the big leagues before the offseason. The low pressure starts should ease the lefty back into the big leagues and give him confidence so that when he makes his first few appearances, they aren't coming in early 2013 games that actually count.

The Rockies try to avoid the sweep on Thursday afternoon. Luckily for the Rockies, they won't have to make another trip to San Francisco until 2013. The flight out of town should be one that they are very eager to take.

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  1. Hey Dave, Craig from Rifle back on the comments board. As of this posting the Rookies were swepted by the Giants, with De La Rosa failing to stop the bleeding. I have not been posting because it is almost like kicking someone when they are already down. I have been watching however, because I thought the Rookies could avoid losing 100 games. Now I am not so sure. Jeez, they only need 5 more wins. Is that too much to ask?
    The other reason was to watch Rutledge. Now I wonder if he has spent any time with Carney Lansford? It seems to me that the Rockies lack of scoring is directly related to Lansford and their mindset at the plate. If Josh has spent time with Lansford, that would explain his collapse at the plate. I'm just sayin'. The strike outs in the ninth the other night were just ridiculous.

    Craig S. Chisesi
    Rifle, Co.

    1. Craig- Welcome back. It is really tough to watch the Rockies. For a while they were playing good baseball, but they are back to horrible baseball. I don't blame Lansford for Rutledge's struggles. At some point, he was due for some regression. I think this is the interesting point in his early career in which the pitchers have adjusted to him, now he has to adjust his game and figure out how to hit when the only pitches he is seeing are the ones that are toughest for him to hit. I think he will figure it out, but we will see.