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.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Jeff Francis dominates Coors Field and the San Diego Padres

Jeff Francis showed that you can pitch at Coors Field.
So much for that theory.

On Friday night, Jeff Francis showed Dan O'Dowd what the formula for winning at Coors Field is. The lefty went six shutout innings. He gave up only three hits. He walked one and struck out one. Francis threw 82 pitches.

Francis pitched well enough to give the Rockies a chance to break the game open with the bats. After finishing the 6th inning, the offense ensured that the Canadian would pick up a victory by putting up four runs in the bottom half of the inning.

For good measure, the offense continued to pour on the runs, scoring four more in the 8th inning behind a long home run off the bat of Wilin Rosario deep into left field. Michael Cuddyer also added a home run and a double on the night to help the Rockies score 10 total runs.

Once again, the Rockies offense showed how good this team could be if the starting pitching was simply average. Top to bottom, including the bench, this Rockies offensive attack is as good as anyone's in the league. They can hit the ball to all parts of the ballpark. They hit home runs, doubles, triples and they hit them in bunches.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Colorado Rockies win on walk-off, issues still run deep

The Rockies won on Thursday, but the issues remain.
Marco Scutaro was the hero of the day for the Colorado Rockies. He laced an 11th inning single that scored the winning run, giving the Rockies an 11-10 victory, and a series split against the Nationals.

The game saw the Rockies score seven runs in the first two innings. The offense, using a Jim Tracy style day game lineup, found a way to get to Edwin Jackson. Tyler Colvin continues to push for an everyday spot. He wound up just a double shy of the cycle after going 4-for-6 with five RBIs.

It was easy in the early going to write Colvin off. The sample size was too small and after a such a poor 2011, Colvin's hot start seemed like a fluke. Instead, he is starting to look like the No.1 draft pick that he was.

His four hits pushed his batting average to .309. He has eight home runs and 29 RBIs in limited playing time. It is quickly looking like Colvin is going to need to be in the everyday lineup. However, that poses a problem for the Rockies, along with their loyal fans. Colvin needs to be in the lineup, but where does he fit?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Losing continues as Dan O'Dowd continues making excuses

Dan O'Dowd sounds burned out.
Dan O'Dowd has thrown his 75 pitches. He is ready for a reliever.

As he Colorado Rockies continue down the road they have never been before. On Wednesday at Coors Field, the club lost 11-5 to the Washington Nationals, a sobering display of two franchises headed in different directions.

With the Rockies looking lost and pathetic on the field, the story lately has been coming off the field. That was the case again on Wednesday. The same day that the Rockies held a fan forum with owner Dick Monfort and general manager Dan O'Dowd, an article was published in the U.S.A. Today highlighting Bob Apodaca resigning as pitching coach and some of the odd routes O'Dowd is taking to try and win.

The words out of O'Dowd's mouth paint the picture of a burned out, worn down general manager who has spent so much time dwelling on making the product at Coors Field a good one, that he has lost touch with the rest of baseball.

The article details the heavily-covered 4-man, 75-pitch-limit rotation. However, beyond the story in the article is what sneaks out of O'Dowd's mouth. When talking about Apodaca resigning, he said "I could tell there was a sense of relief. In some ways, I was almost envious."

On the surface, that statement is made about Apodaca feeling the heat of a pitching staff in disarray. However, the last part of the quote is the most telling. Why would O'Dowd be envious? The only logical reason for O'Dowd to be jealous of the relief that Apodaca felt upon quitting is that he himself is ready to throw in the towel.

Bob Apodaca out as Colorado Rockies pitching coach

Apodaca is done as the Colorado Rockies pitching coach.
Ten years is a long time to do one thing. That is how long Bob Apodaca held the position of pitching coach of the Colorado Rockies.

He was relieved of his duties on Tuesday, reassigned within the organization as Special Assistant to the General Manager.

The reality is, it was time for Apodaca to go. The Rockies are headed down a historic path, and not the kind of history teams like to be a part of. The starting pitching for the Rockies has been so bad that the team has decided to go with a crazy 4-man, 75 pitch limit rotation to try and limit the damage.

For years fans have been calling for this move. Even after the 2008 season in which Clint Hurdle fired some of his best friends who were coaches on his staff, Apodaca remained, much to the surprise of many who followed the team. After Hurdle was fired and Jim Tracy took over, Apodaca remained in place.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Colorado Rockies win rare pitchers dual at Coors Field

Despite losing, Strasburg didn't have trouble with Coors Field.
Jeff Francis has proven to be the veteran stopper that the Colorado Rockies and Dan O'Dowd thought they were getting in Jeremy Guthrie.

In three of the four starts that the former ace has started since his return, Francis has looked like the same guy who won 17 games for the Rockies in 2007.

Francis, tied down by a silly pitch count and four man rotation, was lifted after the 5th inning. However, he pitched well enough to give the Rockies offense a chance to win against arguably the best pitcher in the National League, Stephen Strasburg.

The Canadian lefty went five innings, giving up two runs on five hits. He struck out five and didn't walk a batter. He threw just 66 pitches in the game, 48 of which were in the strike zone. It was the definition of a veteran outing.

Going up against Strasburg, Francis knew that he would have to be on top of his game. Giving up even a few runs might have spelled doom for the Rockies on Monday night. Francis went to the mound and did just that. He pounded the strike zone and found ways to get outs. His fastball may only be in the mid-80's after all of his shoulder issues, but he still knows how to get movement and fool batters.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Colorado Rockies franchise has chosen excuses instead of excellence

Dan O'Dowd has resorted to excuses.
Winning is tough. Only one of 30 Major League teams can win every year, and in a league with no salary cap, the Colorado Rockies have an even tougher time winning than some of the other franchises.

With that in mind, franchises in some of the smaller markets have two choices. They can either commit to excellence, regardless of the odds, or the second option, they could make excuses and continue to fail miserably.

Sunday night was the latest example. A clubhouse cleaned out to bring in guys who care about winning and are focused on the game became a joke once again when Marco Scutaro once again lost his focus and made a little league mistake that possibly changed the course of the game. After being called safe at 2nd base in the 9th inning, Scutaro wandered off the bag, thinking he was out. He was tagged and suddenly the Rockies no longer had the tying run in scoring position with one out. They had two outs and the tying run at the plate.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Colorado Rockies offense pours on runs, Outman bumps Tracy

Outman was one out away from getting the win.
The Colorado Rockies offense showed how good they are on Saturday. The team picked up their second interleague win of the year, beating the Rangers 11-7.

As the team continues to struggle, there will probably be several big numbers put up by the offense. The Rockies offense is good enough to contend, the starting pitching, however, is so miserable that the teams may overlook how tough the lineup is.

The Rockies hit very well. Every starter got at least one hit. Dexter Fowler hit his 11th home run of the season, Wil Nieves notched his first home run as a Rockie and the team looked like they were hitting on all cylinders offensively for the first time since the 8-run 10th inning in Detroit eight days ago.

In addition to the offense, the story came in the 5th inning. With the new four-man rotation, with pitch counts limited to 75, the Rockies ran into their first dilemma. After plating 11 runs in the first five innings, Outman walked back to the mound with a 10-run lead and three outs to qualify for the win.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Colorado Rockies can't get big hit against Texas Rangers, Roy Oswalt

Christian Friedrich took another step forward on Friday night.
When it rains, it pours. The Rockies got a good performance from Christian Friedrich, but lost 4-1 to the Rangers.

If things seemed like they couldn't get any worse for the Colorado Rockies, the Rangers had to choose this series for Roy Oswalt to make his Texas debut. The righty held out deep into the season before finding a home in Arlington. The righty had been preparing himself for the Rangers rotation in the minor leagues when both he and the club determined that he was ready.

Despite getting hits off of the new Ranger, the Rockies couldn't get them in bunches. In 6-2/3 innings, Oswalt gave up nine hits, but only one runs crossed the plate for Colorado. The beauty of Oswalt is that he possesses the ability to get the strikeout, a valuable weapon with runners on base.

Oswalt K'd six and walked only one, helping to minimize the damage and get the Rockies in a position where they were forced to get hits and couldn't play small ball to scratch runs across the plate.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Colorado Rockies finally get good pitching performance, win behind Jeff Francis

Jeff Francis pitched very well and gave the Rockies a chance.
A little starting pitching can go a long way.

That was the lesson once again for the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night in Philadelphia. This time, however, the Rockies got to see firsthand what being on the right end of the strong pitching performance feels like.

Jeff Francis, limited to 76 pitches due to the Rockies four-man rotation rules, pitched five strong innings. He gave up just one run on six hits. He struck out three while walking no one. The lone run came from Jimmy Rollins, who led off the bottom of the 1st inning with a blast to left field that had Rockies fans feeling like they were about to witness the same misery they have been throughout most of May and all of June.

Instead, Francis put his foot down. He was efficient, pitching his way through five innings and handing the ball to the bullpen with his offense in a place where they had a chance to win.

The offense did just that. Down 1-0, Chris Nelson drilled a two-run home run into left center field. It was his second homer in as many days and gave the Rockies a lead that they wouldn't relinquish. For good measure, rookie catcher Wilin Rosario blasted a 9th inning fastball into the seats in left field. The only question on Rosario's ball was whether it was going to get over the fence, or put a hole in it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Losing continues for Colorado Rockies

Amazingly, it keeps getting worse for the Rockies.
It was a game the Colorado Rockies should have won. They were one out away from securing the victory before the Phillies stole one away from them, winning 7-6.

Rafael Betancourt couldn't get the final out in the bottom of the 9th inning, partly because of bad defense and partly because of poor pitch location.

After getting two quick outs, Betancourt gave up a base hit to old friend Ty Wigginton, who scored from first base on Hunter Pence's double to left field. Anyone who watched the Rockies in 2011 knew that Betancourt's biggest mistake came with one out. Instead of getting Jimmy Rollins out, Betancourt should have walked him, allowing Wigginton to do what he did so many times with the Rockies, bounce into a tailor-made double play. That is a joke, of course, but it seems like anything that can go wrong has gone wrong for the Rockies in 2012.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Colorado Rockies continue to suffer from terrible management

The Rockies are the only ones who can't see how bad this guy is.
The Colorado Rockies made an announcement before Tuesday night's game in Philadelphia.

It wasn't the announcement that many were expecting. Most thought that Jeremy Guthrie, the biggest trade mistake Dan O'Dowd has made, would be dealt. Instead, the announcement was that Guthrie was going to the bullpen. That isn't a huge surprise, but the continued logic from Jim Tracy left those who follow the Rockies scratching their heads.

Tracy told the media that not only was Guthrie moving to the bullpen, but that the club was going to go with a four man rotation with each pitcher limited to 75 pitches, regardless of when that pitch count arrived.

The Rockies manager continued with logic that can only be understood by him. The reason for the move was to save the bullpen from being over-taxed. That's right, a 75-pitch limit for starting pitchers was going to save the bullpen.

There is no way to spin it. There is no way to justify the move. It is simply ridiculous. It is the latest in a long line of moves that suggests that Tracy has no business being in a Major League dugout.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Colorado Rockies shutout in Detroit, time to move Guthrie

Jeremy Guthrie may have made his final start in a Rockies uniform.
On Father's Day, the Colorado Rockies had their fans crying uncle.

If Jeremy Guthrie was out to make a statement that he can pitch as long as he isn't at Coors Field, he didn't do anything to drive his point home. Manager Jim Tracy made an easy choice not to return Guthrie to the mound after a rain delay following the 3rd inning.

Guthrie was unimpressive. He threw 78 pitches in those three innings, giving up four runs. It was yet another day in a Rockies uniform the righty would like to forget. In fact, it might have been Guthrie's final start in purple.

Rumors circulated late on Sunday that the Blue Jays have interest in Guthrie. At the beginning of the season, Guthrie was a guy who fans bantered about being potential trade bait if the Rockies fell out of contention. The thought was that he could garner a few prospects and help the club bolster their depleted farm system. At this point, the club would be lucky to get some salary relief in exchange for the struggling starter.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Colorado Rockies: Sometimes you just lose

Friedrich is going to have some bad starts.
It is easy to be negative. It is easy to suggest firing every person who has ever claimed to work for the Colorado Rockies. It is easy to blame any member of the coaching staff or front office for the failures of the Rockies.

However, blaming those people gets old. It is natural to try and dissect the issues and diagnose the problem. Once the issue is figured out, and nothing happens, it just becomes complaining.

The Rockies were soundly beat on Saturday 4-1. If the score was covered up and a person was just watching the game, they probably would have thought it was 10-1. The Rockies were never in this one. They spent much of the game looking very young, and very bad.

Christian Friedrich, the latest Rockies pitcher to dazzle in one start, then look lost in the next, continued the trend on Saturday. In four of his starts, he has looked incredible. His curveball is sharp and more importantly, he throws strikes.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Colorado Rockies end losing streak with big 10th inning

Jeff Francis did enough to keep the Rockies in the game.
It has been a rough year for the Colorado Rockies.

The team ended an eight game losing streak on Friday night in Detroit, amazingly scoring eight runs in the 10th inning to make a dramatic game look like a blowout, winning 12-4.

The big hit came from Wilin Rosario. With one out in the 10th and the bases loaded, Rosario found himself in an 0-2 count. The Tigers, with closer Jose Valverde on the mound, looked like they were going to get out of a bases loaded, no out jam. Instead, Rosario bounded a ball that went just over the head of shortstop Jhonny Peralta, scoring two runs for the Rockies.

From there the route was on. Carlos Gonzalez hit an absolute laser into the right-center field seats, followed by a Michael Cuddyer blast, giving the Rockies at total of eight runs in the frame and a secure victory for the first time in nine games.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More of the same for the Colorado Rockies, streak hits eight

Jarrod Parker didn't listen when he was told how tough Coors Field is.
What did you expect?

The Colorado Rockies finished their six game homestand winless, going 0-6 against a formidable Angels team and then a terrible Oakland A's team. It might go down as the worst homestand in franchise history.

On Thursday the Rockies were done in by bad defense, and something that the Rockies insist can't happen at Coors Field, good pitching.

Jarrod Parker, a rookie who was acquired from Arizona in the offseason, blew the Rockies front office theory that pitching at Coors Field is impossible right out of the water.

The reality is, as bad as the Rockies have been over the past six weeks, the offense has been very good. The results have been an afterthought because eight runs a game just isn't enough when talking about these Rockies pitchers.

Parker was able to shut down the Rockies, mixing speeds effectively and keeping batters off balance all night long. The rookie went seven shutout innings, giving up just three hits. He struck out six Rockies and walked only one.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Colorado Rockies continue to build apathetic fan base due to lack of change

Someone needs to be fired, and Bob Apodaca is an easy choice.
The Colorado Rockies are in trouble.

Read blogs, read newspaper articles, listen to the radio and the talk is how, despite the horrible showing from the team, Rockies fans continue to show up at a rate of 30,000 plus per game.

Those who really want change at 20th & Blake insist that in order anything to be different, the owners of the Rockies must feel the pain in their wallet. They believe that only the loss of revenue will light a fire under the seat of the owners to make change happen. Those fans are disappointed because the seats continue to be filled up.

The reality, however, is that attendance is based on the number of tickets sold, not the actual number of people at the game. A large number of those tickets are purchased by corporations as giveaways. Another large segment are season ticket holders and mini-plans. Those tickets are being counted, regardless if the person actually shows up or not.

Everyone wonders why the fans continue to pour through the gates at Coors Field, despite the team. Well, the answer is simple. Many of the tickets were purchased long ago.

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.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Colorado Rockies shouldn't have tried to be competitive

Dan O'Dowd should have gone with youth.
Let's face it. The Colorado Rockies are in the middle of a throw-away season.

The Rockies aren't going anywhere in 2012. They know it, their fans know it, everyone knows it. The sad part about it is that the front office knew it before anyone else did.

The reality is, when general manager Dan O'Dowd told the media that he had given Jim Tracy a vote of confidence and that he would be his manager for years to come, he was anticipating a disaster of a season.

O'Dowd was caught with his pants down in the early part of 2011 when starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa went down with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. O'Dowd's eyes were opened when he realized that he would have to dig beyond his Triple-A rotation and force one of his young prospects to the big leagues before he was ready. That was when Juan Nicasio got the call in late May of 2011.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Colorado Rockies have made Coors Field an excuse

Coors Field has become an excuse for the Rockies.
The Coors Field factor is alive and well.

Sunday, as the Colorado Rockies were swept at home by the Los Angeles Angels in a 10-8 affair, the park seems to be playing much like it did in the late 90's.

Watching young pitchers crumble on the mound at 20th & Blake has become such a routine for Rockies fans that it seems like part of the game. A pitcher can be dominant out on the road, looking like a future ace, then come home to what should be a place of comfort, and gets absolutely blown out of the water.

The confidence is gone, the strike-throwing goes out the window and the football score is underway. It happens all the time.

Pitching at altitude, in a hitter's park is tough, there is no doubt about that. However, the Rockies are making it even more difficult with the way they approach the park.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Jeff Francis fits right in with the Colorado Rockies

Jeff Francis made his return on Saturday.
Saturday's matinee at Coors Field was a micro chasm of the entire 2012 season as the Colorado Rockies lost to the Los Angeles Angels 11-5.

The game represented exactly what the Rockies approach going into the season was. Basically what that amounts to is cross your fingers and hope everything goes perfectly.

The hope that Jeff Francis had returned to his former self--or anything coming anywhere close to that--was dashed quickly as the Angels knocked the Canadian around early and often. The final line was ugly as Francis departed in the 4th inning. 3-1/3 innings, eight runs on 10 hits, one walk and one strikeout. That is about the worst homecoming anyone could imagine.

The reports that Francis was throwing in the low-90's proved quickly to be far from the truth. The lefty was heaving his fastball over the plate at a rate of 84 MPH, closer to the speeds Jamie Moyer was throwing than the speeds he was reportedly throwing.

The game was much like the season for the Rockies. In reality, everyone knows what they have with Francis. They have a fringe big leaguer who is desperately trying to make his return to Major League Baseball. His career is on life support and he hasn't been a dominant pitcher since before the injury to his shoulder.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Colorado Rockies struggles continue in loss to Angels

Alex White continues to mature as a starter.
The Colorado Rockies struggles continued as the team lost to the Los Angeles Angels 7-2 on Friday night at Coors Field.

It was a night that featured CJ Wilson dominating the Rockies offense and the typical struggles of a young starting pitcher in Alex White.

The loss was one in which the Rockies should expect. White pitched quickly and well for the most part, but missed badly on two pitches to Angels right fielder Torii Hunter. A battle between a veteran with the experience facing a rookie starter who has struggled with the long ball usually ends in a victory for the veteran. On Friday night, that was the case twice as Hunter drilled two long two-run home runs, the second of which landed above the bleachers in left field.

Hunter finished the night with six RBIs in his first-ever game at Coors Field. It was a night that Rockies fans have come to expect from their 2012 team. This team relies so heavily on an offense full of firepower. They rely on the offense to score enough runs for their young pitchers to have some breathing room.

Colorado Rockies Review: Monforts are not cheap

The Monfort brothers are not cheap. 
Talk to Colorado Rockies fans, listen to what they have to say both at Coors Field and on the radio.

The common theme is that Dick and Charlie Monfort, the principle owners of the Rockies, are cheap. People talk about the youth in the pitching staff, the lack of the ability to find a third basemen ever since Vinny Castilla left, and the failed promises of prospect catchers gone by.

The argument, regardless of how it started, always circles back to the owners don't want to spend money, that they are content with the 35,000 fans that walk through the gates every night and that Coors Field is a destination for a summer evening that they don't need to spend any money on fielding a team that can hit, pitch and field.

Rockies fans have ever reason to be upset. They have every reason to point their frustrations at whatever target they see fit to blame in order to justify their emotions. Passion is what makes a great fan base. The passion doesn't always have to be positive. Sometimes the best fans in the world are extremely negative when things go wrong.

Dick Monfort made himself a clear target two weeks ago with his comments in the Denver Post. Not only did his comments make him sound clueless about baseball, but they made him sound like his passion for winning wasn't as important as making sure his friends had great jobs with no accountability in the front office.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Same old issues for Colorado Rockies, starting pitching lets them down

Josh Outman struggled on Wednesday night for the Rockies.
Maybe the performances from Alex White and Christian Friedrich were juts a mirage.

On Wednesday night the Colorado Rockies returned to form, getting a terrible starting pitching performance from Josh Outman. It was the second straight poor performance from a starter in as many nights. The Rockies dropped the game 6-1.

Outman, transitioning from being a reliever into a starter, was going to be lucky to make it through five innings before the game started. He was on a pitch count going into the game limiting him to 80 pitches because it was just his second start. He wouldn't make it that far, however, as the Diamondbacks tattooed him for five runs in just three innings. Outman finished with 69 pitches, 40 for strikes.

The start underscored the biggest issue the Rockies have faced all season long. Their starting pitching has failed to get the job done. It was an issue coming into the season that the front office was well aware of, but the struggles have gone far beyond what even the most pessimistic outlook could have seen.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Colorado Rockies, Jeremy Guthrie rocked in Arizona

It might be time to pull the plug on Jeremy Guthrie.
For the third straight game, the story for the Colorado Rockies is their starting pitcher.

Tuesday night's story, however, tells quite the opposite tale. In Phoenix, Jeremy Guthrie was hit hard by the Diamondbacks, giving up seven earned runs on 11 hits in just 3-1/3 innings. The Rockies went on to lose 10-0, getting a performance from Ian Kennedy that hasn't been seen since he won 20 games a year ago.

One week ago the Rockies designated Jamie Moyer for assignment, giving up on the 49-year-old because he was ineffective. He gave up too many home runs and all too often couldn't keep the offense close enough to at least have a chance.

If ineffectiveness was the reason Moyer is no longer a Rockie, what is the excuse for Guthrie? The right-hander has been a gigantic bust for the Rockies. The trade that sent Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom to the Baltimore Orioles for what the Rockies were selling as a serviceable ace has been nothing short of a disaster.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Colorado Rockies shutout Diamondbacks behind Friedrich's gem

Friedrich looks like the real deal. His focus is incredible.
Who says the Colorado Rockies have a starting pitching problem? No one is saying that after Christian Friedrich dominated the Arizona Diamondbacks, helping the club to a 4-0 win.

Maybe the Rockies starting pitching issues were simply because the talent on the mound was pitching 60 miles south of Denver for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.

It is hard to imagine that Friedrich was nearly given up on after struggling for his second straight season at Double-A a year ago. His intensity and focus gives him the look of a seasoned veteran. He looks like he is determined to put the team on his back and pitch them to victory.

Overall, Friedrich pitched seven innings, giving up only four hits and no runs. He walked two Diamondback batters while striking out four.

The final line is impressive for Friedrich, but even more encouraging for the former first round draft pick was the fact that he didn't have his best stuff, and frankly, that is putting it lightly.

Colorado Rockies draft prep outfielder David Dahl with first-round pick

The Rockies drafted prep outfielder David Dahl in the first round.
This day may be the most important day of the year for a team like the Colorado Rockies.

Leaning on the draft to find quality players that can be developed, the Rockies picked Alabama high school outfielder David Dahl with the 10th overall pick in the 2012 first-year player draft.

Dahl has a commitment to the University of Auburn, which gives him a certain amount of leverage when it comes to signing the 18-year-old. However, money hasn't been an issue for the Rockies signing their first round pick since 2000.

The left-hander has drawn comparisons to Colby Rasmus, the Blue Jays outfielder with gap power and speed.

Dahl is 6'2" tall and weighs in at 185 lbs. The pick comes as somewhat of a surprise. Very few experts had mentioned the Rockies having a connection with Dahl, yet mentions he was in Denver this past week working out for the club.

The pick comes as somewhat of a surprise, as high school talent naturally takes longer to get to the big leagues, meaning Dahl will have quite a bit of seasoning before he is ready to help the big league club.

The Rockies also have a sandwich pick at No. 48 as compensation for Mark Ellis signing with the Dodgers in the offseason.

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Alex White impressive as Colorado Rockies take series from Dodgers

Alex White dominated the Dodgers on Sunday.
Sunday's are supposed to be a day where the fans go out to the ballpark, enjoy the weather and the scenery.

Most of them, however, have learned not to expect a win on the Sabbath. These Rockies seem to find ways to lose games on Sunday. Alex White apparently didn't get the memo as he pitched the best outing of his young career on Sunday.

The right-hander, part of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, went 6-2/3 innings, giving up two runs on just two hits. His lone mistake came in the 7th inning when he walked James Loney with one out, then gave up a shot down the left field line to A.J. Ellis.

White walked five batters, two of which may have come after fatigue had set in during the 7th inning. Beyond those five walks, there was very little for anyone to complain about. White was brilliant. It was exactly what the Rockies are in desperate need of from their starting pitchers.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Colorado Rockies win streak ends at five

The Rockies look for the series win on Sunday.
Carlos Gonzalez can't do it everyday.

On Saturday the Colorado Rockies looked more like the team from the middle of May, not the team from the end of May. They lost to the Dodgers 6-2, ending their five-game winning streak.

The hero of the past week, Gonzalez came up in a situation to do damage. After DJ LaMahieu grounded a ball into center field to start the 5th inning, and Matt Reynolds advanced him to second base on a sacrifice bunt, Marco Scutaro and Dexter Fowler both walked, loading the bases for the hottest hitter in baseball.

Gonzalez stepped to the plate, but unlike his at-bats that have almost certainly made him the National League player of the week, CarGo was way out in front of an off-speed pitch, making the count 0-1. Again, Gonzalez got out in front of a pitch, fouling it high in the air, but playable for Dodgers third baseman Elian Herrera. Gonzalez knew he had given away a golden opportunity. He slammed his bat to the ground, splintering it at the plate.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Colorado Rockies offense continues to roll as streak extends to five games

CarGo has ignited the entire offense.
Pitching wins championships, but good offense sure is fun to watch.

Just when the last passionate fan had turned their eyes towards 2013, the Colorado Rockies have given reason for hope.

On Friday night at Coors Field, the Rockies dismantled the National League West leading Los Angeles Dodgers 13-3. The win was the team's fifth in a row and also the fifth game in a row in which the offense has scored at least seven runs.

What a difference a week makes. Last Friday night, radio shows were talking about the "road to 100," a slogan given to the team they thought was on the path to a historic number of losses. Suddenly, this Rockies team looks nothing like a team that will lose anywhere close to 100 games.

It almost seems as if it set in to the Rockies hitters that they are going to have to go out and score a ton of runs every night if they have a chance to win. Once they accepted that fact, they have gone out there and done it.

Does this streak mean the Rockies are suddenly back in the race? Well, let's not jump to conclusions. This team still has significant issues. The starting pitching is nowhere near as good as they were expected to be, and they were expected to be very bad.