Sunday, September 30, 2012

Colorado Rockies swept in pitiful weekend in Los Angeles

Time for changes in Colorado.
What is more sad, the fact that the Colorado Rockies scored one run all season long, or the fact that it came as no surprise to those who have followed the team all season long?

Perhaps the biggest punishment for a team that has been out of the race for months is having to play out the final string of games. Even three weeks ago, there are things to accomplish and reasons to play hard. The final week of the season, however, has felt like three months. It just won't end.

The season mercifully comes to an end after just three more games. The Rockies have one thing left to play for in the final series. Plain and simple, they must find a way to win just one of the games. If they get swept, which is a strong possibility after showing zero heart in Los Angeles, they will have completed their first-ever 100-loss season.

Colorado Rockies selling themselves short in every aspect of the game

He's made mistakes, but he should have a full roster to use.
Jim Tracy is a terrible manager. He changes the lineup almost daily, he makes excuses, and he handles a bullpen about as bad as anyone in the game. However, the Colorado Rockies front office is currently hanging him out to dry.

In a season full of new phrases made up by the Rockies, terms such as "piggy-back reliever," and others that defy conventional baseball wisdom, the Rockies have once again gone outside the realm of logic. Something that should never be heard in the month of September is a phrase about being short on the bench.

Several times in the past few weeks, Tracy has found himself in a situation where he has to have a relief pitcher hit for himself in the 5th or 6th inning because the bench is full of players who are hurting. Carlos Gonzalez is out, Jason Giambi is out, Dexter Fowler is out, and as of Saturday, Tyler Colvin is hurt as well.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Colorado Rockies tie all-time loss record

The Rockies are finishing up their worst season ever.
The Colorado Rockies have now lost as many games as they did in 1993 and 2005.

With Friday night's loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Rockies now have 95 losses with five games left to play. What that means for the team is that they still have a chance to record their first-ever 100 loss season. Regardless, this team, even with a five game winning streak to end the season, would still be tied for the worst record in club history.

With the worst record at the door step, the question for the club to answer is whether or not this team is worse than the other two teams that landed on 95 losses.

The Rockies would like to believe that talent-wise, this team is as bad as those teams were. The organization wants to pawn the disappointment onto the talent on the field. They want fans to believe that there were no management issues, that the team was devastated by injuries and that they were forced to field a Triple-A team for the great majority of the season.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Colorado Rockies sweep Cubs behind Jordan Pacheco homer

Jordan Pacheco has been better than anyone expected.
It shouldn't be a surprise anymore. Jordan Pacheco can flat out hit.

If things had gone according to plan for the Colorado Rockies, Pacheco would have only been the starting third baseman for about six weeks. As everyone is well aware, things haven't gone according to plan for the Rockies.

However, if something that didn't go according to plan turned out well, it was Pacheco. With top prospect Nolan Arenado grabbing the spotlight in the Arizona Fall League one year ago, the New Mexico native was forgotten about. Even as his impressive season continues to get better, many have still tried to discount the stats and what they see on the field.

On Thursday afternoon, Pacheco bolstered his National League rookie leading batting average to .309 with a 2-for-4 day at the plate. One of the hits came in the first inning when he launched a three-run homer to left field to put the Rockies on top and start the scoring.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Colorado Rockies win behind solid start from Pomeranz

Drew Pomeranz has talent, but was below expectation in 2012.
If someone would have said before the Colorado Rockies season began that Drew Pomeranz would have notched only two wins in late September, no one would have believed it.

The lefty went five strong innings on Wednesday night in another rain-delayed Rockies game. He walked three batters, one semi-intentionally, but gave up only three hits and held the Cubs scoreless in a series that has amounted to battling it out for rights to the second overall draft pick in June of 2013.

The season that Pomeranz, the prize piece of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, has had has been nothing short of a major disappointment. His ERA sits just above 5.00, and his spent an extended part of the season in Colorado Springs, where frankly, he struggled to find his groove.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wilin Rosario continues to deliver, Colorado Rockies continue to blaming others

Dan O'Dowd is completely lost in his job.
Wilin Rosario did it again on Tuesday night at Coors Field. The catcher went 2-for-4 in the Colorado Rockies rain-shortened win. One of the hits was a long home run to center field. The blast gave Rosario 27 on the season, giving him a realist shot at 30 before the season is done.

As the Rockies got one win closer to avoiding the 100-loss mark, the club continued to raise eyebrows off of the field.

Two weeks ago, the Rockies angered many of their fans by ignoring what their young rookie catcher has done at the plate and chose to point out his defensive struggles. On September 10th, Rockies manager Jim Tracy told the Denver Post when asked about Rosario "It's got to get better. It's got to get a hell of a lot better." Tracy said. "The message has to be very clear that you can’t catch like that. You can’t. It put us in a bad spot in two games (in Philadelphia) that we had a chance to win. We have to be better than this moving forward.”

Monday, September 24, 2012

Colorado Rockies end losing skid, show talent in win

Tyler Chatwood is just 22-years-old.
One thing is certain. The Colorado Rockies have plenty of options in the outfield in 2013.

Make no mistake, the Rockies have been horrible in 2012. However, the interesting thing about the Rockies pathetic season has been how many positives have come out of it. The young players have shown how good they can be and how bright the future could be if everything goes right in the front office.

As bad as the starting pitching has been, there is reason for optimism. Tyler Chatwood, the Rockies starter on Monday night, went 5-2/3 innings. He gave up two runs on one bad pitch, a change up the stayed in Jason Kubel's wheelhouse who left no doubt where the ball would be deposited. It quickly made a dent in the seats in the second level of right field.

Beyond that home run, however, Chatwood looked very good. He gave up just three hits, striking out three and walking two. He was lifted with two runners on base in the 6th inning after delivering 85 pitches.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Colorado Rockies out to prove that they can lose 100

This team may not win again in 2012.
Waiting for the end of the 2012 baseball season is similar to a kid waiting for Christmas. The fact is, it will eventually come, however, it just can't come soon enough.

The Rockies did it again on Sunday, losing to the Diamondbacks 10-7 in a slugfest that got ugly late, when the Rockies decided it was a good idea to continue to let Matt Belisle pitch seemingly every single day.

The right-hander has been nothing short of a God-send for the Rockies. His performance from any role in the bullpen that the club has asked of him has been great. He is as solid as they get. However, in a season that has been as bad as this Rockies season, plus the club throwing out a bullpen-killing 75-pitch limit on their starting pitchers, Belisle has been asked to throw far too many innings.

Belisle gave up three runs in his one inning of work, all of which scored on a blast off the bat of Aaron Hill, who launched a hanging curveball into the left field seats.

Colorado Rockies continue to be their own worst enemy

This man is the wrong guy for the job.
The same story has been written over and over again.

The Colorado Rockies pulled their starting pitcher after four innings because his pitch count was above the limit. In spite of the fact that Jhoulys Chacin was rolling right along after his rough first inning meant nothing.

As the story so often plays out, the guy who replaced him gave up more runs and snatched a defeat from the jaws of victory.

On Saturday night it was Carlos Torres who gave up the runs. After pitching a perfect 5th inning in relief, the right-hander blew up, giving up five runs and eliminating a 5-3 lead the Rockies had given themselves after Chacin's rough 1st inning put the Rockies down by three runs.

At this point, it really isn't even worth going into the details about why the Rockies pitching theory bit them again. Those facts seemingly creep up three times per week. The reality is simple and anyone who doesn't see it isn't looking. The pitching theory isn't working, and it won't work. It doesn't make any sense, and the Rockies, who admittedly will abandon the theory in 2013, continue with the theory in 2012 for unknown reasons.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Colorado Rockies continue their free fall on fireworks night

Pomeranz couldn't find his location on Friday night.
The Colorado Rockies seem to have their minds in a different place. The way they have been playing, they certainly can't be thinking about playing baseball.

On Friday night, in front of fans more eager to watch the post-game fireworks show than the terrible product on the field, the Rockies looked as bad as ever. Before the fireworks started, the Diamondbacks had rubbed salt in the wound of a terrible season, winning 15-5.

The Diamondbacks scored in eight of the nine innings, only leaving the second inning without notching a run. Drew Pomeranz and Alex White combined to pitch 4-1/3 innings, giving up nine earned runs on nine hits. They combined to walk nine batters.

The Rockies seemed like they had overcome the hurdle of losing 100 games a few weeks back. However, they currently are looking at needing to win five games out of the final 12 in order to avoid that dubious mark for the first time in franchise history. Five wins may not seem like too much to ask for, but the way this team is playing, they might not win another game.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

De La Rosa returns to the mound for Colorado Rockies, lose anyway

Jorge De La Rosa made his return to the mound on Thursday
The Colorado Rockies got perhaps their best news of the entire 2012 season. Jorge De La Rosa, out since the end of May 2011, made his return to the mound.

As good as it was for the Rockies to get De La Rosa back, it didn't end up as good as what the club was hoping. The lefty was removed from the game after giving up six runs, five earned, on seven hits. He struck out one and walked one.

Despite the loss, the final score was 9-2 Giants, the return is encouraging. It is important for De La Rosa to get in a few starts at the big league level when the games don't really matter all that much. De La Rosa has struggled with controlling his emotions and remaining confident on the mound. The two or three starts that he gets before the end of the season should go a long way to relieve some of the issues that might creep up in the confidence department.

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.
Uncle.

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.

Colorado Rockies play to predictable outcome in San Francisco

The misery of 2012 is almost over for Rockies fans.
For those still paying attention, for those not completely engrossed by the Denver Broncos season of hope, Colorado Rockies fans continue to suffer.

The only thing worse than a season in which the Rockies are trying desperately to not lose more than 95 games is having to deal with late-season games in San Francisco. The Rockies lost on Tuesday night 6-3 at AT&T Park. However, the reality is, fans could simply DVR any game of their choice in San Francisco, then re-watch that game and they would understand the basic concept of that game.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Colorado Rockies do it to themselves once again, lose to Giants

Chacin pitched five solid innings for the Rockies.
How many times can the point be driven home? How many examples do the Colorado Rockies need before they realize that it what they are doing is not working?

On Monday night in San Francisco, the Rockies did it to themselves once again. With Jhoulys Chacin on the mound, pitching great through five innings, the Rockies were clinging to a 1-1 tie. Chacin had given up just one run on five hits. He struck out two and walked only one Giant.

However, after 80 pitches, the Rockies decided that Chacin's night was done.

Jim Tracy and the Rockies decided that it would be better for Guillermo Moscoso, the proud owner of a 6.59 ERA through 42-1/3 innings, would be a better option than the guy they had on the mound who was pitching well and keeping the Giants in check.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Colorado Rockies theory bites them again in loss to Padres

Adam Ottavino may have hit his wall on Sunday.
If it's been said once, it's been said 1000 times. The Colorado Rockies pitching theory simply doesn't work.

It might work in one particular game. It might work over the course of a week, but the reality is, it simply doesn't work over the course of a season.

Maybe the Rockies deserve credit for thinking outside of tradition, one of the great things about baseball that often becomes its biggest handicap. While the Rockies are trying something outside the box, they have to admit that the long-term effects are more damaging than they anticipated.

On Sunday, the Rockies reaped the consequences of what happens when the theory is played out for the better part of a season without a fall back plan. Adam Ottavino, one of the bright spots in a bad season for the Rockies, saw his ERA jump from 3.56 entering the game to 4.38 when the day was done.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Colorado Rockies slowly admitting that pitching experiment isn't working

The Rockies are going back to a 5-man rotation.
With a chance to win a series in San Diego on Saturday night, the Colorado Rockies couldn't get the job done, dropping the nearly meaningless game 4-3. Drew Pomeranz continues his search for economical pitching, going just three innings and delivering 67 total pitches.

The news for most of the Rockies 2012 season hasn't been the action that takes place on the field, it has been the news that has been made off the field.

On Friday, the Rockies announced that they will go back to a traditional 5-man rotation in 2013. Instead of the plan that was talked about late in August, which was to have four pitchers in the rotation, and four piggyback bullpen pitchers. It would allow the Rockies to stay with their 75-pitch limit and continue down the path of a theory that hasn't been effective.

The move still puts the starting pitchers on a pitch count, but Bill Geivett told Troy Renck of the Denver Post that the limit will be somewhere between 90 and 100 pitches depending on the pitcher and the situation.

Essentially what that means is that the Rockies are admitting that their theory isn't working. 90-100 pitches in a 5-man rotation is essentially what Clint Hurdle managed with for the first seven years of his tenure. It was rare that a starter would even finish the inning that he was in once he had hit the 100-pitch mark.

Colorado Rockies start road trip with a bang

Chris Nelson is making a competition out of third base.
The Colorado Rockies are in the stretch run. They play 20 games in 20 days to finish out the worst season in club history. On Friday night, they got off to a good start, defeating the San Diego Padres 7-4 at Petco Park.

The hope for Rockies fans is that the team will at least finish well. In both 2010 and 2011, saying that the Rockies stumbled to the finish line would be a huge overstatement. They were brutal in both seasons, leaving fans with a bad taste in their mouth, and making it far easier to turn their attention to the Broncos.

There is nothing at stake for these Rockies. Even a very strong finish most likely won't get them out of the basement of the National League West. There is no way to dress it, the season has been terrible.

For Rockies fans, there is a silver lining. The recent play of their young prospects has been a very encouraging sign. Players like Chris Nelson, a former No. 1 draft pick who had injuries de-rail his path to the big leagues throughout his minor league career, coupled with Troy Tulowitzki stealing his thunder as the team's best pick in the 2000's the year after Nelson was picked.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Colorado Rockies will get great attendance in 2013 regardless of disappointment

The Rockies will have plenty of big crowds in 2013
The Colorado Rockies will once again be in the top half of the league in attendance in 2013.

Many fans, many members of the media, and observers have long questioned why the Rockies continue to have 30,000 fans pour through the turnstiles at Coors Field on a nightly basis. The fans come to the games whether the Rockies are 15 games over .500 or 25 games under .500. Fans simply keep coming.

Calls have been made for people to start boycotting this team. The front office has continued to avoid responsibility for the failures that have led to the disappointment that is the 2012 campaign.

Despite utterly failing, the Rockies ownership and front office continues to insist that nothing is wrong, almost burying their heads in the sand and pretending as if they don't realize how poorly the team that they put on the field is performing. They blame Coors Field, they blame the players, they blamed the clubhouse culture, they have blamed the scheduling, and nearly everything else that can be blamed besides themselves.

Colorado Rockies need to back Wilin Rosario

Wilin Rosario has been far better than expected offensively.
On Tuesday night at Coors Field, the Colorado Rockies saw the sense of urgency that comes from a team playing for the postseason. After holding a 4-0 lead, the Rockies let the Giants crawl back, and eventually run away with victory. After a late rally, the Rockies lost 9-8.

At this point, the Rockies are simply playing out the schedule. Focusing on winning baseball games is easy to forget about when the offseason plans are just a few short weeks away.

However, this Rockies team must take the opportunity to get better. The games they are playing right now might not mean much in the standings, or in the grand scheme of things, but this is the time when players need to hone their skills and get polished when the standings even out again in April of 2013.

In anticipation of that, the Rockies need to stand behind rookie catcher Wilin Rosario. Jim Tracy recently made comments to the Denver Post about Rosario's struggles behind the plate. There is no doubt about the fact that the Dominican has tons of talent, but his defensive skills need to be refined before he reaches the height of his skills.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Colorado Rockies return home with end in sight

***For my regular audience (all three of you), I took a few days off from Rockies Review as I traveled to Minneapolis with friends to check out Target Field over the weekend. I always strive to cover every single game, and have come close to that in the four years that this blog has been in existence, but without the time or ability to watch the games live, or after the fact, I felt that it would be better to take the weekend off. If you ever get a chance to see Target Field, take it. The park is phenomenal. Thank you for your patience and understanding***

Alex White hit his first career home run on Monday night.
For Colorado Rockies fans, it doesn't matter if the team is 25 games under .500. It doesn't matter if the season is the worst in franchise history. When the Rockies beat the San Francisco Giants, it is a good day.

That is what happened on Monday night after the Rockies returned home from a disappointing weekend in Philadelphia, and a bad road trip in which they went just 1-6. On Monday they squeaked out a 6-5 victory over the National League West leaders.

The Rockies rode a great performance from one of their young pitchers that will be have heavy pressure set on his shoulders heading in to 2013. Alex White answered that call on Monday. Of course, with the team's pitching rules, the righty was only able to go four innings, but in those innings, he showed what he is capable of.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Colorado Rockies nearly no-hit in Atlanta

The end is near for the 2012 Rockies.
It almost would have been fitting for the 2012 Colorado Rockies to have a no-hitter thrown against them. It looked like it might happen for six innings as the Braves held on to a 1-0 win in Atlanta on Wednesday night.

More fitting, Jordan Pacheco was the Rockie who ended the no-hit bid with his single in the top of the 7th inning.

Despite being dominated by Braves pitcher Mike Minor for the majority of the night, the pitching staff did a great job of keeping the offense in the game. Once the Rockies finally broke through, they had a couple of opportunities to actually win the game. After Pacheco's 7th inning single, he immediately stole second base, giving his teammates three outs to record another base hit to tie the game up.

Minor, however, sandwiched a walk to Andrew Brown with three strikeouts to Ramon Hernandez, Chris Nelson and DJ LeMahieu. Without Pacheco's single, the Rockies would have been looking at going to the 8th inning without a knock.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Colorado Rockies shutout Braves behind consistent bat of Jordan Pacheco

Jordan Pacheco has been huge for the Rockies.
Only the 2012 Colorado Rockies end up shutting out a team when their starting pitcher goes just three innings.

That is exactly what happened on Tuesday night in Atlanta, where the Rockies blanked the Braves 6-0, using a great play from DJ LeMahieu, the consistent hot bat of Jordan Pacheco, and the rubber arms of their extremely overused bullpen.

The Rockies were winning 2-0 in the 6th inning, but reliever Carlos Torres was in trouble. With one out, Torres allowed singles to Martin Prado and Jason Heyward, leaving runners on the corners with just one out. With Heyward's speed, a ball in the gap would tie up the game, and even a sacrifice fly would cut the lead to just one. At the plate David Ross struck out on a moving fastball with Heyward looking to swipe second base. Catcher Wilin Rosario threw a bullet to the base and Heyward knew he was out. He retreated towards first trying to give Prado a chance to score. LeMahieu wisely ran Heyward back to the bag, then threw a bullet to the plate when Prado had committed to home. Rosario got the tag down, completing the 1-2-4-2 double play to end the inning. Instead of being in trouble, the Rockies were suddenly in control of the momentum.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Colorado Rockies drop Labor Day matinee in Atlanta

Tyler Chatwood pitched just three innings.
In a season like 2012, there will be games like Monday's.

The Colorado Rockies lost to the Atlanta Braves in an early game, starting at 11 AM Mountain time, which followed a Sunday barn burner at Coors Field that made for a late arrival into Atlanta.

The late arrival probably played into the Rockies flat play on Labor Day. The Rockies logged only five hits on the day, scoring one unearned run.

As flat as the Rockies looked, the fact is, Braves starter Kris Medlen was phenomenal. The Atlanta starter has been phenomenal since being moved from the bullpen into the starters role. He is 7-1 with a 1.56 ERA. On Monday, he continued his dominance, striking out 12 Rockies and walking none.

Of course, those who follow the Rockies are always hesitant to throw compliments in the direction of the other team's pitcher. Even when that starter does a great job, it is hard to give that credit to the other side for one simple reason. Rockies fans are inundated with a manager in Jim Tracy who is all too quick to give praise to the other starting pitcher.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Colorado Rockies won't lose 100 games in 2012

The Rockies look like they are going to avoid 100 losses.
There are only two teams in all of Major League Baseball that can say they haven't done it yet. The Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Angels are the two franchises who have never lost 100 games in a season.

In July, it looked like the Angels would be the only franchise left after the 2012 season. The Rockies were miserable. They were long out of the race and it seemed a safe bet that not only would the Rockies eclipse the 100 loss mark, but that they could come close to 110.

The Rockies were so painfully bad that local radio host Peter Burns started the "Road to 100" campaign. The thought was that fans should start to root for 100 losses because that would be the magic number for ownership to make the necessary changes in order to become a respectable franchise.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Chacin dazzles for Colorado Rockies in first start at Coors Field since return

The Rockies need Chacin to be the 2010 version.
Jhoulys Chacin has arguably been the worst part of a terrible 2012 season for the Colorado Rockies.

Before the season began, general manager Dan O'Dowd was on record saying that the righty, expected to be the ace of the pitching staff, was out of shape and that he was disappointed by reports that he didn't work hard in the offseason.

Possibly in an effort to prove his general manager wrong, and not look bad, Chacin pitched through shoulder pain throughout spring training. He looked bad, but continued to insist that he was fine. After five starts and a 7.30 ERA, it was clear that Chacin wasn't right.

The Venezuelan spent 99 days on the disabled list, as the people who replaced him on the roster continued to fail over and over. With the offense hitting the ball well enough to keep the average team in games, the Rockies continued to lose. The pitching staff was routinely blowing three, four and five run leads. The absence of a healthy Chacin was the biggest issue facing the Rockies.