Monday, May 20, 2013

Patrick Corbin shuts down Colorado Rockies in opener, Garland struggles again

Jon Garland might be the odd man out if he doesn't figure it out soon.
Jim Tracy would have loved his post game press conference on Monday night if he was still with the Colorado Rockies. It was the perfect opportunity for him to use a classic cliche line that he seemed to pull out far too often in his tenure with the Rockies.

"Sometimes you've gotta tip your cap to the other guy on the mound." Those would have been the words that Tracy would have used to describe the night that Arizona Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin had on Monday night.

While Tracy overused the saying, and it came across as an excuse, Monday night would have been an extremely appropriate time to use that line. Corbin was phenomenal. His slider would have had physicists questioning if the altitude actually effects breaking balls.

Corbin, an early favorite for National League Cy Young, improved his record to a stellar 7-0 with an ERA sitting at 1.44. He struck out 10 Rockies and walked only one, a leadoff walk to Eric Young, Jr., who was promptly doubled up on a line drive by Dexter Fowler with Young on the move.

It would be easy to jump on the Rockies offense. It would be easy to point at their failures over the past two and a half weeks and say that this is the latest example of ineptitude. That might be a viable answer if Corbin hadn't been putting on this same type of performance throughout the first seven weeks of the season. With Clayton Kershaw nipping at his heals, Corbin has to be the favorite to start on the mound for the National League in the All-Star game at this point.

A quarter of the way through the season, Walt Weiss has given fans their first real opportunity to question a move that he made. With Corbin, a dominant lefty on the mound, why have Todd Helton start at first base when Jordan Pacheco has been smoking the ball lately? Pacheco proved that he should have been in the game, pinch hitting in the 8th inning and driving in the only Rockies run of the night on a first-pitch fastball.

Helton came into the game with just nine at-bats all season long against lefties. Granted, he was 4-for-9 in those at-bats and has shown over the course of his career that hitting lefties isn't a difficult task for him. However, with Pacheco hitting the way he has been, and frankly, the way that he has shown consistently to be able to do since his initial call-up, Weiss should have called his number at first base against Corbin.

Corbin dominated the Rockies, and frankly, they had no real shot at winning the game. With that in mind, it is easy to forget that Jon Garland put up another lackluster outing. He did a professional job of limiting the damage, but he still gave up five earned runs in six innings of work. The Diamondbacks had no trouble with him, slapping him around for 11 hits.

Garland, after complaining about the way the Rockies handle their pitchers, is suddenly in a position where he could end up being the odd man out in a situation where the Rockies determine that it is time to call up Drew Pomeranz, and find Tyler Chatwood a spot in the rotation. Couple those two young pitchers with the fact that Roy Oswalt is heading to Tulsa for a start at Double-A on Friday night, and the Rockies could easily make Garland expendable.

The Rockies have shown themselves to be resilient. They proved that on Friday night when they bounced back from a devastating loss on Thursday after having a 6-0 lead evaporate. However, they must find a way to bounce back from Monday's game and play well in the next two. They have a chance to make a statement in the National League West race. They made a strong statement over the weekend, but can point an exclamation point on it with a series victory over the Diamondbacks.

Follow me on Twitter @RockiesReview. Like me on Facebook, search "Rockies Review"

No comments:

Post a Comment