Thursday, July 25, 2013

Poor management, continued poor hitting, leads Colorado Rockies to unacceptable series loss to Marlins

It isn't Jonathan Herrera's fault that the Rockies lost.
With the tying run at the plate and one out in the bottom of the 9th inning, the Colorado Rockies sent Jonathan Herrera to the plate.

Jonathan Herrera.

While Herrera has had a very good year for the Rockies and plays the role that he has been given very well, he is frankly, not the guy anyone wants to see stroll to the plate with a chance to tie the game.

Herrera promptly hit into a double play, ending the late Rockies threat and giving the Marlins the 5-3 victory. As mentioned, Herrera has been very good in the role the club has asked him to play, but the situation he was in on Thursday is a no-brainer, pinch-hit situation where a guy with a big bat who can tie the game comes to the plate.

The problem is, that guy doesn't exist for the Rockies. Even with Todd Helton on the bench, the Rockies don't possess a serious power threat on their bench. So instead, they have to hope Herrera can get a base hit and keep the inning going.

The problem for the Rockies goes beyond their lack of power available on the bench. Frankly, the Rockies problems exist in every aspect of the game beyond their starting pitchers. The latest problem, which has been evident for a while, but easy to ignore, is the issue of field management.

On Thursday, with the Rockies down 1-0, Walt Weiss turned to Wilton Lopez for the 9th inning. The reliever proceeded to do what he has done all season long, give up runs. In this instant, he gave up four runs while recording just one out. The pitcher known for producing ground balls has somehow managed to forget how to get outs in any way, but when he does get them, they come via the flyball. His acquisition has been a complete disaster.

Every team has relievers that are plus-side relievers and relievers that come in when the team is losing. Lopez hasn't been good enough to be on the plus-side, but that doesn't mean that he should be trusted in a one-run game in which the Rockies desperately need a win. His four runs effectively pitched the Rockies out of the game. When the dormant offense scored three in the bottom half of the inning, it really hurt.

A manager can't rely on the same guys in the bullpen every night or the team will be in trouble. However, there are times that when a team doesn't have a lead, but is tied or down by a run in a big game that the manager has to use his plus-side guys. Sending Lopez to the mound in the 9th was waiving the white flag. Not only on the game, but on the season as well.

Beyond Lopez, sloppy baseball came back and cost the Rockies again. With runners at first and third base with two outs in the top of the 8th inning, Adam Ottavino threw a slider in the dirt. Instead of using the mechanics that are taught starting at the age of seven years old to block the ball, catcher Wilin Rosario tried to backhand it. A catcher knows that he should never, ever backhand a baseball. It is simply lazy baseball on Rosario's part to not get in front of that pitch. It ended up costing the Rockies a run, the first run of the game.

There are plenty of places to point to blame for the Rockies loss on Thursday. However, once again, the blame falls on the shoulders of a hapless, incompetent offense. A team that was built to resemble the Blake Street Bombers once again failed to score a run through the first eight innings. This has gone from a trend to an issue, to something that has become almost expected.

It is almost laughable that the Rockies thought this lineup would be the strong suit of this team. Make no mistake, the talent is there to be dominant, but their lack of production makes the fact that people thought it would be beyond good nearly laughable. The sad part is, they could be very good. They could have this Rockies team out in front of the bunch in the National League West. Instead, they continue to take a terrible approach at the plate. They fail to make adjustments. They preparation looks to be the same as a little league team who goes up hacking at anything and everything.

In 35 innings of baseball against the league-worst Marlins, the Rockies produced a grand total of eight runs. Eight runs in four games. That is unacceptable. Someone has to be held accountable for that failure, especially considering their lack of productivity throughout the month of July, a month in which they had a chance to gain ground instead of losing ground like they have.

The Rockies have huge holes. They have huge issues, from their bullpen to their management to their defense and to the biggest issue, their non-existent offense. This homestand was set to be a statement homestand. The statement the Rockies have made is that they aren't ready to be taken seriously yet.

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  1. What a joke that a team this bad could be within 5 games of first place at the end of July! Whether it is because popular personnel moves made during the offseason have been a diversion or the media is just tired of talking about it, this team will never do well with Dan O'Dowd as GM (or probably while the Monforts own the team). The attitude is sloppy and lazy and apparently doesn't expect to win.

    1. Well said. Monfort, O'Dowd, get with it, or get out.

  2. no truer words were spoken than what was said of poor management, poor pitching, and now poor hitting. start of the season rockies were number 4 team as having the strongest hitting lineup in the majors.season began that way now WW and Bichette have done absolutely nothing to make the rockies contenders.listening to bichette the other night about the poor hitting was pathetic, send him back to Florida and get someone that will light fire under these kids, Bichette is not the answer, and matter of fact neither is Walt Weiss. look what one player did for the Dodgers they are now in there last 29 games 23 and 6 after almost firing there coach. come om Rockies wake the hell up. or like the rumor that was heard a few days ago sell out and get out. maybe not the answer but it's a start.

    1. I thought Jim Tracey was the worst, but Walt Wuss has proven me wrong. What a Joke! Monfort, fire yourself and your staff, especially Bichette, and sell the team. Anybody with an ounce of care could get this team to the level they can produce, which would be a far cry above the current level of management and ownership.

  3. Right on the money. They swing at bad pitches game after game. Other teams get the hit with runners in scoring position, our try to hit it out of the park or hit into a double play, rather than just trying to score the runner. Selfish hitters trying to improve their stats rather than just win the game. Why is Wilton Lopez still on the team? Can't seem to get anybody out. This team should be in first place in the NL West with the talent that they have, but don't seem to have any desire which I believe comes from the top down. Ownership, executives and managers should step up and get some players who care like Nolan Arenado. Most of the others just seem to be going through the motions to collect their big paychecks. I for one am tired of watching the same thing year in and year out, so will quit watching until they do something to improve the team.

  4. Weiss pinch hits Tulowitski at the start of the 8th with no one on.
    Weiss calls on Lopez down 1 to pitch the ninth.
    Weiss is not capable of effective game management.
    Other than a couple of people, the players look like the walking dead, so unhappy, so miserable.
    Monforts, put out or get out has now become:
    Monforts, Get Out!

  5. The time is near when the "rockettes' will take the field before a "capacity" crowd of 1,000 to 1,500 fans.
    Every spring expectations run high, but comes end of July and the towel is thrown in. Dealin Dan And the Monforts don't seem to care. Bring up the Sky Sox and put them into Coors Field and we'll get better results.

    1. Yep, and when the tv stations see little viewership and sponsor's returns dwindle, we could lose a team. Denver, step up and slap Monfort in the face to wake him up or else lose a vital part of Denver economy.

  6. I came to Denver almost 11 year ago, and one of first articles I read in paper was one where Monfort stated he cared not to invest in a winning team and didn't care about drawing big crowds, cause he could make just as much money with low costs. It is evident Monfort doesn't care about a winning team. What a pity. Not the right person to be an owner. No wonder no one wants to play on the Rockies.

  7. Hey, Monfort, Sell Out, Get Out!

  8. Hey, why not root for the Brewers during the next 3 games..........

  9. Monfort stench of losing baseball hangs over Colorado...
    Please sell out.

  10. Mr. Martin, you hit the nail on the head with your article in every way. Can you name me any other major league team in any sport that tolerates poor management and poor scouting like the Rockies? I'm a firm believer in loyalty to your staff but please, eventually everyone has to be accountable for results. When will the Monfort's realize that Dan O'Dowd has no clue how to build a successful major league team nor an effective minor league system. The lack of developing major league caliber pitcher's within their farm system has been well documented, but the real alarming concern is their inability to develop position players. Tulo is one but lets remember that Cargo was not a draft pick. So, name one other star caliber player developed within the Rockies minor league system??? Case closed. Can we please "impeach" O'Dowd and bring in someone that has a proven track record for building a major league team?