Friday, June 27, 2014

Tyler Matzek may be Colorado Rockies biggest bright spot of 2014

Tyler Matzek was great on Friday night for the Rockies in a loss.
There is no need to rehash the clown baseball that took place on Friday night in Milwaukee.

The game can be summarized in a quick statement. The ineptitude of the Colorado Rockies knows no limit. This team's struggles start at the top and leak all the way down to the very core of the management, players, pitchers, batboys, replay specialists, trainers, video coordinators and any other position that is associated with the Rockies. They are pathetic.

To read about the struggles of the Rockies, take a look in the archives. There isn't a story that hasn't been told that wouldn't fit for Friday night.

On Friday night, there was a positive, and it is time for focus on the positive.

Tyler Matzek, the Rockies first round pick in 2009 showed why he was so highly touted out of high school. It seems that his long, windy road to the big leagues is showing signs that it will all be worth it.

The Rockies lefty was absolutely phenomenal in his big league debut on June 11th against the Braves. He pitched into the 8th inning while delivering less than 90 pitches. His efficiency was incredible, and the reality is, there simply aren't that many lefties who can throw in the mid-90's, yet mix in off-speed pitches that keep a batter off balance.

Matzek's next two starts weren't that great. However, he didn't show signs of falling apart either. While his final line in both games was nothing special, there was something different about him that brings some much needed optimism for the future of this club.

On Friday night Matzek took on a very well known and very solid pitcher in Kyle Lohse, pitching against the biggest surprise team in baseball, who was going for their 50th win before the mid-point of the season. There was nothing easy about the start that Matzek was making. It didn't shake him. He battled against the Brewers and hung right in it, despite his offense not giving him anything to work with.

The struggles for Matzek in the minors were a result of his lack of command. That snowballed into velocity issues and mechanical breakdown. The struggles with finding the plate followed him every step of the way through the minor leagues. However, on Friday night, much like his big league debut, Matzek didn't issue a single walk.

In six innings, Matzek only gave up one run on five hits. He struck out three and didn't have any walks, as previously discussed.

In a season full of injury and disappointment, Matzek may be the biggest surprise. His struggles at the lower levels essentially eliminated him from the radar for guys who were supposed to make a big impact at the Major League level. In fact, there were plenty of times when it seemed like Matzek would go down as one of the Rockies worst draft decisions.

Matzek seems comfortable at the big league level. After seeing his road to the big leagues take him through the ups and the downs, it seems like all of the pressure is suddenly off of Matzek's back. Instead of the typical jitters that a young pitcher would have when making his first few starts at the highest level, Matzek seems like he has nothing to lose. He has been to the lowest of the low and all the pressure of being a bust is gone.

With a relaxed attitude, and seemingly believing in his stuff, Matzek could suddenly become the first round pick that everyone thought they were getting in 2009. He might suddenly morph into a pitcher that isn't a struggling lefty, but instead a guy who can get outs, pitches into the strike zone and is tough to beat.

After all of the injuries, all of the mismanagement and dysfunctional that exists within the 2014 Colorado Rockies season, Tyler Matzek is one of the better stories that seems to be emerging from the lost season. In fact, his emergence might be the best thing that has happened for the Rockies from a pitching perspective in several years.

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  1. Dave, I am starting to think not only are we not going to win the World Series this year. We may not even make the playoffs. Hard to believe!

  2. Why did Walt Weiss put Culberson in to hit for Wheeler in the 8th?

    1. who you think is managing the team sure is not walt Weiss. he is being told who play and when