|Eddie Butler finally got the call. He starts on Friday for the Rockies.|
That should give a pretty good idea as to how important this homestand is for the Rockies. With the season hanging in the balance, and the clock on the Franklin Morales experiment coming to an end, the Rockies front office finally pulled the trigger. On Friday night, highly touted starting pitching prospect Eddie Butler will start on the mound for the Rockies.
Dan O'Dowd and Bill Geivett are the guys who will sit in a traffic jam on the highway for an hour when traffic reports are telling them that the side roads are moving just fine because the highway is the way they go everyday. So when they take the detour, it means that desperate times call for desperate measures.
It might be a day late and a buck short for the Rockies. On Tuesday night they looked lifeless. They looked defeated. They looked like, despite a day off in-between their horrid road trip and their longest homestand of the season, that they were still feeling the ill effects of what has become of their season.
On Tuesday, even with their ace on the mound, the Rockies couldn't get the offense going. After starting the season 0-3, Jorge De La Rosa showed why he is the ace of this team. He reeled off six straight wins and may have won another one had the weather not washed out his start against the Giants in May. However, on Tuesday he didn't have his best stuff.
Despite not having his best pitches and location, De La Rosa showed why he is so important to this team, even in a loss. He still managed to get through seven innings and give up only three runs. An ace is able to get outs, even without dominant stuff. De La Rosa did just that on Tuesday. It was the type of outing that is usually good enough to give the home team at Coors Field plenty of chances to pick up a win. Instead, the offense continued to be missing in action and couldn't get the job done.
With all of the holes that this team seems to have, the offense isn't an area that anyone thought would be of concern for the Rockies. It is something that has left many Rockies fans scratching their heads in bewilderment over the struggles.
It all makes sense, however, when it is broken down. The offense slugs at home, then has to make huge adjustments on the road. When the pitching struggles at home, the offense was able to shrug off the issues, knowing that they would be able to get back in the game with a flurry of runs. When they go on the road, they aren't able to stack up the runs at home, and they know it, so suddenly they feel a sense of urgency, even early in the game, to strike quickly and even the score. That pressure changes the approach at the plate. Instead of being patient and forcing the pitcher to throw good pitches, the Rockies batters press and start to swing at pitches out of the zone. This leads to the electricity being pulled on the Rockies offense.
Of course, that is just a theory. If someone had the answer to why the Rockies go through such highs and lows, they would be multi-millionaires. However, it seems to make sense. The adjustment when the Rockies head onto the road is a difficult task, so when the starting pitching doesn't get the job done, the offense feels the pressure.
Unfortunately for a pitcher like De La Rosa, the offensive struggles cost him games. Giving up three runs in seven innings should be plenty to pick up the win. However, with the offense mired in their slump, he had to be nearly perfect in order to keep his winning streak in-tact.
The Rockies aren't done yet. The fact that they are willing to pull up Butler, risking starting his arbitration a year early suggests that the front office feels that they have the talent to make it happen. They feel that despite the struggles that with holes filled in the rotation that the Rockies might have a fighting chance.
Give credit to the Rockies front office for making the move. The easy decision would have been to cross their fingers and hope that Morales was good enough every fifth day to bridge the gap until either Tyler Chatwood or Brett Anderson returned from injury. It would have been easy for them to blame the injuries and stick with Morales, feeling sorry for themselves once again.
Instead, there has been no mention of injuries getting in the way. They aren't pointing to their poor luck, but instead doing something about it and filling the holes that clearly need to be plugged.
The excitement over Eddie Butler should infuse the Rockies with some energy. It should give them enough of a jump start to potentially help them get going once again.
The Rockies are in a tough spot. They must make this homestand productive, or the hole that they are going to have to crawl out of won't be fun. They are relying on a young arm who has yet to be tested at altitude. However, the reward that the Rockies could get out of making the move to bring Butler up has plenty of upside. If it gets this Rockies team going, they won't regret it.
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