Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Madison Bumgarner nearly throws perfect game as Colorado Rockies come back to earth

Jorge De La Rosa had to leave with an injury on his pitching hand.
Something had to give.

In their last 10 games, the Colorado Rockies were winners in seven of them. With the way the 2014 season has gone, it simply wasn't sustainable. However, with Jorge De La Rosa on the mound for the Rockies, there was a chance that the team's good fortune would continue for one more night.

Instead, Madison Bumgarner brought the Rockies crashing back to reality, as he threw a complete game shutout, taking a perfect game into the 8th inning. If Justin Morneau hadn't reached out and poked a good pitch low in the zone down the right field line, the Rockies may have been no-hit for the second time in 2014.

With Bumgarner on his game, Rockies ace Jorge De La Rosa was doing his best to match him. With a nasty change up that was keeping Giants hitters off balance, De La Rosa took a shutout of his own into the 6th inning. The problem is, in the top of the 6th inning, De La Rosa seemed to bruise his throwing hand on a foul ball why he was at the plate.

In the following inning, De La Rosa shook his hand after a pitch to Hunter Pence and winced in pain. He then walked Pence and gave up a two-run homer to Buster Posey on a splitter that he didn't finish on, something that happens when a pitcher can't get the proper grip on the ball.

The Giants were suddenly up 2-0 and De La Rosa was out of the game, adding to the long list of injuries that have been sustained by Rockies pitchers in 2014. With the bullpen needing to pick up four innings and Bumgarner clearly on his game, the only question remaining was whether or not the Rockies would actually pick up a hit or not.

When Morneau lined the ball down the right field line, the sound of TVs turning off in Colorado would have been audible if there were still people who were paying attention to the Rockies on a nightly basis. It was time for bed because there was little doubt about what was going to happen in the remainder of the game.

Without taking credit away from Bumgarner, part of the reason that the Rockies couldn't get anything going was because of the lineup that was put on the field. With the tough lefty on the mound, Walt Weiss went with a lineup that saw Corey Dickerson, Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu on the bench with Matt McBride, Brandon Barnes and Charlie Culberson taking their spots.

At some point, the idea that a lefty can't hit another lefty needs to end. Is a right-handed Matt McBride a better option against Bumgarner than Dickerson or Blackmon? Same question goes for Barnes. If two non-starters are in the game, shouldn't Culberson find a different day to make a start?

The lineup that the Rockies ran out on the field was a disservice to De La Rosa, who has been a phenomenal pitcher for the majority of a terrible season for the club.

There simply isn't much left to be said. The Rockies are playing out the string of a terrible season. They are far more talented than their record suggests, but they haven't been able to win consistently. The injuries haven't helped things, but this is a team that needs to address some major issues in the off-season. They need to do that while focusing on bringing De La Rosa back into the fold and figuring out if they can or should keep both Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.

The Rockies look like they will avoid the infamous 100-loss season that everyone is talking about. However, it can't be ignored how bad this team has played.

It is time for changes.

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1 comment:

  1. D.Martin - "It is time for changes."

    Re - Other than a complete flush and replacement of the front office (I'd recommend the entire organization and farm), what do you suggest should change? What players and pitchers are worth keeping, which should be let go and who can/should be traded for what?