Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Game 22 Thoughts

1) That was just plain awful...tear my heart out stump on it, then stump on it some more.

2) After today - Starters 122 IP, Relievers 77 IP...hmmm will bullpen have an arm left in Aug/Sept?

3) Well at least the offense is clicking

4) Clone Jimenez? Don't think Rox are going to survive on Jimenez and Cook pitching every other day!

5) At least the rest of the NL West is struggling too

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Game 21 Thoughts

1) U-Ball is Mr April...5-0, 0.79 ERA...WOW!

2) Everyone happy tonight...16 hits (and to think 16 left on could have been 28 runs scored!)

3) CarGo a HR away from the cycle...was a double away from a cycle earlier this year

4) Big roster shuffle with Iannetta going to AAA and de la Rosa and Hammel on the 15 day DL. Chacin, Phillips, and Rincon rejoin the big league club

5) Rox run score vs run against differential is just crazy due to these lopsided games. Let's win some close ones!

Rox Talk - Week 3

The Week That Was
A 4-3 week against the Nationals and Marlins. The Rox currently stand at 10-9. Game and half back from division leading San Diego in third place. Currently 6-3 at home and 4-6 on the road, the Rox have outscored its opponents 93-72 (expected wins is 12 versus historical wins at 9). On pace for 85 wins with 793 runs scored and 614 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 1.29 (>1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Considering the emotional roller coaster, the team played remarkably well last week. Sure they probably should have won another one in DC and it would have been nice to sweep the Marlins but with the unexpected passing of team president, Keli McGregor, early last week I think a winning record for the week was OK.

Without considering last week, although the trend continued, it seems to me that the team is just going through the motions. I realize it is April and there is a lot of baseball left but they just seem up and down. Nice game followed by a ho hum lost. They don't seem to be building on anything. With a bunch of division rival games coming up in the next two weeks I think they need to start playing with a bit more fire. Pitchers need to get it going.

First Inning
A 162 game schedule can easily be broken into "9 innings" of 18 games a piece. Over the years I have tracked monthly averages and I am always amazed how similar the averages are. So this year instead of months I am simply tracking 18 game stretches to see if anything changes. The spreadsheet below shows the first inning.

The team was 9 - 9 overall. Record was a bit low considering their runs scored/runs against differential. This can mostly be seen in the bullpen's 1 - 3 record. Jimenez was a monster with Stewart and Olivo leading the offense. Pitching was night or day. Four games had game scores above 70 and yet we also had some clunkers in there too. Nice start...last year the record was 7 - 11 (although 9 - 9 in 2008).

Monday, April 26, 2010

Game 20 Thoughts

1) On a night honoring Dante Bichette's Coors Field opening game winning homer, the Rox could have used some LoDo Magic from one of the original Blake Street Bombers. Team looked listless. Maybe because Dante was bald...or because he bounced it to the plate with Larry Walker catching! Should have waited to commemorate it during the Summer when a crowd was there...kind of pathetic tonight crowd wise!

2) Oh why oh why are Rox running themselves out of innings? I mean Dexter gets caught stealing with the heart of the order and Rox down by 4...ughhh!

3) Hammel needs to turn it around...he is getting ain't pretty

4) Relievers are really doing a nice job...7 strikeouts

5) EY Jr came in and provided some late inning spark which was sorely needed. This team if it doesn't score early seems to fall asleep from inning 6 - 9. They just can't seem to manufacture a run here or is maddening

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Game 17 and 18 Thoughts

1) Doubleheader! I completely missed Game 17 because of soccer game and going to the Pinball Showdown! Appeared I didn't miss much!

2) Compared to the weather yesterday...tonight was a bit chilly but a lovely night for baseball!

3) Cook's sinker was (!) night and day, thank the baseball gods that he found his release was getting ugly

4) Olivo got his 100th homer...a huge shot into the fountain pond in center...424 feet

5) Picture is worth a thousand words

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Game 16 Thoughts

1) What a long strange trip it has been...3 - 4 should have been 4 - 3 but we return home 8 - 8 and with the roller coaster this team has been on I think it is a good place to be

2) U-Ball is fantastic. 4 - 0 start...has to be a close second to Doc Halliday for most impressive start to the season

3) Really only 2 runs against Hernandez? Come on he is like 50 years old? He was throwing softball speeds!

4) Olivo arm has been a real story this April...throwing out opponents is a huge advantage

5) Rain and snow forecasted for this weekend...should be fun especially welcoming in Florida and Arizona...Ha

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Game 15 Thoughts

1) Emotional let down game...Rox started well, got the lead, but just couldn't hold it. Late inning runs seem hard to come by!

2) Four singles by CarGo

3) Nice rebound for Hammel...too bad he couldn't get the W

4) I think the Rox will be happy to get home...long road trip, 7 consecutive games

5) Sorry to say, Giambi is done time to bring up EY Jr!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Game 14 Thoughts

1) Colorado lost a passionate supporter of baseball today with the passing of their President, Keli McGregor. I had the opportunity to meet Keli briefly during a dedication ceremony of a plaque dedicating old Mile High Stadium. Big man, big heart...hopefully Rockies continue his legacy and continue to build a winner.

2) For a heavy hearted team, Rox got out quick and scored some runs and were able to cruise through the game...thankfully

3) Batting practice in the Top 3...nice double by de la Rosa (batted around!)

4) Mora 3 hits, Tulo first homer...nice night for the offense

5) Nice game but offense struck out 10 times and pitching staff allowed 12 hits...Nats left 18 on base

Other MLB news
1) Padres won a game today against the Giants winning 1 -0...they had one hit!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Game 13 Thoughts

1) Cook looks awful...hope he finds his sinker quick! Cook historically is 8 - 9 in April with an ERA of 4.58. He is 0.619 in May, 0.458 in June, 0.727 in July, 0.444 in August, and 0.583 in Sept. Call him Mr. Sine Wave

2) Really Stammen gives up 7 runs to the Philly's last game and we manage only 2 runs in 8 him Cy Young

3) At least the Bullpen looked good.

4) This happened last year I recall...inconsistency in all facets of the game. One night good pitching with no run support, the next run support with awful pitching...ughh this must drive managers crazy

5) As of Game 13 the Nats have a better record then the Rox at 7 -6...

Rox Talk - Week 2

The Week That Was
A 3-3 week against the Mets and Braves. The Rox currently stand at 6-6. Two games back from division leading San Francisco in second place. Currently 4-2 at home and 2-4 on the road, the Rox have outscored its opponents 58-48 (expected wins is 7 versus historical wins at 6). On pace for 81 wins with 783 runs scored and 648 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 1.21 (>1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Two weeks in and a .500 record. What to think about this team 12 games in? As any self respecting fan I expect this team to be 12-0 but 6 - 6 isn't too bad. Are they playing great? No but they are playing good enough to be in most games (really only the 5-0 defeat to the Mets and the 9-5 lost to the Braves were the only games not winnable). April is just one of those months. The real kicker is that our offense which is supposed to be our strength really hasn't turned it on. Besides CarGo, Stewart, and Hawpe (40 of team's 108 hits, 19 of team's 54 RBIs and 6 of the team's 14 HR) the rest of the team is anemic. Throw in the fact that two of those players have been sidelined with slight injuries and it is probably amazing we have 6 wins. All in all I think we are in a good place. Plus we aren't going through the growing pains of a new season against divisional rivals. Nice to get the Giants and Dodgers when the kinks have been worked out! This is a distant run not a sprint. Although in a week's time if we didn't take 3 of 4 against the Nats and win 2 of 3 from the Marlins I am going to be angry!

No Hitters
Are we enjoying a Goldern Era of rare occurrences for our Rox (of course this paper would suggest statistically we should expect these things)? What I mean is that in the last 3 years we have witnessed an unassisted triple play (2007), a cycle (2009), and on Saturday night the Rox first no hitter.

On Saturday night Jimenez had the 264th no hitters all time from (1876 - 2010). To compare there have been 680 triple plays in that time and 288 cycles. It is amazing and somewhat jaw dropping to think in that time there have been approximately 390,762 games. What an event. Read more about no hitters here - retrosheet or wikipedia. Some other interesting tidbits:

- 33 have been thrown since Rox existed
- Rox have been no hit twice (have fielded 2 triple plays but batted into 3 and have batted 5 cycles)
- Rox first no hitter occurred in Game 2703. Hope we don't have to wait another 2500 games for the next are talking about someone who is probably 5 or 6 years old right now!
- U-Ball game score of 88 moved him into the Top 5 of Rox pitching performances

Tulo has seen it all...when is the perfect game?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Game 12 Thoughts

1) Stewart continues to have a hot April.

2) Hopefully these late inning meltdowns don't make the difference come September. Guess I'd rather have them now then later!

3) We need another starting pitcher to step up...Jimenez can't win 90 games!

4) Thought we played well in Atlanta...always a tough place to play historically for the Rox...four game series in Washington feels like a trap...we need 3 of 4

5) Eleven free passes to your opponent usually doesn't help your team to win!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Game 11 Thoughts

1) WOW! Fantastic after last night's miserable lost this one hopefully will set the bar for the rest of the season

2) Dexter gets bonus points for making a heck of a catch in no man's land

3) Always nice to get some national love...ESPN...Ubaldo is a star!

4) Jimenez also got a hit and an RBI

5) Nice to thump the Braves!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Game 10 Thoughts

1) I will just leave you with this...Hammel's pitching line tonight - 67 pitches, 33 balls, 1.2 innings, eight hits, seven runs, three walks....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Game 9 Thoughts

1) Mets win despite themselves...another error from the Rox...that is 9 in 9 games

2) 63 K's in 9 games against no dominant pitchers. Last year Rox were next to last in the league with 1,277 K's. Yikes

3) Road trip from hell this week with 3 in the ATL and four in DC. NL East is not Rox friendly

4) 8 straight homer streak ended today...shut out at home against the Mets...Yucky

5) Hello Mr Giambi, anyone at home? You don't have a hit...walks don't count, we want a big hit!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Game 8 Thoughts

1) Rox lucky to win that one after 3 errors especially the third one which put the tying run on third with no outs.

2) Bullpen did a nice job despite the errors.

3) Cook was all over the plate tonight...never really settled in although sort of had a good 5th and 6th inning

4) Strange manager moves for the night...letting Cook bat in 6th but putting in Daley to start the 7th and sending Hawpe up to pinch hit against a left handed reliever?

5) If I were Mets fans I would have thought their opponents tonight were the Rox and umpires...two really questionable calls...a foul ball that looked fair and an out at second with Tulo clearly not on the bag

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Game 7 Thoughts

1) Smith gets first win, goes seven, strikes out 8, and gets two RBIs

2) The other Smith goes deep and doubles and then throws a strike to second for an assist

3) Rox have homered in all seven games this year (thank Ringosby)

4) Second muscle twitch with Hawpe and CarGo both taking time off...value of a deep bench

5) First game in a stretch of 16 consecutive games...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rox Talk - Week 1

The Week That Was
A 3-3 week against the Brewers and Padres. The Roxs currently stand at 3-3. Two games back from division leading San Francisco in third place. Currently 2-1 at home and 1-2 on the road, the Roxs have outscored its opponents 29-22 (expected wins is 4 versus historical wins at 3). On pace for 81 wins with 783 runs scored and 594 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 1.32 (>1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Rox are 10 - 8 in opening day games and 11 - 7 for home openers. What to think about a 3-3 week out of the gate? Team certainly looked a bit rusty. The defense was not sharp (5 errors), offense inconsistent, and the starting pitching pretty much accounted for the 3 wins (Jimenez and de la Rosa). The bullpen overall is settling in...although Morales makes me nervous! One week doesn't make a season although it would have been nice to sweep the Padres and losing two to the Brewers was tough. The Brewers are probably a top end team and Rox have only had one winning road record in their history so I wouldn't expect to win an opening weekend away from home. In the end I think if Rox can tread water through April (0.500 record) and keep division leaders in sight I would be happy. Historically the team has played 0.460 ball in April for an average 10 - 13 record (2009 8 - 12, 2008 11 - 17, and 2007 10 - 16). Bottom line is they can't afford to spot a division rival 6 - 8 games in April. Wins count in April too, you don't get bonuses for winning down the stretch ;-)

Extra Inning Affairs
Game 5 of the 2010 campaign featured this year's first extra inning game. Against the Padres no less which got me thinking, is it me or do we seem to play the Padres a lot after 9 innings? The quick answer is that the Padres do figure in two of the most memorable extra inning affairs 1) Game 163 in 2007 which sent our Rox into the playoffs and 2) Game 15 of the 2008 season which lasted 22 innings and took over six hours to play!

Using data collected here, I have found that our Rox have played in 185 extra inning games from 1993 - 2009. This comes out to about one in every 15 games. About 11 extra inning games occur in a year with more accounting at home (1 every 13 games) then away (1 every 16 games). Rox record in extra innings is 91 - 94 (0.492) which is better than their overall record (0.476). One of the strangest stats is the Rox are 41 - 61 (.0402) at home and a whooping 50 - 33 (0.602) on the road. Compare this to their all time record where they are 0.552 at home and 0.399 away!

Additional extra inning trivia:

- Most Wins (Herges and Reed)
- Most Losses (Fuentes and Reed, note T. Hoffman has 5 losses)
- Game 23 has the most extra inning occurrences at 6
- Extra innings occur the most on Tuesdays (34 times) followed by Sunday (32), Friday (30), Monday (24), Saturday (23), Thursday (23), and Wednesday (19)
- 45% of the extra inning games end at 10 innings, 28% in 11 innings, 14% in 12 innings, 8% in 13 innings, and 3% in 14 innings (one game each at 15, 16, 18, and 22 innings)
- Average extra inning game is 215 min vs 174 min for a 9 inning game
- May and June have the most extra inning games at 70. (Odd finding is that June Friday games have had 10 trying for extra food sales...and why do they end alcohol sales at the end of 7?)
- Best winning percentage against an NL opponent is Mets (6 - 3) and worse Milwaukee (2 - 5)
- And finally an answer to my first question about seemingly always playing the Padres in extra innings...well, in fact we have faced the Padres 26 times in extra inning affairs (the most of any team) by comparison the next is LA (18 times), followed by Arizona (16 times), and then Washington/Montreal (12 times). In those 26 games the Rox are 14 - 12 (6 - 12 against LA, 7 - 9 against Arizona,and 7 - 4 against Giants).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Game 6 Thoughts

1) After last night's late inning affair the team looked tired. Jimenez was not sharp at all.

2) Rox just aren't playing with any urgency...they seem timid and uninterested.

3) Another two errors...that makes 6 in 6 games. Take a look at this link....pick the Rockies and look at defensive efficiency. Wonder what makes a playoff team?

4) Dexter is fast...he made that triple look easy.

5) Nice line drive by Tulo to score 2...that is what is needed more, timely hitting

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Game 5 Thoughts

1) The Good: Hawpe's two homeruns

2) The Good: Some good defense

3) The Bad: Only 9 hits and three of those were homers

4) The Bad: Twelve strikeouts against a triple A pitching squad

5) The Ugly: All of the above and losing in 14...yikes

Friday, April 9, 2010

Game 4 Thoughts

1) No errors = game win!

2) de la Rosa was freaking awesome...7 innings, 1 hit and even more impressive, 5 inning ending strikeouts...nine total K's

3) Six groundouts to 3B...Stewart was a busy bee

4) Three really close home runs (warning track fly ball and two outfield wall thumps) and then Barmes actually drives it out...funny game

5) When it was 3 - 0 in bottom of 8th I was cringing with the thought of Morales coming in...thankful Rox scored 4 times and Rodgers finished it out

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Game 3 Thoughts

1) So in three games the Rox have 4 errors. Today one of those errors allowed a run, yesterday a passed ball led to run, and on opening day a wild pitch led to a run. On pace for 216 errors!

2) What was up with pitchers and catchers this series? 6 wild pitches and 2 passed balls...

3) Cook struck out the side in the 3rd...

4) Flores, our LOOGY, has faced four batters and allowed two hits and a walk...yikes

5) Pretty good bench lineup today including Giambi, Mora, and Spilborghs

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Game 2 Thoughts

Rox Thoughts:

1) Two home runs in two games...Stewart on pace for 162 home runs!

2) Smith struggled but did have 5 K's. I think he will settle into his role...tough getting the ball 2nd game into it and thinking a week ago you weren't making the team.

3) Bullpen woes...they need to step it could have potentially been tied if Belisle hadn't given up two runs in the 8th.

4) Nice quiet night for Helton...keep getting those hits

5) White courtesy phone, Iannetta...time to wake up...want to bet that Olivo has a huge day tomorrow?

Other Things of Note Today:

1) Atkins played 1B and had one double and one strikeout

Monday, April 5, 2010

Game 1 Thoughts

Rox Thoughts:

1) 5 month lay off didn't bother CarGo...good to see him start off where he left off in playoffs

2) 6 K's from U-Ball...nothing spectacular...but got the win which is what you expect from a number one starter

3) Anyone want to guess what the over/under will be for the average number of relievers Tracy will use per game throughout the season? Five pitchers to get the last 9 outs...

4) Morales is going to make April many heartbeats will I lose watching the 9th inning?

5) Two errors? Early season jitters...I hope, but an awesome stab by Tulo to save a run in the 9th. Wow he got some serious air

Other Things of Note Today:

1) Best call of the day, "Welcome to the Show..." Heyward's Home Run, Braves destroy the Cubs
2) Best play was White Sox's Buehrle's under the legs, glove flip to first for the out

Rox Talk - Let the Games Begin

Enough Talk - Play Ball

Why I Love Baseball - Great article at Hardball Times. Kind of explains to those non baseball lovers why we love this game.

Sports Illustrated Picks for 2010 - Some great articles in the 2010 SI baseball preview issue. Nice piece on Doc Halliday. Hope he gets the ball when he visits Coors this year.

ESPN the Magazine also had some good preview stuff although the SI issue projections were better than ESPN ;-). Although SI was gut, ESPN was more stat driven on expectations. Have to take exception to the use of ZiPS. See the data below obtained from fangraphs. It lists the Rox starters and the projections. The four projections project a run score range of 774 (ZiPS) - 823 (Marcel). Runs allowed ranged from 672 (James) - 750 (ZiPS). Therefore any 100 game simulations would suggest that the Rox will be subpar. Although even with these values the simulations gave the Rox the Division title 24% of the time.

Taking the runs score/runs against (and using adjusted runs based on season AB totals) I get win totals of 94, 88, 90, and 83. Now ZiPS gives us 83 wins (note the Vegas line is 84.5) so go figure. Average gives us 89 wins which I like. Will that be enough? I think so.

Bottom line - Rox just need to be patient, not press due to these high expectations, and try and get a decent April start. At this stage Rox need to put Street and Francis injuries behind them. If they come back fine but the team should not use them as excuses if things get rough...