Monday, December 12, 2011

Rox Talk - Hot Stove Update III

Hard to believe we are midway through December.  MLB rosters start to take shape as the Big Chips start to fall setting the market for the lower level Free Agents.  Over the last few weeks the Rox have filled some gaps. Gone from the 2009 playoff team are Iannetta (to Angels), Stewart (to Cubs), and Street (to San Diego).  Additions are Tyler Colvin (from Cubs), Kevin Slowey (from Twins), and some players to be named later.  According to Cot's Contracts, Rox have about $52 million in obligations for 2012.  They had an opening payroll of $82 million last year so Rox have some money to play with but I don't think there is a whole lot out there.  Talk is about going after Cuddyer but realistically at this point looking to 2012, I don't think this team is playoff contender.  Not to be negative but this team, with the hope that young players develop, could be pretty awesome in 2013.  With a big three rotation of de la Rosa, Pomeranz, and Chacin, an upcoming 3B in Arenado, a catcher in Rosario, with Tulo and CarGo backing up some youngsters (?).  

Hard to swallow that 2012 might be a "rebuilding" year but looking towards the 2013 free agent class there really isn't a bankable outfielder so maybe Cuddyer is a good bet.  Going to take a bunch of cash to persuade him to leave Minnesota.  If we can't pry Cuddyer away, I am happy with Smith.  He has done whatever the Rox have asked him to do and if Tracy would just let him bat against some lefties, who knows maybe he might be more than just a platoon type player.

Some random thoughts:

1)  Will it be a curse sending Street to San Diego?  Or has the players in field seen enough of his stuff that they will go after him?  At least I don't have to cringe anymore...

2)  Where did Florida errr I mean Miami suddenly come up with the cash to even think about prying Pujols away?  I realize you get a new ballpark but that is crazy money

3)  Hard to believe Angels came up with a 10 year deal for is that going to look in 2022?

4)  Best of luck to Jerry DiPoto...I would say he went all in with landing Pujols and Wilson (and Iannetta), now better pray you make the playoffs with that kind of coin...

5)  I think the real steal will be whoever lands Fielder...that is a 10 year deal worth it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Coors Field Hangover - Debunked (Part II)?

Last week I looked into whether a "hangover" effect existed after Rox returned from a road looking at both the offense and comparing this to what our pitchers (or the other offense) did.  Based on standard stats like hits, walks, strikeouts, on-base percentage, slugging, and BABIP, it would seem that whatever effect might exist, it effects both offenses (and pitchers) from both dugouts and that Rox are really not being penalized by returning home to altitude.  The only real visible effect was that as a homestand increases the Rox winning percentage increases although one can debate the statistical significance of the wins as homestands lasting 8 - 10 games are rare (38 times over the last 5 seasons).

Building on this data my next logical question might be is whether the length of the road trip (i.e. number of games played, not days) effects the same stats we looked at previously.  One has to wonder the longer the team travels and becomes accustomed to thicker air does the return to thin air matter?  In the period from 2007 - 2011 Rox returned from a road trip 59 times with a length ranging from 2 - 11 games with more than half being approximately 6 games or less.  In that period they had two 11 games trips.  In these 59 games, Rox won 33 games for a winning percentage of 0.559 versus a 0.576 winning percentage over those five years.  

The first graph simply graphs average number of hits, walks, and strikouts versus the length of the road trip.  No real significance or trends really on this data.  The only data point that might raise an eyebrow is that strikeouts tend to decrease upon returning home the longer the trip is (?).  Probably just small sample size...
Average number of hits, walks, and strikeout after returning  from X number of road trip games
The next graph shows the percentages.  Pretty consistent suggesting that road trip length really doesn't effect offense too much.
OBP, SLG, and BABIP after returning from X number of road trip games
The next graph is our offense versus our pitcher's performance against the length of the road trip.  Again the data for the most part mirors one another.  Our pitchers don't seem to care much about their loss of air and some bite on their pitches.  Strikouts again so some unusual trends but regardless of the road trip length the team coming into Coors to face our pitchers is perhaps at a bigger disadvantage because they might only come into Denver once a year?
Offense and Pitching differences after returning from X number of road trip games
Final graph is Rox winning percentage in those games after returning.   Basically just ho-hum and scattered data.  Being on the road doesn't seem to matter all that much...

Winning Percentage
Final little tidbit is what do the numbers look like when a team is either returning from the East or West Coasts?  Another peculiarity of the Rox is that they are the only team in the Mountain Time Zone (OK Arizona is there early in April).  Anyway it seems the Rox do a whole lot better flying East.  Or it could be Rox just hate California pitching and monstrous ballparks!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Coors Field Hangover - Debunked (Part I)?

Coors Field has existed for 17 years. Born in the age of steroids Coors Field has never shaken it's past, even with the advent of the humidor. According to ESPN's ball park factors, Coors Field ranked third in runs scored in 2007 with a 1.16 factor or 16% more runs scored then at an average park (behind Fenway and Wrigley); 2008 Coors was third with a 1.126 factor (behind Chase and Ballpark in Arlington); 2009 Coors was first with a 1.247 factor; again in 2010 Coors was first with a 1.364 factor; and in 2011 Coors was second with a 1.347 factor (behind Ballpark in Arlington). Clearly Coors Field is still a place where runs are not a premium!  In the end, humidor or not, you can't add air and thus batted balls tend to travel 9% farther then at sea level (according to the Rox official website).

In addition to the ball traveling farther, giving the offense a boost, the pitchers have their own trouble because balls tend not to move as much in the thinner air.  So ultimately a perfect storm arrives when the ball and bat meet at home plate.  In the past, the Rox seemed to have the advantage when playing at Coors Field, where they have won more than 57% of their games from 1995 - 2010 versus 40% away.  In 2011 the opposite seemed true as opponents took advantage and Rox only finished 38-43 at home versus 35-46 on the road.  Over the years the effects of Coors Field has been debated especially in regards to a "hangover" effect that might exist when Rox return after a road trip.  My question then -- is there such a thing?

In this specific installment, I am looking at the games played from 2007 - 2011 (recent).  In future installments I will look at 2002 - 2006 (Gen R) and the 1995 - 2001 (pre-humidor).  To begin, is there a break in period for the offense when they return?  I have sorted through the Rox schedule and annotated games played since returning from a road trip.  First game back is Game 1 followed by Game 2 etc.  I then compiled each of the stats for "Game 1" and so forth.  Comparing these compiled stats should reveal the differences between the Rox offense when they first get home and after they adjust to the intricacies of Coors Field.  The graph below shows the average number of hits, walks, and strikeouts for all Game 1's (i.e. all Game 1 data during the season following a road trip) through Game 10.  Averages are used due to the fact that there were 59 Game 1's versus only 8 Game 10's.
Average number of hits, walks, and strikeouts for games after returning from a road trip
While both hits and strikeouts show a very small upward trend, the differences aren't overly dramatic. What is interesting is how Game 4 and Game 8 show a decrease.  Have to wonder if this isn't related to a new team coming into town and showing a different pitching philosophy (?).  Besides these average values what about percentages?  The graph below shows on base, slugging, and BABIP.
Percentages for games after returning from a road trip

Again nothing dramatic except for a Game 4 downturn in which slugging percentage seems to dive (this is a relative nose dive as the slugging percentage for Game 3s is 0.474 and Game 4s is 0.428 which over 50 games is about 3 bases!).  One has to wonder (and perhaps conclude) that not only do the Rox have to adjust but the team coming in does as well and whatever hangover might exist it is neither advantageous to the Rox or the opposition.  Although looking at the Win Loss column below it does appear Rox settle in and teams coming in later during a home stand are at a disadvantage.  Do note that Games 7 - 10 only amount to 69 total games of the 399 home games played after a road trip (Home games starting the season were not counted).
Winning percentage when returning from a road trip
To further coincide with my comment about both teams having a disadvantage when coming to Denver, the graph below includes not only the offense hits, walks, strikeouts (shown in the first graph above) but also now includes what the opposition is doing in sequential games.  It should be noted that the opposition's numbers are only for our pitching staff and not broken down by different team game numbers.  Eerily, hits and strikeouts are fairly consistent but Rox do show some advantage in the walk department.
Rox offense versus pitching when returning from a road trip
Overall the numbers don't appear to show a "hangover" effect when Rox return from a road trip.  Whatever effect exists seems to show up in both teams as they cope with the altitude.  While the raw numbers don't show that the Rox get comfortable, their winning percentage, the longer the home stand lasts seems to favor some sort of positive effect.

Part II will see if the length of the road trip plays a role in the Rox offense and pitching and whether flying east or west matters...

Rox Talk - Hot Stove Updates II

NL MVP Award
Just like last week here is the quick and dirty look at the NL MVP Award over the last ten years.

Ave of Vote Pts Sum of 1st Place Sum of WAR
NL Central 80 146 511.9
NL East 54 64 548.5
NL West 72 142 453.0

NL Central gets a boost since the last decade has been the Age of Pujols.  Here are the Top 15 vote getters over that same period.

Sum of Vote Pts Sum of 1st Place Sum of WAR
Albert Pujols 3085 85 88.7
Barry Bonds 1719 114 47.4
Ryan Howard 1114 32 20.3
Lance Berkman 901 0 37.1
Prince Fielder 727 6 17.2
Ryan Braun 591 20 21.8
Joey Votto 582 31 16.6
Jimmy Rollins 409 16 20.7
Matt Holliday 406 11 23.7
Andruw Jones 402 13 24.8
Sammy Sosa 394 2 19.8
David Wright 388 0 27.3
Troy Tulowitzki 386 0 23.1
Matt Kemp 381 10 15.7
Derrek Lee 342 1 16.4

And who says the Cardinal lineup was weak last year?  Cards have three players in the Top 15!

AL MVP Thoughts
First off I think it was great that a pitcher got the MVP.  I think that the argument that pitcher's have their own award should eliminate them from MVP is silly.  Pitchers are players too and just because they only go out there every 5th day doesn't mean they can't be every bit as valuable as an everyday player.  Just because the Silver Slugger or Hank Aaron awards for the offense positions don't mean as much as the Cy Young shouldn't be held against the pitchers.  Anyway my take on the every 5th day argument is this:

Forget the consecutive days argument, what about batter's faced for pitchers versus plate appearances for offensive players.  Looking at Verlander and Ellsbury then Verlander faced 969 batters and Ellsbury had 732 plate appearances.  Even though Verlander only pitched in 34 games he had more plate time then any of the offensive players.  And in those plate appearances Verlander actually had to perform physical labor with every pitch whereas the offensive players might swing at half the pitches they see (?).  

OK so maybe the 34 games is still a sticking point but what about some sort of counting method for actual "activity" when in a  game.  For instance Verlander was physically involved in the throwing of 3955 pitches in his 34 games.  Meanwhile Ellsbury saw 2818 pitches.  In addition to this he had 388 put outs in the field so there is some more "activity".  He was also on base approximately 273 times (H + BB + HBP) and if the average pitches per plate appearance was around 4 (2011 Red Sox saw 25422 pitches in 6430 plate appearances) and then Ellsbury was sort of active on a base for probably another 1000 or so pitches.  So an easy guestimate is that Ellsbury was "active" for about 4206 pitches (i.e. either at the plate, making a catch in the field, or getting lead or stealing while on base).  

Bottom line Verlander was involved in 3955 pitches and Ellsbury was directly involved in 4206 pitches.  And I don't count standing out in the field chewing seeds and watching the pitcher pitch as being an "active" participant!  Therefore I think pitchers, while they might only be in 30-35 games they are "actively" more involved in that game then a position player and in the end they are just as "actively" involved when looking at the entire season of work.

Collective Bargaining Agreement
Time will tell on the new agreement.  A lot of people who are a whole lot smarter think this will hurt the small market teams.  This post was kind of an eye opener for me as the Rox don't appear to spend anything like a small market club.  On the amateur draft they were 23rd in spending at $24.5 million (only their small market brethren, the Twins and Marlins spent less) and internationally they were 16th in spending at $1.9 million (the Rays, Reds, D-Backs, Marlins, Orioles, and Nats spent less).  So while I thought Rox might be hurt by this new CBA it appears to me at least that they aren't really currently playing the small market theory of trying to win and looking at their minor league rosters one can tell!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rox Talk - Hot Stove Update, Cy Young Too

Hot Stove Update
Winter meetings have come and gone and all Rox did was sign a Los Angeles Angel cast off in Brandon Wood.  A former first rounder who has the ability to play 3B, SS, and 1B and has a 0.186 batting average in 272 major league games.  Hard to imagine that Wiggington will be playing for the Rox next year with Wood in the pocket and Pacheco in the fold (minor update:  Wiggy got sent to Philadelphia for a PTBNL).

Players continue to flirt with the Rox but in the end I think they are just using us to get what they really want.  Sizemore appears ready to re-up with the Indians.  Prado still seems an option but it really makes no sense in why the Braves would let a multi-utility player go when you have an aging 3B in Chipper Jones.  It seems they want a center fielder and while Rox have dangled Seth Smith, again which doesn't make sense for the Braves has they have a right fielder in Heyward.  Guess it will come down to how much Rox think they need either a 2B/3B versus Dexter Fowler.  Has Fowler turned a corner?  Couple of stints in the minors over the last few years kind of indicates that perhaps he still doesn't get it.  With him becoming arbitration eligible in 2012 and having Scott Boras as his agent maybe letting him return to his hometown for a infielder wouldn't be such a bad idea?  Time will tell...

Finally while it is nice that Oswalt has shown some interest in coming to Coors, I think ultimately the Rox chance of signing him is slim and none!  Again the lack of any real arms in the league and the need out there among all kinds of teams would lead me to believe that once again he will show interest but in the end sign elsewhere.  Humidor baseball still hasn't connected with free agent pitchers...

Finally it seems that baseball is safe for another 5 years without interruption due to players and management coming to an agreement.  Hard to believe with all the labor strife in professional athletics that MLB is suddenly the Rock of Gibraltar!  Included in this was the sale of the Astros and their moving to the AL West in 2013.  Each league will now have 15 teams which then forces inter league to occur every week.  Also an added Wild Card will be added to each league forcing both Wild Card teams to play a one game sudden death with the winner then going on to play one the three Division Leaders.

Cy Young Results
With Clayton Kershaw winning a Cy Young that makes it the 7th time in the last 10 years that a pitcher in the NL West claimed the prize.  Only Roy Halladay, Chris Carpenter, and Rogers Clemens have broken the mold.  It should also be noted that 6 NL West pitchers have finished second.  Some numbers over the last 10 years:

Maybe the fact that 3 of the better pitching parks in baseball reside in the NL West?  Either way Rox offense day in and day out do face some monsters.  Lucky us we get to play our oppenents 18 times a year!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rox Talk - Hot Stove Ignites

First thing - a big congrats to Tulo for winning another Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. I think as fans who see a player everyday we tend to forget that Tulo, up to this point, is potentially one of the Top 10 shortstops of all time. Certainly the greatest shortstop playing the game right now and while I am sure he is happy about the hardware I think he would have rather been playing in October. The question now is whether the Rox can find that missing something to get the team back to playoff contention. And getting us into contention is the big question Rox management has to sort through.  Just has a starting point Rox are currently 25 to 1 to win the 2012 World Series.

After just two short weeks, the hot stove is heating up as we have seen the Giants rid themselves of a pitcher, Jonathan Sanchez, for Melky Cabrera. Like everyone in the league, the Giants are looking for some more offense. They scored 570 runs last year which ranked 16th in the NL. While I indicated last week I thought the Rox hadn't scored very well last year they actually were 2nd in the NL with 735. So maybe our offense sputtered a bit but perhaps I am being too hard on them. Of course looking at the graph below shows how in comparable sense (their last 18 years) that maybe we are looking at a new "dead" ball era!
Graph shows the average projected runs scored over the last 18 years with the blue being the average and the error bars being the standard deviation.  Around Game 36, the Rox seemed to tanked and skimmed along as the lowest scoring offense in Rox history!
The other two big deals was Papelbon going to the Phillies and Jamey Carroll, who supposedly was on the Rox radar, signing with the Twins on a two year deal.  Over at the Purple Rox, Jeff Aberle does a fantastic job laying out what the Rox might do over the off season.  While his opening line is somewhat tongue in cheek, if you also follow Troy Renck he also sees how frustrating it is to be a Rox fan because it seems free agents flirt with us but at the end of the day either more money or some sexier reason exists for them to stand us up at the foothills.  Why do we have such a hard time finding that free agent.  From all accounts the Rox are a good clubhouse with a good amount of talent.  Playing in the NL West, with no dominant teams, allows each team to be competitive and have a chance.  Has the humidor worked against us?  Now that we play in a more pitcher friendly park do players not even bother?  I think it is reasonable to think you can build your team through the draft but eventually holes have to filled and if Rox can't fill these holes it might be another long season next year!

Oh and this in...Tulo's not the only one who gets awards...Seth Smith steps up and is the Most Average Position Player of 2011.  Let's hear it for Smith!

Also check out MLB Network's Clubhouse Confidential.  Great new show with a new in your face take on numbers.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rox Talk - Break Time Over

My month long hiatus is over.  Time to get back to the blog.  My official endpoint for the season is when the Rocky Mountain SABR has had their end of the year banquet.  SABR is a fantastic baseball group bringing together a lot of different baseball takes.  Last night was the 14th annual version of the end of the year gathering.  This year's guest speakers were Rob Neyer, SBNation, and John Thorn, MLB Historian.

Rob Neyer talked about his meandering journey to becoming a baseball writer.  From a diehard Royal fan, to discovering SABR, and then finally interning with Bill James.  This then launched his career into book writing and a stint at and finally the National Baseball Editor for SBNation.  A fascinating point that Rob made that I had forgotten before the age of internet was when teams played late night games on the West Coast the morning papers normally didn't have box scores for that game and you had to wait for the night edition of the town's competing paper.  Wow how times have changed with instantaneous box scores!  We are spoiled by the information at our fingertips...of course this could be a curse too...

The evening's final speaker was John Thorn who was appointed the MLB official game historian.  Plugging his new book, Baseball in the Garden Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, Thorn gave a nice presentation on the misleading origin of baseball from the early 20th Century Mill Commission to the recent Commission put together by Selig this year.  Fascinating talk and he even had some early Denver baseball stories recalling that the probable first profession game in Denver was in October 1888 when the Spalding All Star team arrived in town and played at the old Riverfront Park.  The All Stars won 16-12 with Cap Anson having two triples.  Couple of good quotes by Thorn and I paraphrase (I'm not that fast of a writer), "Cooperstown is the wrong place but a swell place" and a general quote on why baseball is the American Pastime because it "connects boys and girls with their parents"  Also Thorn used the word sagacity (or acuteness of mental discernment and soundness of judgement)!  As aside, to me baseball is in our DNA.  It isn't the most popular or talked about sport but it flows along quietly as the unseen current in the river that is American History!

A nice night by all and now that 2011 is officially closed what can we learn from 2,429 games that were played?

1.  First and foremost...if you can stay within striking distance by September you can still get to the Playoffs...Tampa and St Louis proved this.
2.  If you can get into the playoffs the second season starts and all bets are off.  Your 162 game record means nothing!
3.  You can lose you second best pitcher and still win the World Series (no excuses Rox...)
4.  Baseball is confounding!  Numbers in short series really don't matter...thanks for playing Phillies, your three headed pitching monster meant nothing.
5.  Good managers can make teams better (LaRussa and Gibson)

And now what can I say about our team?  I have remarked about this once or twice before but this has to be the most disappointing team in Rox history.  For a team that was marked to win its first division title it got nowhere.  Some thoughts:

1.  Rox were unlucky!  Looking at their pythagorean W-L record it suggested that they were a 77-85  team...not a whole lot better but something...
2.  Rox were 38-43 at home!  In their history they have averaged 44-45 wins at home.  Last two seasons they won 51 and 52 respectively.  This season they outscored their opponents at home 439-427.  Thus they were 4 wins short of what they were expected to win.  Still accounting for this they were still 2-3 wins off their average.
3.  Rox played well on the road winning 35 games which was their 4th highest in history and three games better than their average
4.  May was just brutal.  Looking at the pythagorean W-L they were pretty unlucky.  September was also cruel as Rox have always had a good end of the year performance

Rox Historical vs 2011 Winning Percentage
5.  Rox starting pitching took 68 losses which is about 9 losses more than historical average.  Bullpen was 20-21.  Historical average is about 24-24.  Guess this just meant Rox starters were behind early and didn't have a lot of comebacks.  Only had 5 walk off wins and 41 comeback wins.
6.  Gave up 176 home runs with 101 of those coming at home.  
7.  Rox scored the least amount of runs in their history at 735.  The inability to score runs and the lack of offense was an eye opener especially with a team of Tulo and CarGo.  Kind of shows you that to win requires 9 guys!  Simple graph but always good to score more runs than your opponents and you tend to make the playoffs...duh
Runs Scored vs Runs Agains (2000-2011).  Playoff teams in Red and Rox historical in Purple (excluding 94-95 seasons)
8.  No excuses but injuries did hurt the Rox this year.  Inconsistent lineups and players finding their roles not to mention no production at second and third bases.
9.  Great year by Helton, Iannetta, Tulo, CarGo, and Giambi.  Average years by Smith, Wiggington, and Ellis.  Not so good by Fowler, Stewart, and Spilly.  Rox really need some more raw power at the plate.  Need to find their home mojo...teams aren't afraid of Coors and Rox really seem hesitant at home.
10.  Starting pitching was just a struggle especially with U-Ball starting slow and de la Rosa injury.  Chacin and Hammel showed that they are consistently inconsistent.  Cook farewell tour was painful.  Rogers isn't a starter.   Nicasio looks to be something if he can come back.  Bullpen was adequate.
11.  Role and bench players are not good.  Seems like the Rox have a lot of AAAA players especially in the minors and they just can't reach the conclusion that they aren't going to be everyday MLB players...

Overall Rox have something to build on.  Granted they were bad but I don't think as bad as the final record showed.  Of course bottom line they didn't take the next step.  Next year they will have a lot of new faces and some leadership has to step up to suggest that losing 89 games isn't acceptable.  Big mountain to climb is where are they going to find 17 wins next year?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 162

1) In a meaningless game Rox do finally win one in San Fran.  It was a nice way to finish and hopefully a building block to next year

2)  In other news Game 162s in other parts of the country played out like a well scripted adventure/mystery/tragedy novel.  Some quotes from last night

Joe Posnanski, "I’ve written this before: I never argue with people who say that baseball is boring, because baseball is boring. And then, suddenly, it isn’t. And that’s what makes it great."

And an epic closing, "The Braves failed to score. Papelbon blew the lead. Longoria homered in the 12th. Elation. Sadness. Mayhem. Champagne. Sleepless fury. Never been a night like it. Funny, if I was trying to explain baseball to someone who had never heard of it, I wouldn’t tell them about Wednesday night. No, it seems to me that Wednesday night isn’t what makes baseball great. It’s all the years you spend waiting for Wednesday night that makes baseball great."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 161

1) OK I realize Alex White is a work in progress at 22 but what was the value of getting him into the majors this year so that he started 7 games (pitch 36.1 innings) and get shelled to the tune of 48 hits and 12 home runs?  This could needs another good year in AA and to think realistically they think he is going to be in the rotation next slogan Tulo and the Toddlers Part II

2)  Rox are 4-13 against the Giants this year.  They have scored 53 runs against them...and only 10 runs in San Fran...that is just plain frightening

3)  Nightmare for this game...Top of the 2nd runner's on 1st and 3rd, no one out and the next three batters strikeout...what more can you say to symbolize the season for offensive woes...and after that only one more hit the rest of the night

4)  Thankfully the season is almost done and we are not Red Sox and Braves fans!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 160

- A series of might have some parallel universe Rox and Giants are fighting it out for the NL West title this week...

- Chacin has a nice finish to a very inconsistent year.  Finishes the year at 11-14 with ERA of 3.62 and 194 innings pitched.

- Sure will be nice if Rox can resign Ellis have not have a black hole at second base to begin the 2012 if we can find a third baseman

- Giant's pitcher Vogelsong owes some of his success to the Rox has he finished the year 4-0 against us...

- While it is a quiet end of September baseball in Colorado, I'm glad I'm not a Boston or Atlanta fan...of course on the flip side at least these two teams are in a position to fail...question then is it better to be in the playoff hunt or to get chased down in the final week?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rox Talk - Week 26

Flip Flop Fly Ball, a blog by Craig Robinson, had an entry on well-known players and what they accomplished with their first and last at bats. What about some famous Rox?

Larry Walker 1. 2B7 ------------- 4795. Backwards K
Matt Holliday 1. BB ------------- 2968. BB
Vinny Castilla 1. 4-3 -------------- 4451. 1B8
Andres Galarraga 1. 1B8 --------- 2924. 1B7
Dante Bichette 1. F9 --------------- 4351. 1B8
Eric Young 1. 2-3 ----------------- 2450. BB
Brad Hawpe 1. 1B8 ------------- 3107. 1B8

Box Score Bytes - Game 159

1) 25 hits! 19 runs!  Wow

2) Even Rox pitchers got into it with Millwood going deep again.  4th pitcher with 2 HRs this season in majors.  5th Rox pitcher to have a multiple HR season...still a ways to go to reach Hampton's 2001 record of 7!

3) Six Rockies had at least 3 hits, another club record

4) It was the 4th road game of 20+ hits in Rockies history; they've had 25 such games at home.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 158

1) Game 158 for the Rox was a baseball milestone.  According to this was the 200,000 game played in MLB history...not exactly a milestone worthy matchup but that is baseball...

2)  Bad luck Hammel?  Last seven appearances he has an ERA of 1.85 but only has one win (two starts, 5 relief appearances)

3) Pacheco has has a nice quiet September...real question is when the book comes out on him will he continue his success?  Unlike Stewart...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 157

1)  Read someone's tweet last night wondering if the team was pressing or perhaps our prized prospects aren't ready for the big lights...frightening thing is that if they aren't ready, six month off season isn't going to get them there...we could be in real trouble next year

2)  Why is Iannetta ripped?  The guy has had a decent year.  Really as a catcher you need to call a good game, hold opponents run game in check, and be serviceable at the plate.  No one expects him to be the second coming of Piazza...

3)  Not good when your opponent gets a hit in their first 6 at bats (first time ever in 49 year history of the Astros)

4)  In other news D-Backs win the division behind batting coach Don Baylor.  Good on him, it's too bad what Rox did to him last year running him out of town.  I get the strong suspicion based on Lansford crappy performance that perhaps its not the coaches but the players...

5)  9 losses with 5 games to go...maybe they can strive not only to lose 14 but then tank it so they can finish in the cellar...on the brightside the D-Backs were in the cellar last year and won the division!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 156

1) Corrigan made a comment tonight indicating he thought our hurlers were allowing their counterparts to reach base a lot this year (includes hits, walks, HBP, and reach on error).  This is as good as any other reason for Rox failures this year but sadly numbers don't seem to be that conclusive although the percentage of those pitchers reaching base and scoring is certainly up this year.  Thing is everyone is scoring on the Rox!

Year PA Reached R HR
2011 362 75 27 2
2010 348 58 10 0
2009 344 61 15 0
2008 367 72 23 0
2007 337 63 18 1
2006 360 63 18 0
2005 384 71 20 0
2004 382 74 38 2
2003 371 78 28 4
2002 381 76 29 2
Average 364 69 23 1
2) Kouzmanoff finally gets his first round tripper...kind of surprising he didn't get one at Coors...oh yeah our offense doesn't exist at home...

3) Another struggling start for White who is this Generations (if we aren't Gen R anymore what are we with this group?) Francis or Cook.  Just what we need is another nibbler who can't overpower any one.  Oh where are you power pitchers?  That's right in Cleveland!

4) By the way this could be touted as the worst series in the history of baseball...sometimes you have to wonder if the players couldn't just roll some dice, split the series, and move on to the offseason...can a MLB forfeit?

5)  Just call White...Wild Thing III (Charlie Sheen would be I and Mitch Williams II) as he hit two batters and had two wild pitches

6)  And it looks like Helton's 2011 season is over...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 155

1)  Worse home stand in the history of the Rox...that says a think Rox had never been fully swept in their history and then to go down like this.  I've said it before but this team needs some home swagger...teams no longer fear Coors and sometimes I wonder if Rox fear their home more than others...

2)  In addition to the pathetic finish the Rox finished the year at home 38-43.  Heck they managed 39 wins during their first season in baseball!  Over 19 years they have won on average 44 games at home...

3)  The 439 runs scored is the second lowest total (2008 Rox scored 411).

4)  Quote I am tired of seeing, "Our center fielder is really starting to figure out who the heck he is..."  Yeah bring this back up next April...and of course you could take out center fielder and put in catcher and/or third base

5)  From Jim Armstrong this morning...Rox were 1-36 after 8 innings at Coors...where is that LoDo magic?

6)  Not quite the send off we had hoped for by Aaron Cook...Cookie deserves a spot on the Mt Rushmore of Rox pitching.  Anyone who can walk away from this game and say they lasted 10 seasons at Coors Field says something.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 154

1)  From the yeah we know quote department, "It's an embarrassment.  This season has been an utter disappointment." - Dan O'Dowd, which leads me to wonder why this man still has a job?  Under his tenure Rox are 852-931 with an average place in the division at almost 4th.

2)  How important is it for Rox to figure out their own division?  27-40 in the division, 43-43 against everyone else...

3)  Not for sure if this was anything of note but 10 of the 19 strikeouts in the game last night were looking...Betancourt struck out the side in the 9th with three called strikeouts

4) Starting line up salaries for the Rox last night 1) EY Jr - minor league  2) Ellis - Some part of $6M 3) Fowler - $424,000 4) Smith - $429,000 5) Pacheco - minor league 6) Kouzmanoff - Some part of $4.75M 7) Rosario - minor league 8) Field - minor league 9) Chacin - $419,000  WOW cheap date last night

5)  Latos goes 123 pitches and an almost complete game...unheard of!

6)  Tommy Field made two great plays at short getting the third out each time...then promptly came to the plate...doesn't it seem like that happens a lot...Skip Carey, the former Braves announcer, use to always comment on that...

7)  Rox bottom of the 8th summed up the year...Man on 1st and 3rd, down by two runs, only one out and pinch hitter strikes out and EY ground outs to runs :(

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 153

1)  When will it end?

2)  It seems to me other teams just fade away but with our Rox they seem to go down in a spectacular spiraling fiery death...last 5 home games Rox have given up 8, 9, 6, 12, and 8 runs to two teams who have been offensively challenged all season.

3)  Millwood would eventually come back to earth after a somewhat spectacular late season push for a possible starting role in 2012.

4)  Rox held to one hit for the second time this year...but this one was at Coors.  Last night was a 12 strikeout performance from our AA field team.  Where are you Don Baylor...oh yeah helping revitalize and soon to be NL West winning D-Backs.

5)  Rox will finish under 0.500 at home for only the 4th time in their history.  Rox have no swagger left at home anymore...teams come in loving it...and it seems Rox have forgotten their innate advantage.

6) Has management tried so hard to get a team more tailored to hit on the road and play small ball that it no longer has the tools to bash opponents at home?

7)  Rox are only 4 1/2 out of being in the NL West this rate let's shoot for real infamy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rox Talk - Week 25

The Week That Was
A 1-5 week against the Brewers and Giants. The Rox currently stand at 70-82.  Seventeen and half games behind the D-Backs for the division lead in fourth place. Currently 38-40 at home and 32-42 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 722-694 (expected wins is 73 versus historical wins at 70). On pace for 75 wins with 740 runs scored and 770 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.96 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Is this the most disappointing team in Rox history?  To me there are eerily similarities between this team and the 2008 team.  In 2008, Rox were coming off their World Series run and besides having the same team intact went out and finished with 74 wins.  This year, with even greater expectations based on the Tulo, CarGo, de la Rosa signings, this team was certain to compete with Giants (4-11 head to head so far) and maybe win their first division title.  In both years expectations shackled the team and obviously this year's team has dealt with injuries.

Going into the season the expectations were that the offense would be OK.  This turned out to be wrong.  Team never seemed to get on track.  CarGo struggled out of the gate, Dex again spent time in the minors, Stewart was a complete bust, second base a black hole, and Smith, a very average player, did OK but Rox need more power from their outfield.  Tulo had his moments and frighteningly still had a monster year, imagine some consistency and some consistency around him in the batting order (?). In the end only Helton had a year worth remembering.

Pitching was to be the mainstay with U-Ball, de la Rosa, Chacin, Hammel, and Rogers/Cook.  And for the most part pitching was the reason for the monster start with some timely hitting.  But U-Ball never got on track, de la Rosa got hurt, Chacin still too young to be anchoring a staff, and well Hammel is Hammel.  He will get you 10-12 wins and lose 10-12.  Rogers/Cook never really settled in due to injuries.  In the end this year will be blamed on the Staff and injuries due to this Staff.

Bullpen was OK.  Had a rough patch middle of the season and of course the roller coaster ride that is Huston Street but at least in the off season management doesn't have to worry too much about the relief corp. As a fan this season hurt the most.  2008 we were still feeding off the World Series.  It has been a long 4 years now and this season was supposed to be different...problem is will 2012 truly be any different?

Box Score Bytes - Game 152

1)  Rox are currently 4-11 against the Giants this year with one more series to close out the year.  In these 15 games the Rox have given up 74 runs or about 5 runs per game.  Up to yesterday the Giants have only scored 541 runs total...take out the Rox games and this team averages 3 runs per game!  Three of their top runs scored games have come at Coors where they have scored 61 runs in 10 games!

2)  Rox have been swept in a 4 game series 16 times in their history (only 3 times at home).  This marked the 4th tim and second time by the Giants (Arizona and Atlanta have done it as well).

3)  On the bright side this is the last Sunday game at home this year.  Rox went 3-9 on Sundays

4)  Giants had six homers and the Panda had two in one inning!

5)  With the loss Rox will have first losing season since 2008, another season filled with high hopes.

6)  The only thing I can hope for at this point is that Giants continue making a run for the D-Backs and maybe Rox can spoil their plans in San Fran

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 151

1)  I am sorry but I haven't forgiven or gotten over Street's blown saves during the 2009 playoffs.  Coming home with a 1-1 tie with Philly and Street took the loss on both games here in Colorado.  Since then I cringe whenever he comes into a game.  Last night was no different

2)  Of course Tracy likes to talk about the integrity of the game and making sure you don't help teams down the stretch but at this point who can't you stand more...the Giants or D-Backs.  Heck with 3 games left in San Fran the Rox could actually put it to either team...

3)  And to think I thought the hero of the game was Dex who had a two run single in the bottom of the sixth to move the Rox in front 3-2...

4)  For a team who has had troubled scoring runs, the Giants have taken batting practice this series...there was another two triples the series they have hit 5 homers, 6 doubles, and 3 triples...

5)  On the bright side Pacheco has a seven game hit streak

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 150

1)  How bad was that loss?  Giants whose starting lineup batting averages were 0.240, 0.288, 0.297, 0.305, 0.248, 0.217, 0.194, 0.207, 0.127 scored 9 runs!

2)  Cook, who was getting some work, before his final start in a Rox uniform on Wednesday had his first relief appearance since September 2003, unless you count his marvelous 3 inning putting in the All Star game!

3)  Don't know what was up with the wind or perhaps it was where I was sitting but some of those homers, especially Ross's in the 5th looked sort of pathetic...homers should be titanic blast not lazy flies

4)  Beltran returns, thankfully he didn't repeat his 5/12/11 Mets appearance!

5)  Certain guys just seem to kill the Rox...Huff is one of them and so his Blake from LA...

6)  Question of the often do two out walks lead to runs?

7)  Smith has 15 quiet homers...where does he fit in especially next year?

8)  And finally Tommy Field has a great name and plays a decent SS

9)  And who wants to be in the 2012 lineup?  Rookies had 6 of the 9 hits last night

Friday, September 16, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 149

1) Pablo Sandoval, aka the Panda, hits for the cycle.  The lumbering giant got to third on an almost well played ball by CarGo but instead rolls to the wall.  The tenth cycle at Coors, fourth by an opponent, and second in all of MLB this year.  There is a Kung Fu Panda joke somewhere in all of this...

2) Rox are 4-7 against Giants so far this year...what is it with the Giants and Rox inability to beat them?

3)  Two errors by two rookies in the second lead to 3 runs and how much did the Rox lose by?  Yup amazing and I wonder how many games teams lose because the runs they gave up to errors is the amount they lose by?

4)  What is the point of allowing Chacin to pitch?  Shut him down for Opening Day is painful to watc

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 148

1) So I was whining about two out hits yesterday and wondered if the data actually played just plain 2 outs situations Rox had 1853 plate appearances and had 398 hits (21%).  Compare this to zero outs (1941 PA, 454 hits) and one outs (1890 PA, 445 hits) and it would suggest two outs isn't that special.  Then if you look at the data with two outs and RISP then you have 739 PA with 148 hits (20%) which is essentially what you have with two outs and no ducks on the pond...

2) Rox finished the season series with Milwaukee at 3-6.

3) Glad I'm not a Brewer fan...with Fielder leaving and K-Rod angry...who knew they were in the playoff hunt?

4)  Wonder if the Red Sox wished they had held onto Millwood?  The man has been a beast since returning, four quality starts...sure he ain't the Millwood of hold but he gives you 6-7 innings and a chance to win...that is all you can ask for in today's game

5)  CarGo homers again and Rosario goes deep for his 2nd all time homer

6) Eliezer Alfonzo, who?  He plays for the Rox? Yeah well not anymore after testing positive for something banned...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 147

1)  Rox fall to 3-8 in extra inning games.  And to think our bullpen has been fairly consistent this year...they have a 19-20 record.

2)  Rox give up two lousy homers and they themselves go 1 for 11 in scoring opportunities. Top of the 11th has been typical of this year and last for that matter.  Runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs and the inability to get a key hit...this is why Baylor was let go last winter...have to start putting blame on the team at this stage..

3)  Ellis gets thrown out at the plate twice!

4)  CarGo becomes the 2nd Rox to have a 20 HR/20 SB season...Bichette did it as well

2012 Schedule

Thanks to ESPN, here is the Rox schedule next year.

1)  Open in Houston!
2)  Opening Day is on a Monday (three day weekend!) against San Fran
3)  Interleague at home we get Seattle (Ichiro!), Angels (always tough), and Oakland (Beane Ball)
4)  Interleague away we get Detroit (again...) and Texas (hot!)
5)  Close out the year in Arizona and close out Coors with the Cubs (finally, hate April Cubs games)
7)  Trip from Hell I - Detroit, Philly, and Texas (three really good playoff teams...ughhh, that could be the season right there)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rox Talk - Week 24

The Week That Was
A 3-3 week against the D-Backs and Reds. The Rox currently stand at 69-77.  Fifteen and half games behind the D-Backs for the division lead in fourth place. Currently 38-36 at home and 31-41 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 683-671 (expected wins is 72 versus historical wins at 69). On pace for 77 wins with 745 runs scored and 758 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.98 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

With the white flag officially raised, late 2011 (or really early 2012) Spring Training is in full swing.  Newcomers Pacheco, Rosario, and Pomeranz will see significant playing time in preparation for next year.  With the Tulsa Drillers (Rox AA affiliate) in full review, is this a positive or negative?  The biggest negative is this year's squad, as constructed, couldn't get it done.  A Fowler, CarGo, Smith, Helton, Lopez, Tulo, Stewart, Iannetta lineup with Jimenez, de la Rosa, Hammel, Rogers, and Cook staff did not have sufficient talent to get to the playoffs (I still question where did that April team go?).  Hard to believe, with the loss of one pitcher, the Rox season was derailed.  So essentially the loss of de la Rosa started to expose the core that led to the dismal output of what is projected to be a 77 win season (10 games off what was expected as a minimum).  So if 2011 lineup and staff couldn't get those extra 10 wins does Pomeranz, White, Pacheco, and Rosario going to provide that something extra?

So the 2012 lineup at this point is probably Fowler, CarGo, Mr. X, Helton, Ellis, Tulo, Pacheco (?), and Rosario with a staff consisting of Chacin, Pomeranz, White, Millwood (?), and Mr. Y (or Hammel or Rogers) with de la Rosa and possibly Nicasio coming in late in the Summer.  Pitching would seem to be stocked although can Rox really rely on an inconsistent number one, two rookies, a cagey veteran, and some makeshift fifth starter? With such inexperience I could see the Rox sinking into no man's land until the cavalry comes in.

Which brings me to CarGo's announcement about "needing help"  He succinctly put it that him and Tulo have had a statistically wonderful year and yet the team find themselves 8 games under 0.500. What sort of help might that be and what could the Rox legimately go after in the Fall?  Look at the Brewers...they surrounded their two monster bats with mostly pitching.  Problem is the Rox have never been overly successful at luring decent pitching to Coors.  Free agent pitchers for next year include C.J. Wilson, Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, Hiroki Kuroda, Roy Oswalt (options remaining), Ryan Dempster (options remaining), Aaron Harany, Jeff Francis (!), Javier Vazques, and Paul Maholm.  Nothing jumps out to me as a possibly Mr. Y.  Of course Rox have some trade bait and some money so we shall see.

As far as Mr. X -- the early prediction appears to be Michael Cuddyer but with the Pujols and Fielder sweepstakes who knows what the Rox can steal?  Anyhoo they have six months to figure it out before next season starts.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 146

1) Strangest lineup for the season 1) EY Jr 2) Fowler 3) Pacheco 4) Smith 5) Kouzmanoff 6) Wiggington 7) Rosario 8) Fields 9) Pomeranz...hey a cast of reserves and AA beat the Reds

2)  Is the future bright?  Pomeranz looked good for 5 innings throwing only 63 pitches and allowing 5 hits...will definitely be a starter next are some other starters start

Aaron Cook started at home against Giants on August 26, 2002 and got a no decision giving 3 runs with no K's, 4 walks, and 9 hits

Jason Jennings started on the road at the Mets on August 23, 2001 and went 9 innings striking out 8, allowing 4 walks, and 5 hits, also hit a home run

Ubaldo Jimenez started on the road in Chicago on October 1, 2006 and got a no decision while pitching 6.2 innings, striking out 3, walking 3, allowing 3 hits, and 4 runs

Jeff Francis started in Atlanta on August 25, 2004 going 5 innings, striking out 8, walking 1, giving up 6 hits, and 6 runs and losing his first game

Jamey Wright started at home against the Giants on July 3, 1996 going 6 innings with no decision having struck out 4, walked 2, allowing 4 hits and 1 run.

3)  Hammel finished the game out and earns a save for the effort.  His third save all time with his last coming in September 28, 2008 when a Ray against the Tigers

4)  Run EY Jr Run!  Another three steals...what an intriguing player...problem is he has no position, but you can tell Tracy loves having EY at the top, followed by Fowler.

5)  Who the heck is Thomas Fields?  Yup another AA player called up to play SS for the ailing Tulo...this September is really try outs for 2012!

Box Score Bytes - Game 145

1) Giambi's hits career home run number 428, moving him past Piazza and three behind Ripken...that makes 13 homers in 139 plate appearances.

2) Pacheco hits his first homer as a Rox.

3)  Broken humidor yesterday let to a 9 home run burst in first 5 innings...White gives up 5 homers and still gets the win...he is 3-1 now with a ERA of 8.18.  And this is an upgrade to U-Ball?  White is the third Rox pitcher to allow 5 homers in a game...

4)  Must be September because Fowler is hitting...hit his 5th home run of the season...wonder if he doesn't just do this so that he gets invited back in Spring...maybe this off season he will put in some work so that April is as good

5)  At least the bullpen is back allowing only 1 hit after the home run barrage through the first 5 innings

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 144

1)  If you break the season into 18 game blocks then you have 9 blocks (or innings) and well Rox just finished the 8th inning and have 1 inning to go (18 games left) before the end of the season.  10 games below 0.500 Rox have basically averaged 8-10 or 9-9 the majority of these blocks.  Sad part is they started 13-5!

2)  Two errors and one inning generally don't work well together.  These errors led to 4 runs and that was the game...

3)  First win by the Reds in Colorado since August 2008.

4)  I'm sorry but it is cruel to name a kid "Homer" and then make him a pitcher...or fate is awfully cruel!

5)  The evolution of Chacin...good when in control but can't seem to overcome those middle inning struggles...he will learn...just like U-Ball.

6)  Two ejections...guess Tracy and CarGo had dinner reservations at some new restaurant ;)  Number four this year for Tracy.  CarGo joins Tulo and Iannetta as the other ejectees

7)  Rosario learns what the big leagues are about when Chapman gets him out on a 88 mph slider...whoosh

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 143

1) Rox finished their 2011 campaign against the D-Backs going 5-13.  If D-Backs go on to the playoffs then Rox deserve a share of the credit.  Seemingly the Rox have always had troubles with Arizona.  In 14 years of playing them they have only had 4 winning seasons against them (1999, 2004, 2007, 2009).  At least we didn't go 3-15 against them like we did in 2008.  Below is my attempt to gauge Rox record against our division foes.  The axis is based on win percentage.
Season Records Against NL West Foes
2) Three solo homers was the sum total of the Rox run producton.  Newcomer Rosario notched his first homer and pitcher Millwood got into the action and knocked one out.  His first homer since 2002.  CarGo got his 25th which is a nice complement to Tulo's 30th.  Look at the NL leader board for homers and guess who else has 30 homers?  That would be our failed acquisition in Lance Berkman.  How nice that would have been!

3)  Reason 1 we don't have 40 man rosters...Tracy used seven relief pitchers to get 10 outs last night..nothing like a meaningless 3 and half hour game in September with a starting game time temperature of 57 degrees.

4)  And finally Tulo committed his 5th error last night, his first since the late June series in New York against the Yankees.  Rox fans should take note that Tulo is one of the greatest players ever to wear the Purple Pinstripes and possibly one of the greatest players of his generation especially for a SS.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 142

1) Betancourt has only allowed 7 hits in the last 76 batters he has of the better O'Dowd 3 years he has gone 10-2 with 8 saves.  Has pitched 145 innings and has struck out 184 and allowed only 21 walks.

2)  Seth Smith has a two triple game?  Now has 9 for the year.  Team has 36 and ranks 3rd in the NL.

3)  Tulo hits his 30th homer.  What a monster year he has had, too bad the team isn't in contention otherwise he would be in the MVP talk.  With 20 games to go he could go on one of his streaks...remember last year's Babe Ruth September impression?

4)  The revolving door that has become the Rox bench added two new players to the mix as Jordan Pacheco and Wilin Rosario got their first starts last night.  In 2011, 51 different players have worn the purple pinstripes.  I thought this was a bit excessive but average over the first 18 years is 47 players with low of 36 in 1995 and a high of 56 in 2007.

5) Belisle gets his 10th win!  Probably not a good sign when your middle reliever has 2nd highest win total on your team...

6)  Nice outing from Dr Jekyll, errr I mean Hammel...He is now 27-30 as a Rox. A serviceable starter and that is just what he is...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 141

1)  Tulo has his first 100 RBI season...congrats

2)  Roger has given up 21 runs in the 1st inning and 6 home runs in 11 starts

3)  Don't run on CarGo...awesome putout in 3rd and his 11th assist this year

4)  Sitting at the ballpark and watching the crowd of 40,000 plus and I wonder if we haven't become Wrigley Field Lite?  Sure management paid good money on some nice players and yet here we are in September mired in 4th place and where is the rage?  Why aren't we more disappointed at this point.  D-Backs swept us last week and come in and beat us today and there you have it...

5)  How often do pitchers throw over to first in a game?

6)  Roger is batting 0.318, not bad for a former SS

7)  Since 1876 there have been 3,578,333 hits equaling 2,585,453 singles (72.3%), 601,320 doubles (16.8%), 127,448 triples (3.6%), and 264,112 home runs (7.4%).  So could you judge a batter based on his ratio?

8)  Dex still on a tear homers from both sides of the plate in the 1st and 9th inning

Rox Talk - Week 23

The Week That Was
A 2-4 week against the D-Backs and Padres. The Rox currently stand at 66-74.  Fourteen games behind the D-Backs for the division lead in fourth place. Currently 35-33 at home and 31-41 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 636-653 (expected wins is 68 versus historical wins at 66). On pace for 76 wins with 736 runs scored and 756 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.97 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

And that is the end of the 2011 season.  Not that the Rox really had a chance but being swept in Arizona ended any remote possibilities that the Rox could sneak in.  With 22 games remaining, the 2012 campaign gets a looksee.  September call ups sweep in and hopefully add some bright spots to an otherwise forgettable 2011 season.  As a fan this season more than any other one since at least 2007 was the worse ever.  It also eerily parallels the 2008 season.  This one is probably worse because of the off season signings, the April dominance, and finally just the complete collapse of the starting pitching.  Without going too far into an end of season posting, I guess the Rox really need to look at what it is that they are missing.  Tulo and CarGo are both going to walk away with fine seasons.  Two potent weapons make the Rox at least competitive on paper but I think management needs to take away from this season is that two players can't elevate a team to win.  Young position players can't make a leap and contribute and that team needs to start truly evaluating what it has.  I think we saw that with U-Ball trade.  Let's hope they continue this Fall.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 140

1) Dex continues his late season tear including 3 more hits which included his 15th triple which sets a new team record

2) With Rox record at Petco this season at 6 and 9 have to wonder if maybe Rox are currently built for the wrong park.  Not that our team doesn't have power but have to wonder...

3)  And if Cook didn't already have a nail in the coffin as a Rox, today reaffirmed that Cook won't be in purple pinstripes next year.  Petco is Cook's savior (14-6, 2.98 career ERA) and yet allowed 3 runs and 4 walks

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 139

1) Since Fowler has returned he has 26 extra-base hits in 47 games.

2) Rox get their first win from their U-Ball trade...meanwhile U-Ball has gone 2-1 and the team has gone 3-3.

3) Betancourt got his 6th save in 10 chances.

4) Rox are 26-33 against the NL West and 32-34 against the rest of the NL.

Box Score Bytes - Game 138

1) Dex gets his 14th triple....adds to his ongoing Rox team season record 2) Millwood goes 7 strong with 8 strikeouts, NO WALKS, and only allowing seven hits...think Tulo said it best when he said Millwood can, "teach these young guys that it’s not about stuff, it’s about pitching" 3) Seventh shutout by the staff this year 4) Millwood has 161 career wins and last night was 100 in the NL