Thursday, June 30, 2011

We Hardly Knew Ya

The following shows some Rox that barely wore the purple pinstripes long enough for us to remember them by and the idea was from a similar article generated by the Texas Rangers for their 50th Anniversary. Although not inclusive, the list has players who had fewer than 100 at bats or 9 innings pitched. This list included 75 batters and 46 pitchers and the 19 below include some well known names and some infamous appearances.

1. Craig Counsell – Drafted in 1992 by the Rox. Played in 4 games (3 in 1995 and 1 in 1996) collecting two at bats. Traded to Florida for Mark Hutton. Since then has played 16 seasons collecting almost 1,200 hits as a Utility Man Extraordinaire.

2. Dan Serafini – “Crafty” lefthander who pitched in 104 games over a seven year period. Out of baseball for three years when Rox picked him off the scrap heap in 2007 at age 33. Pitched in three games in September. He pitched to 4 batters (18 pitches) and got one out and has the Rox history of fewest innings pitched for a Rox pitcher at 0.1!

3. Mike Kelly – Signed as a free agent and played two games in April 1999. Batted twice and collected one hit (double).

4. David Moraga – Another LOOGY(?) drafted by the Expos in 1993 and signed as a free agent by Rox. Got into one game in September 2000. Faced eight batters, gave up 5 runs to the D-Backs and home run to Jay Bell. Never heard from again after his one inning of work.

5. Rene Gonzalez – Drafted in 1982 by Montreal Expos, signed as free agent by Rox in 1997 at age 36. Played in two games, had two at bats in September collecting one hit. Amazing to think a guy with a career 0.239 average and 19 homeruns can have a 13 year career.

6. Robin Jennings – Blink and you will have missed this player. Traded by Oakland for Ron Gant on July 3, 2001 and then was sent to Cincinnati Reds on July 19, 2001 with Todd Walker for Alex Ochoa. Played in left field for one game collecting 3 at bats and no hits.

7. Lariel Gonzalez – Six pitches thrown in his one inning of work in a September 1998 game against D-Backs. No hits, walks ,or strikeouts. Traded to the Mets in 2000 with Bobby Jones for Masato Yoshii.

8. Tim Olsen – 3 at bats in June 2005. Never played the field, was a pinch hitter and runner.

9. Brian Raabe – 4 at bats in September 1997, three as a second baseman. Contract was then purchased by Seibu Lions and player was never heard from again.

10. John Cangelosi – Signed in September 1999 at age 36 and had 6 at bats as a pinch hitter and played one game as pinch runner. Not sure why Rox signed this veteran but he got one hit!

11. Alan Cockrell – More known as Rox hitting coach during the miracle run of 2007. He did make it to the Big Leagues in 1996 at age 33 with 8 at bats and collected two hits.

12. Nate Field – Only pitcher in Rox history to throw exactly 9 innings for the team. He did this in 2006 with 14 appearances. Gave up 4 runs and struck out 14.

13. Elvis Pena - Signed in June 1993 as an amateur free agent as a 16 year old and got to the Big Leagues in 2000 as a Shortstop, played in 10 games with 10 at bats in September and was traded to Milwaukee with Mike DeJean and Mark Leiter for Juan Acevedo, Kane Davis, and Jose Flores. Rox resigned him in 2004 and 2005 but never made it back. Great name.

14. Eric Wedge – More known as a manager, Rox picked him up in the 1992 expansion draft from Boston Red Sox. Called up in September of the Rox rookie year and got 11 at bats and two hits as a catcher then later released. Second well known former Rox catcher who is now a Big League manager.

15. Valerio de los Santos – Not to be confused with Victor Santos who also started for the Rox in 2004. Signed as a free agent in 2008 as another aging lefty who had been out of baseball since 2005. He started two games pitched a total of 8 innings, loss both but did strike out 8 in one appearance.

16. Greg Vaughan – Signed as a free agent in 2003 at age 37 for what I am sure was “veteran presence.” He got in 22 games had 37 at bats and collected seven hits but three of those were homers padding his career total to 355.

17. Mac Suzuki – Pitched in three games for the Rox after having been traded to the Rox on June 24, 2001 with Sal Fasano from Kansas City for catcher Brent Mayne. Waived on July 12, 2001. He started one game and gave up 12 runs in 6.1 innings of work.

18. Dale Murphy – Another aging veteran picked from the scrap heap to add some value to the 1993 Rox rookie campaign. Had 49 at bats, collected 6 hits but could never manage to get those two elusive homers to get to 400.

19. Eric Byrnes – Best known for making the last out in the 2007 NL Championship (classic picture of him on the ground and Helton celebrating), he briefly stopped for cup of coffee for the Rox and wore the purple for 53 at bats. Traded to the Rox by Oakland along with Omar Quintanilla on July 13, 2005 for Joe Kennedy and Jay Witasick and then was traded July 30 to Baltimore for Larry Bigbie.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 80

1)  U-Ball pitches seven innings 4 hit baseball and all he got was a lousy no decision

2)  Sox play it in, in the bottom of third with runner on third and one out.  They get the groundout save a run and yup win the game by one.  Who is going to call Ozzie crazy now...

3)  And finally Rox have a runner on third in both the 7th and 8th inning with one out and a tied score and can't get the runner in...ughhh, that right there is the season in a nutshell

Box Score Bytes - Game 79

1)  13 innings...Rox first extra inning win for the year...Rox now 8-8 in 13 inning games

2)  First strikeout didn't occur until the first batter of the 8th inning and the game was still tied 2-2.

3)  Always love extra inning games and how the WPA plays out.  Rox pitching WPA was 0.997 and the Rox offense was -0.498

4)  Where'd the offense go? 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 78

Rox Talk - Week 13

The Week That Was
A 3-3 week against the Indians and Yankees. The Rox currently stand at 38-39. Five and half games behind the Giants for the division lead in third place. Currently 19-19 at home and 19-20 on the road, the Rox have outscored its opponents 344-338 (expected wins is 39 versus historical wins at 36). On pace for 80 wins with 724 runs scored and 711 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 1.02 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Time for another rant.  Raise your hand if you think this team is a playoff contender...yeah I didn't think so.  Look I understand we are in the dismal NL West.  The Giants have scored a grand total of 265 runs and given up 269 and find themselves 10 games over 0.500!  Is that sustainable?  Knowing the Giants...yup.  So if we can't win the division then what...look a little deeper and notice where we are in the Wild Card hunt...we sit in 11th place behind the broken team that is the Mets and the likes of Pittsburgh and Washington.  So can the cheerleading stop and therefore put our Rox in the category of most disappointing team ever once again.

We are at the half way point this week almost to the All Star break.  The team has continued to comfort themselves indicating they haven't tanked and just have to get hot.  Yeah well we started the month 4.5 games out after a dismal May have since gone 13-10 only to now find ourselves 5.5 out.  Year in and year out, the Rox can't statistically keep hoping to win 15 of 20 games to get back into it.  It's a nice story to hang our hat on but that is about it.

It's a real shame to waste an All Star year for our aging first baseman who would love the opportunity to give it one more go but his support cast has been lacking.  Management threw the dice on some players that didn't work out, one rookie to fill in is nice but trying it with three probably isn't going to get you there, and well losing your number 2 pitcher is tough to overcome...therefore it is really that amazing Rox find themselves just trying to be competitive.

On the positive side this is an odd year and stranger things have happened...I'll keep watching but come on show some spark!

Box Score Bytes - Game 77

Friday, June 24, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 75

1)  Wow Rox only allow 5 hits to the Bronx Bombers.

2)  AJ has a four strike out inning, according to Tracy Ringosby that is the 54 time in major league baseball and to think AJ has done it twice.

3)  If Vegas had odds on Giambi hitting a home run with his first pitch I would have taken that and ran with it baby...majestic

4)  Too bad Jeter is hurt would have have been nice to see Tulo and him snagging balls...again think Tulo wasn't visualizing hitting it out at Yankee Stadium?

5)  Nice win in the Bronx!  And by the way if you think the Rox are impressive sitting at 38-37...guess what Nats are 39-37 and Pirates are 38-37.  Let's put something into perspective...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 71

Rox Talk - Week 12 (Series Wins, Too)

The Week That Was
A 4-2 week against the Padres and Tigers. The Rox currently stand at 35-36. Three and half games behind the Giants for the division lead in third place. Currently 19-19 at home and 16-17 on the road, the Rox have outscored its opponents 318-308 (expected wins is 37 versus historical wins at 33). On pace for 80 wins with 726 runs scored and 703 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 1.03 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Latest fad (or meme) which seems to pop up a bit this year is a team's ability to win series. Teams who win series obviously have winning records.  So far in 2011, the Rox have played 24 series.  If those were all 3 game series and they won them all by taking 2 of 3 games then theoretically the Rox could be 48 - 24 (they have actually played 5 two game series, 15 three game series, and 4 four game series).  So far the Rox are 9-12-3 in series records this year.  The Rox won or tied their first 5 series (4-0-1), then proceeded to go 2-12-1 in the next 15 series, and then have since turned things around by going 3-0-1.  Tale of two seasons so far...April/June - Good and May - Bad!

Of course I can't let it go at that so what about since the Rox inception?  Well there has been 931 series and Rox are 371-452-108.  See table below for specifics. 

Rox are 3-4 in one game series, 19-27-54 in two game series, 302-349 in three game series, 46-71-54 in four game series, and 1-1 in five game series.  For the three and four game series above I also so the break out of how the series was won.  So for instance in three game series the Rox have swept the other team 94 out of 651 times.

What to make of this?  In Rox 19 years of existence, being an expansion team and all, they had some lean years and only recently have they been playing .500 baseball.  Overall their record stands at 1364 - 1490 or 126 games under .500 (figure this they would have to go 90-72 for seven straight years to get back to even!).  Thus looking at the numbers above taking this into account, the two numbers that jump out are the disparity in losses in a three game set and the higher number of 1-3 series losses to 3-1 series wins (55 vs 30). A few more wins in those situations and you would end up with a series tie versus another series loss in a Game 4 set.  Knowing the Rox road woes over the years one can imagine trying to win 2 of 4 in a long series.

Next week I will have the breakdown of series versus teams both home and away...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 70

Maybe Rox Should Join the American League!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 66

Indebted to Jessica Who Gave Me the Ideal

Rox Talk- Week 11

The Week That Was
A 4-3 week against the Padres and Dodgers. The Rox currently stand at 31-34. Five and half games behind the Giants for the division lead in third place. Currently 15-17 at home and 16-17 on the road, the Rox have outscored its opponents 286-280 (expected wins is 33 versus historical wins at 30). On pace for 77 wins with 713 runs scored and 698 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 1.02 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Rox are 65 games into the season and sitting three games under 0.500.  Team really hasn't shown any consistency in the last 40 Games.  At the end of Game 25, Rox stood 17-8 with a 4.5 game lead and since then 14 - 26 and are 5.5 back.  What the heck happened? 

Looking at the numbers not all that much!  Frustrating thing about baseball is the numbers don't tell the whole story especially at the macro level.  As much as sabermatricians would like to put everything into a nice box with a label and say that these outcomes makes perfect sense I don't think it is that easy.  Just as they can't find that "clutch" numerical value, I don't think such a turn around the Rox have seen can be valued.  In the end we are dealing with humans, emotions, and like it or not that can't be mathematically evaluated.

Spreadsheet above shows the projected totals (average x 162) for the season if team kept its pace during Games 1-25 or from Games 26-65.  I find looking at the values over a 162 game period is easier to see differences then just averages during these spans of games.  What do we see?

Mixed signals of course.  The team has a whole has been hitting better but that hasn't translated in getting on base more which is partly due to the fact that while the team has gotten more hits, the number of walks has crashed.  The other big number that stands out is the increase number of double plays the team has hit into which leads to less opportunities to drive men in which reduces scoring opportunities.  Also throw in a lack of stolen bases and this really leads to an offense that is seemingly getting on track but really isn't.  I think the story the papers would suggest is that the bats are to blame but based on the numbers the offense has been fairly consistent if not improved in the last 40 games.

I think the real number to look at above is the "On Base" stat.  Nothing real scientific about it, it is just hits+walks+HBP+ROE.  The offense has been pretty consistent but look at our would suggest the pitchers have allowed a whole lot more base runners in the last 40 games.  While that doesn't necessary mean more runs, the fact that more runners are getting on base can lead to more runs.  So is our pitching really to blame?

In the end who knows why the Rox are playing like they are.  The conclusion that I come to would suggest this team isn't as good as the pundits suggested.  Rox can't just wait for that 10-15 game win streak to get the going.  Good teams win series and right now the Rox aren't doing that.

Box Score Bytes - Game 65

In the previous nine game road trip, Rox score 18 runs and go 4 and 5.  In these four games, the Rox score 30 runs and go 2 and 2.  This game just doesn't make a lot of sense sometimes.  A week ago the Rox manage 6 runs in three games at Dodger Stadium and then yesterday score 8 runs and still lose?  I love this game but the fact things like this happen on a regular basis with no rhyme or reason makes me want to throw up my hands and say, "Why????" to the baseball Gods!

Why is Ubaldo 1-7?

Why did three former Rox go 7-16 yesterday?

Why did LA bat 0.395 in yesteday's game?

Why did the Rox lose when hitting 4 homers?

Why did one Rox error lead to 5 unearned runs?

Why did the Rox have three errors yesterday?

Why Why Why?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 64

A Slurpee Score!  Yup Rox lose 11-7 to the Dodgers.  16th time in Rox history the score ended up being 7-11. 

This weekend series with Dodgers remain me of the old days, pre-humidor.  Both teams knocked out 31 hits, three errors, and 18 runs although only one homer was hit.  Both bullpens go 4 innings each with Dodgers giving up 6 runs and Rox giving up 8 although only 6 were earned.  These were the first unearned runs the Rox relief corps had this year. 

Rox battered bullpen seems to be regressing.  A strong point in the early part of the season looks very shaky of late.  Had to figure this might happen with the offense starting to hit then our pitching start to fall apart.  When will a complete team show up this year?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 63

Rox are now 4-7 in my appearances.  Last night was the first night I saw them bat once around the line up.  It messes up my scorecard but it is a beautiful thing.  I wonder how many 9 (and +) batter innings start with the pitcher?

Bottom of the fifth started innocuously with a groundout to the shortstop but then 6 straight hits, a fly ball out, followed by another hit and the Rox score 5 in the inning.  Partner that with Tulo's solo shot in the 2nd and that was good enough for 6-0 lead.

With Chacin cruising, only allowing three hits and striking out nine and being lifted in the ninth for mop up duty the Rox gave the Dodgers some life, letting them get to within one run, before Street finally earned his 19th save.  

Great game through 8 but in the end Rox pulled to within one game of 0.500.   

Friday, June 10, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 62

- Rox finally home!  4-5 road trip saved the season, sure they were like 18-30 since their hot start but this trip was something to build on or at least I hope.  Not quite like that Clint Eastwood movie when he drives that bus through alley with all of those cops shooting at him but I bet the hitters felt like it having to go from cavernous Dodger Stadium, to land where runs don't score, to finally the ball park where home runs go to die.  If that trip didn't teach the Rox the meaning of small ball then nothing will.

- So what happens tonight?  The flood gates open, the frustrations burst out, and home plate was once again found.  So what if it was a shoot out and a 9-7 score.  It just felt great to see teams, any team, just score at ease (apologies to the pitchers, but come on). 

- On a night when Flash Gordon's kid is leading off for the Dodgers...who didn't love Flash Gordon!

-  Who doesn't love 5 doubles, triple,  and home run and even an almost cycle with Kemp only missing the single (only at Coors Field does that happen)!

-  On a night where the Rox looked like they were still on their road trip finally got a whiff of the rare air in the 6th and said hey we can hit again.  Dam was broken and Rox reeled off 3 in the sixth, 5, in the seventh, and 1 more for good measure in the eighth!

- 6 Rox got in the action and each add an RBI while Tulo got 4. 

-  Good ole fashion Coors Field baseball...thanks!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 61

Inning 1)  Since making the switch to the lead off role, CarGo is batting 2-12 with 4 Ks, 1 BB, and 1 run.  Probably not what Tracy was hoping for....Cook finally gets his start (Rox leading 190th start).  He was little nervous with a double to lead things off but gets his 25th career pick off.

Inning 2)  Blackmon gets his first big league hit but Cook doesn't settle in and loads the bases but then only allows one run.

Inning 3)  The Toddfather goes deep for his 8th of the year (if you recall he hit all of 8 last year!).  Wiggy singles Tulo home as well.

Inning 4)  Three up and three down for each sides

Inning 5)  Tulo / Helton team up...this year's Batman and Robin?

Inning 6)  Cook never gets into the groove...can't get out of the sixth with the lead and Padres tie it up 3-3.

Inning 7)  Three up and three down for both sides

Inning 8)  Lindstrom struggles, prevents the leading run from scoring with a play at the plate, and the Rox go to the ninth hoping not to go into extra innings (0-4 this year in extras)

Inning 9)  CarGo finally gets on base, sacrificed to second, goes to third on a wild pitch, and Tulo doubles him in...hallelujah the Rox get a hit with a runner in scoring position...Street gets 17th save!  Rox WIN! Rox WIN!  

First series win since May 16th.  A 4 - 5 road trip.  Could have been better but I'll take it for early June.  Now lets get home and fix it (and win some!).

Box Score Bytes - Game 60

On this road trip the Rox have scored a whopping 13 runs. In the last two series, with the Giants and Padres, the Rox have scored 7 runs and allowed 8 but are 2-3. The gauntlet that is the West Coast. And to think we get to do this again in July with a trip to Arizona, LA, and San Diego and again in August with a trip to LA, Arizona, and San Diego.

Sad thing is our pitching staff is giving us the chance to win.  If they start failing us, the Rox are in real serious trouble.  Throw in the fact that we are getting on base, approximately 90 times over the 9 games it just goes to show you that something isn't work.  Dave Krieger's column today was telling in its honesty.   Either a consistent message isn't being sent or the players we think are good really aren't.  Either way allowing a 16-23 lifetime pitcher go 8 strong on you with 8 strikeouts ought to tell you that someones message isn't reaching its audience!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 59

Inning 1) Rox actually take an early lead with a Tulo single. How important is an early lead? Rox are 484 - 212 (0.695 winning percentage) when leading after the first inning from 1993 - 2010.

Inning 2) Nothing doing, Mortensen allows two singles but gets out of the inning.

Inning 3) New look lineup tonight with CarGo batting first and Helton back in three hole.

Inning 4) 18 pitches between the two pitchers...needless to say not much going on at this point. Standard night at PetCo or the Litterbox which I like to call it.

Inning 5) Rox go down with three K's and Padres go down with three groundouts

Inning 6) Two doubles for the Rox but Nelson gets greedy and gets thrown out at third. Too bad since Helton hit another double.

Inning 7) Brothers has his Big League debut and Belisle closes the inning.

Inning 8) Bullpen gets into trouble by loading the bases but Reynolds strikes out for the third out. Rox go into the 9th leading by one run. Ughh hate West Coast baseball. They need an anti-humidor!

Inning 9) Rox offense awakens with double, a triple, and single. Rox go up 3-0. Street wraps up the night with two K's and flyball.

Nice win

Rox Talk - Week 10

The Week That Was
A 2-4 week against the Dodgers and Giants. The Rox currently stand at 27-31. Five and half games behind the Giants for the division lead in fourth place. Currently 13-15 at home and 14-16 on the road, the Rox have outscored its opponents 248-242 (expected wins is 30 versus historical wins at 26). On pace for 75 wins with 693 runs scored and 676 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 1.02 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

How tough has it been?  Rox scored 10 runs last week!  Throw out the first two games in LA and in the last four games of the week the Rox only allowed 6 runs and only went 2-2 in that stretch.  Oh yeah and don't forget when our Rox got 18 on base against LA and only scored one run!

How tougher has it been?  Hammel pitches a no hitter through five and two-thirds yesterday and Rox still lose 2-1.  The Rox are currently on pace to score 693 runs?  Lowest in team history?  No not yet, that would be 740 in 2005.  That year they finished 67-95 and that is because pitching gave up 862 runs.  This year staff is on pace for almost 40 runs better than their history and Rox are still 4 games under 0.500! 

How toughest has it been?  Rox are 11-17 in the division and 16-14 against everyone else.  In those 28 games in the division Rox have scored 110 and only allowed 119 runs to score (138 vs 123 against everyone else).   Rox should probably should have 2 to 3 more wins...

And this isn't just the Rox, the league average runs scored is down about 10% from 2000 - 2010 and at this rate about 2,400 less runs will be scored in the MLB.

In the end, I remember reading an early season preview indicating that once again the Rox pitching would be solid but the decider would be the offense.  I scowled at such a thought and wonder what moron would ever think a team playing half its games at Coors would have an offense I no longer balk at such a suggestion.  This team is anemic.  I just haven't seen anything like this before.  The ball has got to start bouncing our way sometime this season, right?  I can't tell you how many times at Coors I have seen a hot shot up the middle only to be snagged by a middle infielder just shading correctly in that direction to make an easy out.  This sums it up, this Tulo article would indicate he his hitting better but actually doing worse!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 58

Inning 1 - Inning 5)  Awesome

Inning 6)  Still OK, tied game still within reach

Inning 7)  Still in this

Inning 8)  Rox must consistent reliever gives it up

Inning 9)  Good night moon, good night Rox

Extra)  This game just a microcosm of the season...great starting pitching, no offense...I sound like a broken record!

Box Score Bytes - Game 57

Inning 1) Chacin struggles through a 22 pitch inning.

Inning 2) Chacin labors through a 23 pitch inning but game still scoreless

Inning 3) Rox get their first hit, Chacin keeps up

Inning 4) Why was CarGo running with Tulo at the plate? Maybe trying to make something happen? Gets thrown out and ends the inning.

Inning 5) Well maybe CarGo sees the future because Tulo singles, gets to second, then scores on an error. Whoopee Rox lead 1-0.

Inning 6) Small ball works...EY gets on, bunted to second, and then Tulo scores him...Yeah and Chacin armor dented by a one run homer. Guess it is OK because it was Cody Ross bobblehead day!

Inning 7) One, two, three by Lindstrom.

Inning 8) Rox get Smith to third but can't get him home, will this come back to haunt the Rox? Nope Betancourt gets the job done

Inning 9) Uh oh Street comes in...big breath...but 10 pitches later game over...Rox win 2-1. How rare is a 2-1 win? Rox are 47-250 when they score 2 runs from 1993-2010. How rare are 2-1 games? There were 91 games with a 2-1 score.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 56

Inning 1)  59 degrees with a light mist in San Fran tonight...Summer still on hold in the was  the offenses

Inning 2)  Typical game in San Fran...all pitching, no gods must be punishing San Fran after what Bonds did to the baseball....

Inning 3)  Nicasio gets a double...Rox first hit of the night, go figure

Inning 4)  Rox show some life with the Big Three...walk by CarGo, double by Tulo, and groundout by Helton to score the night's first run.  And of course the Rox pitcher's can't hold a lead as Nicasio gives up three runs in the bottom half.

Inning 5)  Rox mount a challenge in the 5th by getting the bases loaded (Nicasio gets his second double of the night) and Helton at the plate...just what the Doctor ordered except for the groundout back to the pitcher...

Inning 6 -8) Rox fall asleep at the well sending up the minimum....Giants have scored their average so now they just throw out their pitchers to keep the lead

Inning 9)  Rox finally show some life against the Beard, but Spilly and Smith can't get it done with two on and the Rox go quietly into the night

Extra)  Rox had 5 hits and two were by Nicasio!  Rox were 1 for 13 with runner's in scoring position.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 55

Inning 1) Frustrating start for Rox, two on, two out and Helton K's but positive start for U-Ball on the mound...10 pitches to retire the side.

Inning 2) Wiggy triples!! There is a lumbering giant on the base paths. Nice sac by Morales to get Rox an early lead. U-Ball comes back with a 9 pitch, one-hit inning.

Inning 3) Rox manufacture another run with a double, bunt, and sac fly. While it is not exactly rox em sox em baseball, I think this type of baseball on the road wins you games, that and some good starting pitching!

Inning 4) Helton hits out his 7th souvenir for the the miracles of P90X. Jimenez gives up his 2nd single but gets out of the set with no damage

Inning 5) Smith gets second hit of the night...not your prototypical lead off guy but if he gets on base that is what the Rox need. U-Ball cruising with an 8 pitch bottom half.

Inning 6) When is Tulo going to get going? One hit, one walk night but is batting 0.251 for the season. U-Ball's first struggle of the nigh with a lead off single and 20 pitch inning but closes it out with 2 K's

Inning 7) Rox had man on 2nd and 3rd with one out but Smith fails to deliver. Insurance runs would have been nice especially late in the game but U-Ball comes back with a 5 pitch wonder inning. Vintage Jimenez

Inning 8) Tulo gets first hit of night and bases become loaded but Fowler (he who was hitting well with RISP) can't get anyone home. In a typical night, these last two inning failures to score with men on would doom the Rox but U-Ball throws a 12 pitch bottom half and continues to hold Dodgers down.

Inning 9) Things get nervous with Furcal getting the fourth hit of the night to get the Dodgers going but three straight outs with a K in the final at bat and U-Ball goes the distance with his first win of the year (finally, sigh of relief, and fantasy owners rejoice everywhere!)

Extras) 106 pitch complete game seven strikeout for U-Ball. Hopefully this is the turning point for his season. Rox needed something positive as they moved into the month of June. Rox finally had some luck in a low scoring game but have to look at it that they left a bunch on. Third shut out of the year by the staff...95th in their history

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 54

Rox are now 1/3 of the way through the season.  I like to break the season into nine 18 games sets (i.e. like nine innings). 

Obviously the last 18 games were tough especially at home where the Rox hope to make up for their road struggles.  Some of the numbers are also masked by run outburst when Rox scored 12 and 15 runs.  Take those two games out and Rox averaged a measly 3 runs! 

But to try and put a positive spin on things, the Rox, with as bad as they have been playing, are still only 4.5 games back.  If your read this article it would suggest our team isn't dead yet!  But we are on life support.  The only thing going for us is that we've done this before (can lightning strike twice?) and we have been worse off at this point at the end of May:

2007: 25-29
2008: 20-36
2009: 20-29
2010: 27-24

So it's not too late but Rox got to turn it around and show some life.  Unlike last night...2 runs on 5 hits and 10 strikeouts.