Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 136

1) Dex ends his homer drought...went 382 at bats before finally homering

2) For August CarGo is batting 0.340 with 9 homers and 30 RBIs and Tulo is batting 0.360 with 8 homers and 21 RBIs and yet we are 13-15 for the month

3)  Cook's will go out with a whimper...hate to see time finally catch up with one of Rox best

4)  Go figure, Rox have 4 batters with three hits each and yet only score 4 runs, huh?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 135

1) Carlos Gonzalez named the NL Player of the Week. In 6 games he hit .481 (13-27) w/ 3 HR, 10 RBI and .889 SLG.

2) White's second start reminded me a lot of Aaron Cook...functional but if his pitch ain't working then it will be a real long night

3) One lousy run...boy the run has not been nice 235 runs scored 67 games while at home they have scored 385 in 68 games

Rox Talk - Week 22

The Week That Was
A 4-2 week against the Astros and Dodgers. The Rox currently stand at 64-70.  Ten and half games behind the D-Backs for the division lead in third place. Currently 35-33 at home and 29-37 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 624-619 (expected wins is 67 versus historical wins at 63). On pace for 77 wins with 748 runs scored and 754 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.99 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Rox finally have a decent home stand going 7-2 and sweep the Astros last week.  Face it the Rox aren't going anywhere this year.  Management has done its best to indicate they aren't throwing in the towel and continue to talk like there is still an outside chance to squeak into the playoffs.  Waiver claim on Wandy Rodriquez at least indicates there willingness to make something happen.  When the season is over pitching problems will probably define this lost season and so I applaud Rox for at least making an effort.

Unfortunately we then compare a nice three game sweep to almost getting swept in LA over the weekend. Media types would like us to think that LA and the owner problems swirling around the team would describe why they are in 4th place and treading water.  The problem I see is that not much separates LA from our Rox.  Both have some nice young starting pitching (well we used to have UBall and Kershaw, Chacin and Billingsly), decent bullpen, some nice offensive pieces (like Kemp and Either/Loney against Tulo and CarGo), and good dugout coaches and you know what?  Both teams are 6 - 8 games under 0.500 and going no where this year.  Kind of shows you that a lot of nice individual pieces don't always fit together to form a complete team.

And the worst thing about all of this?  Yup D-Backs were 80 to 1 odds to win the world series (worse in our division) while our Rox were 20 to 1 and who gets the opportunity in October...yup that would probably by the D-Backs.  Yikes baseball can sure mess with us.

Understatement of the Year
"I wonder where we would be if we had 50-55 more RBIs from third base. Been an issue all year," Tracy said

Look What I Did
I sent this along...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 134

1) Chacin raised his season total for walks to 78...most in NL..sixth time this season he has walked five or more.

2)  This time Betancourt won by striking out Loney...once again dangerous territory for our Rox

3)  CarGo club record RBI streak ended at 11 games

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 133

1) Hey another extra inning loss...bad year for extras as Rox are 3-7

2) James Loney...really...has 8 homers this year and 6 of them off Rox pitchers?

3) Wasted Troy's 50th multihit game of the year and his 6th career multi homer game

4)  CarGo extended hitting streak to 14 games and 11 consecutive games with a RBI...

5)  So hmmm Troy and CarGO...Awesome...rest of the team...Average...and we still get beat!

6) 97 degrees today in LA...wow that's hot

Friday, August 26, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 132

1) One lousy inning...two balks...six runs later...and that was the ballgame

2) Vin Scully will be back for his 63rd of broadcasting...that is simply amazing!

3)  CarGo's 24th homer

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 131

1)  Rox ain't dead yet...63-68...owners of 5 game winning streak...have tied up their run scored/run against differential at 605 - 605

2)  Walk off wild pitch?  Now I've heard of everything!

3)  Rox 3-6 in extra innings...

4)  CarGo, officially en fuego...7 HRs in last 12 games

5)  New number 15 (last worn by Jay Payton in 2010) is Kouzmanoff, a Colorado high school grad..

6)  Hammel goes bullpen for the first time

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 130

1) Back and forth battle this evening...some questionable plate umpiring, questionable out/safe calls, some good/bad defense, and some great old time Coors Field home runs. A little bit of everything!

2) First off we had the Waxahachie Swap which I totally missed and apparently the Denver Post can't annotate very well.  Wright pitched 1/3 inning not 2/3 has shown but I'm guessing the newspaper editor (?) or program they use won't allow a same name pitcher to pitch twice in one inning with a pitcher in between?

Probably one of the more rare things to see at a baseball game...wow

3) On the night our ticket stubs have Ubaldo pitching, his heir apparent (at least trade wise) made his debut.  No decision and he fought valiantly but his ERA after 3 innings was 9.00 (just saying)

4)  Rox are third in the league with 382 extra base hits

5)  Belisle was 7-4 going into the game then picked up his 8th win.  He is second on the team behind Chacin's 10

6)  Brothers got his first save

7)  Smith in Left Field and CarGo in Right? Paid off in the seventh with a fabulous diving catch to probably save the game for Rox

8)  Talking CarGo has of last night he had 22 HR and 22 doubles

9)  Old man Helton has 120 hits...gee only 2-3 years of that and he might sniff 3,000 hits

10) Smith hit a long home run...478 feet...hitting the facade of right field upper deck over the bullpen...longest one I have ever seen in Coors...monster!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 129

1) Rox move back to playing 0.500 at home...last 4 years they have average 0.600 clip at home

2) While it is a nice thought that the Rox have turned a corner (winners in 3 straight games!) they have a long way to go in their last 33 games. 20-13 to finish 0.500 and 26-7 to get to my preseason expectation. Maybe they will bookend their season with a great April and September!

3) As fate would have it Barmes, longtime Rox, came up with two outs in the ninth down by 4. While the bases weren't juiced it would have been dramatic if it had been...fortunately for Rox he struck out.

4) CarGo has a 10 game hit streak in which he his bating 14-38 with six homers and 19 RBIs. Could the team ride CarGo and Tulo to the playoffs? Stranger things have happened and we do have 13 games left against D-backs and Giants...just saying

Rox Talk - Week 21

The Week That Was
A 4-2 week against the Marlins and Dodgers. The Rox currently stand at 60-68.  Nine and half games behind the D-Backs for the division lead in third place. Currently 32-33 at home and 28-35 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 588-581 (expected wins is 63 versus historical wins at 60). On pace for 76 wins with 735 runs scored and 744 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.99 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

So hypothetically, based on runs scored vs runs against, Rox should be 63-65 and thus possibly only 6.5 games back from leading the division (assuming Rox had some luck on their side this year).  In addition let's also assume they are playing 0.600 at home (average over the last 4 years) which means Rox should have about 38 wins at home this year versus the 32 they currently have.  So let's say they aren't raking at home but still winning at home then Rox should be sitting at maybe 66 - 62 right now and about 3.5 back?  How frustrated are you now with Rox season?  Amazing to think that we throw in some luck and better home record and realistically Rox aren't that far away from contending in the West.  Now of course the reason for close run differential is attributable to a bunch of blow out wins at home.

1 run (18-23)
2 runs (11-12)
3 runs (11-12)
4 runs (4-5)
5 runs (4-5)
6 runs (2-4)
7 runs (2-3)
8+ runs (7-4)

Yup when you lead in the 8+ runs department it shows our Rox have about 24 run swing differential going for us.

So looking at the record it looks like we should be a little better off...what about season projections?  75% through the season the offense looks like this (note: projections were based on who likely was going to be the starters throughout the season):

Blue is last season's numbers, yellow is the average from the experts (with error), and the next three are final 162 projection after each quarter.  First quarter had a lot of super stars who then fell back to earth the second quarter.  Third quarter has come back and for the most part CarGo, Fowler, Helton, Tulo, Smith, Iannetta, and Wiggy have lived up to expectations.  Amazing thing is even with these seven players living up to expectations the team is on pace to score about 75 runs less than expected.

And the pitchers?
Mostly just a mess.  U-Ball was certainly not what we expected.  De la Rosa got hurt and Cook was hurt before finally coming back.  Chacin has been good but has struggled and Hammel has just regressed.  Bullpen has been steady although the Paulino thing never worked out.  Fill ins like Nicasio were huge and currently the runs allowed projection is about on based on what was expected.

Hard to believe but it is the offense holding our Rox back!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 128

1) Rox are 8-7 against LA this year.  One more three game series in LA next week and another season against our nemesis is done

2)  Rox finally win after 17 consecutive losses...last win was on on April 17...just about when the Rox decided to tank the season

3)  Amazing how Rox find these pitchers on the scrap heap...Millwood gets his first win since last September...of course if I was Millwood pitching for Red Sox AAA club I probably wouldn't want to be called up either

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 127

Just a note but you observe a whole lot more when sitting at a ball game...:)

1) Dex has 12 triples!

2) EY Jr trying to be like Dad today...3 stolen bases...half way to his Dad's record of 6 (see this game)

3) Tulo's numbers sure look good 0.307 25 85 and CarGo not bad either at 0.288 20 72 (missed about 20 games)

4) Helton's B-Day and he hits a homerun...how about that! Also did it in'98, '00, '02, '04.

5) Dodgers pitcher Lilly is kind of tiny out there on the mound but he is 6'1"!

6) Rogers is 6-2 but has a 6.00 ERA?

7) Two Juniors leading off for each team...both sons of former greats

8) $5 beers? Ugh do you realize that is $30 six pack...wow

9) Two errors (one by Tulo and one by Helton) and yet scorer gives the Dodgers two singles

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 126

1) Cook goes 8 innings and Rox scored some runs (and batted around twice!)

2)  Marlins starter allows 11 runs on 11 hits

3)  Cook started his 13 game and has has 9 consecutive years of 13 or more starts...pretty impressive

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 125

1) Almost another come from behind win...Giambi makes it close with another homer but Dex popped out to end the game

2)  Chacin now 9-10 has been maddeningly inconsistent.  Great stuff one game, struggles the next...trials of a young pitcher

Monday, August 15, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 124

1) Four run ninth and first walk off win of the year!  The Great Giambino comes throw on hanging slider beautiful

2) First win when trailing after eight 0-55

3) 8th game in row with a homer

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 122

1) More bases loaded inadequacy...what does the great Baseball Reference say?


2) Now 2 and 17 on Sundays this year!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 121

1) Interestingly Rox loss the previous night 6-1 and came back tonight to win 6-1.  This has happened four other times this year:  Game 57 and 58, Game 73 and 74, Game 79 and 80, and Game 117 and 118

2) Rox have at least homered in their last 6 road games

3) Rox like lefties and have hit 33 homers (2nd in NL)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 120

1) One inning seems to be the death of Cook...this time allowed 5 runs in 6th

2) Rox drop to 10 games below 0.500

3) Bases loaded and nothing...

4) Holliday is 0.367 with 3 homers against his former mates

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 119

1)Chacin, once again, goes 8 innings (complete game) and losses. Believe this is #4 for our pitcher this year

2) Just a random note: A pitcher needs one inning for each of his team’s games to qualify for the ERA title.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 118

1) Welcome back to the show Mr Millwood, gave up 3 solo home runs but I guess kept Rox in the game...

2) Rox had 9 singles off of the starter and grounded into 4 double plays for the game.

3) And goodbye Ian Stewart...FOREVER?

4) Rox still haven't swept the Reds at home in a 4 game series in their history

5)Mr Obvious:

“We made a base-running error with two outs,” Tracy said. “I don’t think there was going to be a play whatsoever at first base. The only play they had was to tag a runner going from second to third with two outs.”

Every team will have their share of base running gaffes over a season. That is baseball, but seemingly we are still having these when the game matters and when aggressiveness isn't called for. Does our team listen?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 117

1)Didn't know Rogers started life as a shortstop and accordingly made a nice defensive play to secure the win. “We know our pitchers,” Tulowitzki said. “He’s pretty athletic. He can pretty much cover the whole right side. Sometimes, you’ve got to take chances to win games.”

2)Betancourt notches first save of the year and 20th all time

3)Tulo homers yeah

Monday, August 8, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 116

1) Battle for Most Disappointing Team and/or Season. Baseball mystery to why teams seemingly filled with talent can't seem to win.

2) Teams combined for 7 home runs...4 for Rox and 3 for Reds...which accounted for 15 of the 17 runs

3) Smith has two homers for his 5th multihomer game second time this year in Ohio

4) What is it with Smith? Why doesn't he play more, why does his defense suddenly stink, and what did he do to Tracy?

Rox Talk - Week 19

The Week That Was
A 2-5 week against the Philies and Nats. The Rox currently stand at 53-62.  Ten games behind the Giants for the division lead in third place. Currently 28-31 at home and 25-31 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 529-518 (expected wins is 56 versus historical wins at 54). On pace for 75 wins with 730 runs scored and 745 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.98 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

So much for some home cooking.  Not that going against the Phillies is an easy task (swept away) but to split the series with the Nats just goes to show how miserable home has been for our Rox.  Interesting that within the past couple of weeks the media, fans, and management have started to realize our Rox aren't very good on the major league roster and don't have much in the minors either.  Funny how before the season started the organization seemed to be moving in the right direction and yet with the pathetic season in front of us the big questions come out to suggest that not all is all rosy for our hometown team.

I thought this season projection was a bit off when it came out but now I am not so sure...this quote pretty much sums it up, "If you were looking for a definition of a stars and scrubs lineup, this would be as good an example as any."  Guess our scrubs didn't do it and to think we got rid of Don Baylor because our scrubs stopped relating to Baylor...check the standings scrubs how those D-Backs getting along with Baylor? Maybe management needs to start being realistic next year...and stop listening to the scrubs.

Todd Helton
The other night when listening to some broadcast someone mentioned that one of the players had reached 650 plate appearances against one team and had such such numbers.  Since 650 plate appearances is approximately a season, the question would be what would Helton's seasons numbers be against the teams he has faced.  For what it is worth Todd has only has 650 plate appearances for teams against the NL West foes but one can extrapolate based on 650 plate appearances.  For comparison Todd has averaged 28 homers, 103 RBIs, and has batted 0.323.

Toss out Rays, Twins and Athletics, Todd has had some phenomenal team seasons against Nats, Cards, Astros, Marlins, Dodgers, Philies and Pirates.  Interesting to note that Rox have always struggled against the Braves and so does Todd.  Besides the AL teams the Braves are his worse team season.  He hasn't fared to well against Giants and Padres too.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 115

1) Rox unable to win a 4 game series and settle for a split

2) Hard to watch a pitcher who has given so much to the organization start to flounder. Been a tough grind this year and will probaby be Cook's last as a Rox

3) Got to love a reliever who has 9 decisions which Belisle has (5-4)

4) Who is Eliezer Alfonzo and how do you pronouce is name? Did get 3 hits today

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 114

1)  Hit parade leading to 15 runs (18th time this has happened, second time this year, and we are 18-0!)

2)  Chacin goes to 9-8...some smoke and mirrors with his pitching (high walk rate and low ERA....)

3)  Rox got seven hits in the 5th inning (sometimes that is a game!)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 113

1)  Awful sight with Nicasio getting hit in the head with a line drive...

2)  Tough to win on a night like tonight

Box Score Bytes - Game 112

This morning on the Colin Coward radio show he had a nifty piece on three words to describe every NFL team, so here goes my take on the MLB

Rox - Simply unrealistic expectations
Giants - Pitching just wins
Dodgers - Need new owner
D-Backs - Managers do count
Padres - Rebuilding once again

Cubs - Not this year
Pirates - Not football yet
Cardinals - Win with injuries
Reds - Remember last year?
Brewers - Not road warriors
Houston - Just like NASA

Phillies - Wow they're good
Braves - Love our pitchers
Nats - Maybe next year
Marlins - Waiting new stadium
Mets - Ponzi schemes suck

Red Sox - Built to win
Yankees - Just all stars
Rays - We are underachievers
Blue Jays - Hate AL East
Orioles - Love basement living

Tigers - Someone will win
Indians - Look at us
White Sox - Kind of boring
Twins - An off year
Royals - Look at Pirates...

Rangers - Rough and tough
A's - Moneyball ain't working
Angels - Smoke and mirrors
Mariners - Weak ass lineup

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 111

1)  Halladay makes his second start at Coors.  He had a no decision the first time and even on the ropes this time around, gives up 6 runs, and yet still wins.  Who couldn't win with the Phillies offense?

2) Lidge, another Colorado product, came in and got the save.  Not terribly nice to treat the hometown fans!

3) Rox get swept for the first time by the Phillies in Colorado in May 1999

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 110

1) So Rox don't get one of the big three (Halladay, Lee, Oswalt) and still get shut out...again a big giant yikes!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Box Score Bytes - Game 109

1)  Really Street?  You throw eight straight sliders and you think the 9th might sneak by?  Lose a game, one pitch away...ughhhh

2)  Another extra inning lost...tough loss...now 1-6

3)  Think about it...Phillies just moved to 30 games over 0.500...Rox have a long way to go

4)  Strangest name in baseball...Antonio Bastardo

5)  One of the mysteries of Jim Tracy...Smith now has 42nd extra base hit of the year, second to Tulo's 49 and yet he still isn't an everyday player

Rox Talk - Week 18

The Week That Was
A 3-3 week against the Dodgers and Padres. The Rox currently stand at 51-57.  Ten games behind the Giants for the division lead in third place. Currently 26-26 at home and 25-31 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 494-483 (expected wins is 53 versus historical wins at 50). On pace for 77 wins with 725 runs scored and 741 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.98 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Rox concluded their nine day West Coast swing with a 4-5 record.  With all the trade talk and stress of traveling, I guess Rox should look at this trip as a positive.  The frustration has got to be in their play at home.  To have only one more win at home then the road pretty much sums up the Rox this year.  In additon to their miserable home play, I think this quote by Tulo also suggests why home as been so frustrating, "There have been a couple of times where I thought we were going to get momentum and go on a run, and we weren't able to win, it's kind of the story of the season."  Home is where hot streaks start and if you can't get it done there, doing it on the road can be tough. 

Ubaldo Jimenez
And now to the hard part.  If this team is going to get back to 0.500 this year, then it is going to be done without their ace.  Traded on Saturday to the Cleveland Indians for 4 prospects (3 pitchers and utility man), O'Dowd is once again betting that he can roll the dice, trade a gem in Jimenez, and get something more.

As a fan I hate this deal, but as someone who also understands the landscape of the baseball world this deal is exactly what small market clubs do to stay afloat.  Twins did it with Santana, Indians did it with Sabithia and Lee a few years back...it is finger crossing move on both sides hoping that what transpires in this year for the Indians is positive and next year and year after for the Rox.  Face it, this trade was the result of Rox management failing in the draft especially in pitching.  Four high end pitchers have been taken from 2006 - 2009 and not one is in the big leagues.  This year with the loss of de la Rosa, it showed that a high level draft pick couldn't be slotted in the rotation and instead they had to go with an undrafted AA pitcher to fill in (Nicasio).  How much do Rox have invested in these drafted four pitchers (Reynolds, Weathers, Friedrich, and Matzek) and have yet to see any (if any?) return in .

I criticized O'Dowd for the Holliday deal.  I thought it was just plain awful but time seems to heal the wounds as Street and CarGo have been a pretty good return.  Hopefully in couple years we can say the same for this trade.

So thank you Ubaldo for being a pitcher who helped us get to the World Series in 2007, threw the team's first no hitter, made us proud in the All Star game, and had a heck of a start last year.  Here are some other numbers:

1)  Owns three of the ten best starts in Rox history:
4/17/10 no hitter in Atlanta:
The Chief dominates
Throws the Rox first no hitter
Dexter saves the day!

6/1/11 start this year in LA 4 hit shutout 106 pitch 7 K game:
Return of U-Ball
Ace goes nine, shuts out Dodgers
Ends game with strikeout!

and 5/31/10 in San Fran allowing 4 hits and 9 K:
Take that Halladay
Cy Young in Colorado?
His name, Jimenez

2)  56 - 45 overall record with a team record when starting at 69 - 68 (also went 47 - 29 in the minors).  He spent 10 years in the Rox organization.

3)  Fourth in team history for WAR (at 17.4).

4)  24 - 22 against the NL West (team went 32 - 31 in his starts against the West)  Rox going to miss this!

5)  Only allowed 55 homers in 851 innings pitched.

6)  Faced 3,592 batters and struck out 773 of them

7)  Good thing going to the AL has he only had 37 hits in 370 plate appearances.  Never hit more than a single in those 37 hits

8)  Pitched 67 games at home (30 - 19) and 71 on the road (26 - 26) and amazingly surrendered 189 runs at home and 186 runs away.

9)  Was not a tight game pitcher.  When Rox only scored 0 - 2 runs went 2 - 27 but 26 - 2 when team scored 6+ runs.  Was  28 - 16 when Rox scored between 3 - 5 runs.

10) Got most of his strikeouts on 1-2 and 2-2 counts (478).

11)  ERA in first three innings (3.79), innings 4 - 6 (3.69), and final three innings (2.95).

12)  Only got 48 batters out in foul territory...

13) Threw 14,048 pitches has a starter...8,516 for a strike

14)  He has never thrown in Cleveland.  Owns a 6-4 record against the AL...1-2 against the Tigers

15)  And finally 26 - 17 against teams with less than 0.500 record and 30 - 28 against teams greater than 0.500