Monday, November 19, 2012

Rox Talk - 2012 Bed Rox Prediction Review

My incredibly optimistic view of the 2012 preseason with my 10 predictions!  Hope usually springs eternal...but...Yikes!

10)  This one is easy...Rox will score the most runs in the National League this year.  The baseball talking heads will call it the return of Nintendo Ball and dismiss the humidor.  Stats will simply say the offensive prowness has returned to pre-steroid days and that Coors is just a good place to hit.

Rox finished 3rd in the NL this year behind the Brewers and Cardinals with 758 runs scored.  If Tulo had been healthy I am sure we would have scored 18 more runs and topped the Brewers.

9)  The Tulo/Scutaro combo will be the best double play tandem in MLB.

Well before the disabled list and Scutaro being traded to the Giants the great combo played all of 37 games with each other.

8)  Buoyed by early season run support the Rox young pitchers will gain some confidence and pitch satisfactory throughout the year keeping the team in Wild Card contention.

Boy was I wildly optimistic.  In fact the complete opposite happened as the veterans got rocked and no one over gained any traction.

7)  Nicasio, our number 3 starter, will lead the team in wins through the All Star break (Chacin and Gutherie will pitch well but our offense will struggle with team's better pitchers and tee off on the lower half of opposing team's staffs).

Nicasio was 2-1 before exiting with a knee injury that ended his season on June 2.  Friedrich actually led the team with 4 wins before the All Star break.

6)  Casey Blake will be a liability at the plate from Day One.  He will play a decent third base but will find himself released by May.

Actually never it made it to the opening day roster.  Was released before Opening Day.  Third base was a work in progress all year between Pacheco and Nelson.

5)  Helton won't play in more than 100 games this year but will collect 100 hits.

Played in only 69 games and collected 57 hits.

4)  Betancourt will struggle at some point during the season and Brothers will save at least 10 games this year.

Betancourt was fairly consistent throughout the year.  Brothers struggled out of the gate and recorded no saves.  Belisle actually stepped in and got 3 for the team.

3)  Pomenranz will garner some rookie of the year consideration as he will win 10 games.

Oops...pitched in 22 games finished with a 2-9 record and was dismal all year.

2)  Tulo will finish in the Top 3 for MVP considerations.  He will lead the league with 40 homers and 125 RBIs.  He will finish with the Top WAR in the National League.

Collected 8 home runs and 27 RBIs in 47 games played.  

1)  Rox will sneak into the playoffs with 85 wins.

Did I really think this was possible?  I mean there was a second wild card but yikes I must have really been sipping the Rox Kool Aid all Winter!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rox Talk - Welcome Walt

The Rox welcomed their 6th major league manager last week, naming Walt Weiss as theri new manager.  He is now the unlucky winner of managing a team with a pseudo general manager in an office next to you and a pitching staff in search of.  As previously mentioned I don't wish this job on anyone.  With front office in disarray, a team beseeched with unknowns, and no clear path forward, the soul who takes on this journey must be glutton for punishment

What will make next year especially tough on me is Walt Weiss is one of those ballplayers I love.  Decent glove, a grinder, no flash, just a love for the game.  He was Rox pre-Scutaro back in 1994.    If the team was just missing a spark, I would think this hiring would be great.  Unfortunately this is such a reclamation project I find it difficult to think even the tough as nails Weiss making it work.  Throw in that he has a one year contract and this all suggests that the Organization continues to run this baseball team unlike any other in major league.

In some respects Rox were hoping that lightening might strike again following the league in hiring Weiss much like the White Sox did with Ventura and the Cardinals with Matheny and hoping that such a move might make the team competitive.  And in the usual Rox move they don't go with a proven commodity with some big league experience in a front office (i.e. scouting) but just figure that making the transition from High School coaching to the Bigs should be as easy as crawling to riding a bike.

Maybe it will work, maybe one day they will tell us "told you so" but this unlikely candidate is just more timber for the fire.  In one respect it might be good for stability that the Rox have only had 5 managers in their 20 seasons (compared to 13 with our brethren expansion team, the Marlins).  The opposite is that results were expected in Florida and they have two titles to show for their 13 managers and we have one World Series trip.  In the end I hope this all works out for Weiss.  In addition to the unknown he really has no expectations.  Starting next Spring, I think most pundits will simply give the Rox an over/under of 75 games.  With the division foes all with strength, Rox might have the potential to surprise someone but playoffs are most likely out of the question until pitching stabilizes.  It will be interesting to see who Weiss brings into these coaching roles.  Giambi is probably a favorite for the hitting coach but I'd prefer Bichette.  For pitching focus I'd like to see Ritz or Astacio.  Two starters who survived the experience and pitched to keep the Rox team in games while playing in Denver.  With Weiss I'd really like to see the days of the Blake Street Bombers II, with Tulo, CarGo, Cuddyer, and Rosario bashing our way to victory and making teams scared of Coors Field again.

Wrapping this up I think Weiss will bring some perspective.  Having played in the ballpark and understanding its effects on players there might be something there.  Throw in that Weiss played for two of the greatest managers of the late 20th century and early 21st century in LaRussa and Cox and maybe that mix might make an interesting coaching offspring.  Next year with the unusual schedule and interleague throughout the season might help the Rox.  Throw in some healthy players which should benefit Weiss.  Now will the players listen and play for him?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Rox Talk - Hot Stove In Full Effect

Having watched the Rox for 20 years, this past season was the first one that I actually gave up on.  I had no connection with this team.  At no time did I feel this organization was really giving 100% to put out a product worth my time and effort.  This pains me greatly.  I love this team.  I love Coors Field.  I love baseball, but for once my fun factor for the game was just sucked out of me.  The joy was gone.   Even now I struggle to even bother caring for this off season.  Management, with its head stuck in the mud, still thinks they are only a player away from making a run.  I have always tried to be optimistic but with $81 million last year they couldn't get it done.  In addition they were only 2 losses away from 100!  With the season now over, the owners are attempting to spin things again for 2013.  The following are the ten reasons or whines or really (#$%#) whys that this team will once again underachieve and finish last in the Division (and the current reasons why I most likely will not renew my season tickets):

10)  OK first off.  2013 and twenty year anniversary?  Ummm, hate to break it to you but last year was the 20th playing season.  2013 will be the 21st season and while Rox started playing in 1993...20 years was actually last year.  Just another notch highlighting the cluelessness of the Organization.

9) NL West isn't getting easier.  Giants pitching, after winning their second world title in three seasons, are back.  Dodgers will simply win because of their payroll.  D-Backs have a good core.  Padres are young and growing.  Rox are clueless and still have no pitching, see 3) and 1) below.

8)  Managers in the NL West:  Bochy (impressive), Mattingly (gutsy), Gibson (legend), Padres (yeah whoever), and Rox?  Really the best you can do is to trot out a guy who was part of the problem the last few years in Giambi.  Don't get me wrong, I love the guy as a player, but we need someone with a backbone.  Weiss is a nice person but again has ties with the organization that got us here.  Plus he is too nice, I wouldn't  wish this job on anyone right now.

7)  Retirement.  Helton please just retire.  I know you love the game.  You want to fulfill your contract.  You are great player.  I love you, but come on, you're killing us.  Look at the best first baseman in the league and they are home run power guys.  Rox need to return to the Blake Street Bombers days and this isn't going to happen  with a broken down 39 year old.  

6)  Rox let Roenicke get away?  OK maybe this is a wash.  Sure he had a breakout year.  Next year he will probably return to the mean but this guy suffered through the piggyback system.  Made the 4 man rotation at least viable for half the season.  To just let him get away by putting him on waivers tells me someone was doing their homework.  In a real Organization you would have seen value and tried to trade him for something instead of just letting them get stolen.

5) PR grumblings.  Frankly this team has never recovered from the World Series ticket snafu in 2007.  For whatever reason the Organization has taken a very "personal" view of outside media.  Organization needs to be more open and honest with itself.  People put a lot of their money into the Organization.  It isn't charity, we expect something in return.  I don't need playoff teams year in and year out but I do demand accountability and effort from not only the team on the field but the Organization itself.

4)  Stop taking Coors Field for granted.  One of these days people are going to put their hard earned cash somewhere else.  Don't think that another 68 win season won't get you closer to being irrelevant in the minds of Colorado residents.  We love baseball but we need something to root for...I liked to think we haven't become jaded like Cub fans.

3) Who are we?  What exactly is this Organization trying to put out on the field.  Fans have suffered through 14 years of O'Dowd tinkering with baseball at altitude.  Are we a low or mid market team?  Are we an offensive juggernaut or a ground ball desiring pitching staff.  Do we build from within or do we test the free agent market.  My problem is that you can't be everything.  Rox need to find their niche and stick to it.  The Cuddyer signing is my example.  Why bring in a guy similar to Seth Smith and pay big dollars when you could have just stayed with what you had.  Were you trying to make a splash?  Another example?  Last year at FanFest O'Dowd had the audacity to tell fans that last's year decision to go with fly ball pitchers had validity because of the "type" of fly ball pitcher these guys were.  Give you a hint Dan-O flyballs in places like Baltimore and Oakland become home runs at Coors!

2)  Trade Tulo.  Why not?  Get prospects, build for the future.  With our pitching this team is nowhere close to winning.  Tulo is entering that magic year (27-28 year old).  Why hang on to him and end up with another Helton.  Let him go to NY and become the next Jeter.

1)  Pitching Woes.  20 years of major league baseball and can we please just admit pitching at altitude sucks (and move on)?  The problem I have with this pitching thing is now it has become an excuse.  Bad season, objectives not meant, well it's the pitching.  Not enough snow this year, blame pitching.  Coors Light not tasting up to snuff, blame pitching.  Who wouldn't love to have an excuse year in and out.  68 wins, blame pitching.  Watch enough baseball to know that to win you have to have pitching.  Can't deny Rox greatest year was when they had competitive pitches.  Just look at the offense but great pitching and two World Series rings in the last 3 years.  Let's move beyond the excuse and just move on.  Denver Bears were successful.  Find the right kind of pitcher through the draft or off the scrap heap and they will appreciate being in the Bigs and getting the opportunity.  Accepting that you have a problem and moving beyond it is the first step, please Rox Organization just excise it from your excuse book.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Rox Talk - Week 26

Week 26
A 4-3 week against the D-Backs, Cubs, and Dodgers. The Rox currently stand at 62-97 (second half record at 29-45). Thirty-one games behind the Giants for the division lead in last place. Currently 35-46 at home and 27-51 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 879-746 (expected wins is 68 versus historical wins at 76). On pace for 63 wins with 760 runs scored and 896 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs Scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.85 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rox Talk - Week 25

Week 25
A 0-7 week against the Padres and D-Backs. The Rox currently stand at 58-94 (second half record at 25-42). Thirty and half games behind the Giants for the division lead in last place. Currently 31-46 at home and 27-48 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 849-718 (expected wins is 64 versus historical wins at 73). On pace for 62 wins with 765 runs scored and 905 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs Scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.85 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Rookie of the Year
With the season finally coming to an end (thankfully), Rox need to look back on their dismal season and at least take away some positives.  The biggest has to be the bat of Wilin Rosario (let's forget the defense for now).  With 26 homers (through Sunday), he leads the rookie field.  Unfortunately Rosario has no chance of gaining Rookie of the Year honors due to the presence of a strong East Coast candidate in Bryce Harper.  Plus even if Rosario didn't play in the media black hole of Colorado his 20 passed balls would probably preclude him from any honors.  Either way with Rosario's power and a healthy CarGo, Tulo, and Cuddyer, who knows maybe we will have Blake Street Bombers Part II.  Here are Rosario's stats compared to past offense ROY winners:

My guess is that he will finish in 4 or 5th place.  But hey Helton and Tulo both finished 2nd so who really cares...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 149

- Giants take the season series 14-4.  Giants should give the Rox a share of their playoff money as I don't think it would have been this easy without us laying down for them...27-9 over the last two seasons as well

- Welcome back to the BIGS de la Rosa...hard to figure why the Rox bothered but it was his first start since May 24, 2011.  Maybe next year will matter...

- Another catcher interference call, this is the season's 6th for the Rox.  In the past this has been extremely rare but Colvin does something...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 148

- Maybe it's just when we play the Giants but Rox just look horrible.  Besides a nice little run in late August this team doesn't look any better.  It has seemingly regressed to what we saw in May and June.  I really thought we'd see some growth, some excitement, something.  At this rate what we are seeing this month is what is going to start next April.  Frankly I have no confidence that what is fielded next year will be any better.  Seasons like this just suck the joy of baseball out of me...

- Giants have all of 24 homers in their own ballpark and yet are closing in on another division title...pretty much sums up what it takes to win in baseball, yup a little thing called PITCHING!

- Rox sit at 58 - 90 with 14 games remaining.  They need to go at least 9-5 to match their worse record ever.  With the way they are playing losing 100 is back in play.  Rox bottom my friends 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 147

- Not for sure what it is about San Fran but they completely own us right now.  San Fran owns a 12-4 record against Rox this year.  Last year they took 13 games against the Rox.  In every aspect they are complete opposites of our Rox.  Awesome pitching with weak hitting, it is just confounding.

- Rosario hit his 25th home run and is now tied with Helton for the Rox rookie record.  My guess with 15 games remaining and seven of those at home he will be the all time leader.  As Troy Rench twittered, he is a 20/20 man in his own way with 25 homers and 20 pass balls.

- Giants batters have a .457 batting average against Francis this year...yikes

- Game had a little bit of everything with catcher's interference, field interference, a baseball ricocheting off a helmet, and a flipped bat which sort of led to a player being tossed but not really.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rox Talk - Week 24

Week 24
A 2-4 week against the Giants and Padres. The Rox currently stand at 58-87 (second half record at 25-35). Twenty-four and half games behind the Giants for the division lead in last place. Currently 31-43 at home and 27-44 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 792-692 (expected wins is 64 versus historical wins at 69). On pace for 65 wins with 773 runs scored and 885 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs Scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.87 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Physiology @ Altitude
This past weekend the Denver Post had an interesting tidbit on how the Rox management are now looking more closely at the effects of playing at altitude and its effects on human body.  After reading this I just have to say wow, it took management this long?  How a team that spends this sort of coin doesn't look at everything just amazes me.  Rox are paying $80 million in salary this year to big league players.  How something as simple as nutrition and training aren't more closely watched just goes to show you that it ain't the Monforts fault they are raking in the dough, it's our fault for not calling them on it.

As a runner myself I know that working out at altitude is not easy on the body.  Recovery suffers, aches and pains aren't as quick to leave but I also now there are some benefits.  Cyclist, swimmers, and runners all know the philosophy of "Live High, Train Low".  Studies conducted in the 90s showed performance gains by following this regiment.  Could baseball training make a difference?  Should our starter's throw on home games and then immediately head for sea level to allow for recovery?

Frankly it would be nice that all possible alternatives are looked at.  At this point the Rox are a bottom rung team and it would be nice if management exhausted all possible reasons for the failure to do better on the field!

Box Score Bytes - Game 145

- With the recent announcement in yesterday's Sunday Denver Post the great experiment appears to be over.    In reality with the addition of Chacin to the rotation at Game 121 the experiment was effectively over as the rotation effectively since then has been Chacin, Francis, Chatwood, Pomernanz, and White.  This has been steady over the last 25 games.  Although through these 25 games, starter's have still averaged 76 pitches and average 4.1 innings of work so although the 4-man rotation experiment was done it appears we've morphed into a 5-man pitch limited piggyback rotation which I believe is theoretically still limiting the starter from getting seen a third time around in the rotation.

- 643 games have been played at Petco.  This is the first time both teams scored 10 plus in a 9 inning game.

- Homer milestones galore in this game as McBride hit his first homer, Rutledge hit his first grand slam, and White hit his second homer in as many games.  White is the first pitcher to homer in back to back games since 2009.

- History repeats?  This time Padres won the game on a throw to the plate...maybe!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 142

- Game 77 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 32-45.  Francis struggles through 3 innings.  He is know 5-5.  Rox one true pitching star in the this otherwise dismal season is probably showing his age.  Will he be back next year?  Starter's record is now 12-32 with 33 no decisions and bullpen record of 20-13.

- San Fran owns us again this year.  They hold a 10-4 edge and finished 7-2 at Coors.  Ever since the Lincecum comment a few years back about the humidor the edge that Colorado once had is noticeably gone. Maybe there was something to it...

- Rosario tied Tulo's record for rookie homers and is now within one of Helton's rookie record.

- For a team going no where and on a cold chilly night 24,000 crazy fools showed up or at least that was the paid attendance?

- Giants once again used 7 relief pitchers to get 9 outs last night.  That is just plain silly

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2013 Schedule

Here is the Colorado Rockies 20th Season Schedule for 2013.

Quick thoughts - Monforts are going to buy themselves a couple of new cars with both the Yankees and Red Sox coming to town!  Interesting having a home and away series against Houston in May.  Lovely June trip to Toronto, Washington, and Boston.

Box Score Bytes - Game 141

- Game 76 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 32-44.  Chacin struggles and Rox piggyback can't stop the bleeding.  Rox might have false hopes due to a 20-13 bullpen record.  Is this truly sustainable over an entire season?  Starter's record is now 12-31 with 33 no decisions and bullpen record of 20-13.

- With White hitting a home run yesterday helping the Rox win, tonight Rox loss because we gave up a home run to the opposing team.  Just another strange chapter in the book that is Coors Field.

- Rox almost came back with a Colvin homer in the bottom of the ninth but then Giambi lined out to the end the game.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 140

- Game 75 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 32-43. Too bad White wasn't more efficient otherwise he might have gotten the win.  Starter's record is now 12-31 with 32 no decisions and bullpen record of 20-12.

- White did homer for himself so that is a good thing.  Second homer this year from a Rox pitcher.  Last one was Pomenranz's on May 7.

- Rox finally beat Vogelsong.  In his previous six starts against us he was 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA.

- Tracy got ejected for the third time this year when he felt that Giant's Scutaro had missed a tag...

Rox Talk - Week 23

Week 23
A 1-6 week against the Braves and Phillies. The Rox currently stand at 56-83 (second half record at 23-31). Twenty-two games behind the Giants for the division lead in last place. Currently 30-41 at home and 26-42 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 750-654 (expected wins is 61 versus historical wins at 66). On pace for 65 wins with 762 runs scored and 874 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs Scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.87 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Rox ran into a buzz saw this past week.  Up until this point they had been playing fairly well and the real rub on this past week is that they lost two very winnable games.  To see some pitching success but then not take advantage is a real bummer.  Then of course Rox run into Philly with the Phillies finally playing up to their standard.

In addition to the losing of winnable games something else that that this year's record suggests is that Rox have not only had historically bad pitching and field but also have had some bad luck.  Their expected win percentage is closer to 61 games.  Now I'm not suggesting that if the Rox were sitting at 61-78 this season would be any better but perhaps it is something to lean on for next year.

Four Man Rotation
With Chacin's return to the rotation, the experiment is effectively over.  Since his return all pitchers have returned to their normal days of rest although the 75 pitch limit still appears to be in effect and the bullpen is still taking over once the opponent's line up goes through the third time.  My guess is that this will be the legacy of the experiment and that is giving pitchers fewer pitchers and the advent of a new bullpen piece, the piggyback.  Hopefully a better name is found but continues the obvious movement away from 9 inning starter and the further specialization of the bullpen.  Below is the data, not for sure if anything really jumps out.  I was hoping something would be seen but realistically I just don't think the data set is large enough to matter.  The first data points is the whole staff not just starter's.  Further down is starter's only.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 139

- Game 74 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 31-43. Starter's record is now 12-31 with 31 no decisions and bullpen record of 19-12.

- With 83 losses Rox should look at this game to wonder maybe it is something more than pitching.  Rox committed 5 errors today.  Two by Nelson, one by Pacheco, and two by Herrera.  Four runs were unearned and of course if these runs didn't score than Rox win by one...

- Phillies take the season series 7-2 (Yikes!).

- Why I hate September baseball?  Phillies use 7 pitchers to get through the game.  How the most important month of the season gets the expansion of rosters which changes how games are managed is beyond me...

Box Score Bytes - Game 138

- Game 73 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 31-42. Nice start by Chatwood.  Goes 5 innings and throws 75 pitches.  Everything Rox expect from a starter ;)  Starter's record is now 12-31 with 30 no decisions and bullpen record of 19-11.

- Double header due to the rain out last night.  

- Bullpen struggling a bit.  Have to wonder if the innings are starting to wear on the arms.  Importance of pitching stands out on the road when runs aren't as plentiful.  Rox lose another one in the bottom of the ninth...

- Rosario is making a name for himself and his bat but he is also making a name for himself as a terrible catcher.  He allowed four pass balls in the game and has a total of 19 for the season.  The all time record is 6 pass balls in a single game...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 137

- Game 72 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 31-41.  Francis does his job going 5.2 innings and allowing no runs.  Probably best start of the season limiting Phillies to just 6 hits and striking out seven. Starter's record is now 12-31 with 29 no decisions and bullpen record of 19-10.

- Francis made his 200th career appearance.

- Two quick runs in the first then nothing from the offense.  They were 1 for 8 with runner's in scoring position.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 136

- Game 71 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 31-40. Chacin gets the embarrassing loss (see below).  Pitched well although not as efficient compared to his other starts.  Starter's record is now 12-31 with 28 no decisions and bullpen record of 19-9.

- Rox continue to find new ways to lose a game.  Today's was more embarrassing than most as Chacin misplayed the return throw from the catcher and allowed a pass ball resulting in the runner from third taking home.  As this season goes this run was enough and Rox loss another 1-0 decision...the second in as many days!

- In the crazy world of stats this is the first time in 28 years that a team won consecutive 1-0 games with both runs being unearned.

- With as bad as Rox pitching has been, it has seemingly masked the fact that the defense behind those pitchers as also been truly awful.  Not only do we lead the league in errors but almost all the advanced defensive stats also suggest that our fielding this year as been bad.  

- Elias also reports this is the just the second time in Rox history they have played three straight games where one team failed to score.  Last time this happened was 2009.

- Braves trounce the season series by taking six of seven games.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 135

- Game 70 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 31-39.  White pitched effectively, too bad well pitched game added to his loss total.  Starter's record is now 12-30 with 28 no decisions and bullpen record of 19-9.

- Rox have played in 28 1-0 games in their history (approximately 1% of their total games!).  This is their second such game this year.

- Rox have been strike out kings this series having 12, 11, and 12 K's in each of the three games so far this series.

- Pacheco's hit streak hits 14 games.  In this stretch he is hitting .365 and raised his overall average to .313.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 134

- Game 69 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 31-38.  Pomeranz continues to struggle and not understand the concept of being efficient.  While he threw 3 innings of scoreless baseball he threw 72 pitches to get there.  Being that it would take him 216 pitches to get through 9 innings at this pace something has to start clicking with him.  In 17 starts he is averaging 13 outs per start.  Starter's record is now 12-29 with 28 no decisions and bullpen record of 19-9.

- Six shutout of the year for the Rox pitching staff.  Of course we are still last in the league in this category...

- Pacheco has a quiet 13 game hit streak going on.

- CarGo collected his 22nd homer and 83rd RBI.  Nice season for someone who probably doesn't see anything to hit on a daily basis....

Box Score Bytes - Game 133

- Game 68 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 30-38.  Chatwood can't do much on the road in Atlanta, giving up 6 runs (5 earned, sound familiar?) in three innings of work.  Starter's record is now 12-29 with 27 no decisions and bullpen record of 18-9. 

- Rox strikeout 12 times and our pitchers get a lesson on how it should be done.

- Although the score looked bad, Braves only had 5 hits and 6 runs, while Rox had 5 hits and 1 run...know how the Padres fill after yesterday's performance against us in a losing effort.

Rox Talk - Week 22

Week 22
A 4-2 week against the Dodgers and Padres. The Rox currently stand at 55-77 (second half record at 22-25). Twenty games behind the Giants for the division lead in last place. Currently 30-41 at home and 25-36 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 729-639 (expected wins is 58 versus historical wins at 63). On pace for 68 wins with 784 runs scored and 895 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs Scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.88 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Joe Posnanski is one of the better writer's going.  He takes a healthy approach to stats and what they mean to the average fan.  In this article about WAR, his analysis of our Rox is surprising in what it stands on especially when this season troubles has always been the pitching.

Two points that jump out to me
1)  "And yet … WAR tells you the Rockies are really not a good hitting team, not a good pitching team, and are terrible defensively."
2)  "But it might be tempting for the Rockies to decide that their offense is FINE -- after all, they score the second most runs in the league -- and just working on their pitching this offseason. I don't think that plan would work."

As Rox build to next year we have a whole lot more to worry about than just finding that pitching.  With Tulo back defense should improve but with Pacheco and Nelson still in the mix the hot corner really needs to be looked at.  Wonder if it wouldn't be better to move Tulo to third and fit in Rutledge at short?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 132

- Game 67 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 30-37.  As well as Chacin pitches yesterday, Francis laid an egg going only 3.2 innings and allowing 6 runs (5 earned).  Of course best case scenario didn't imagine Francis being your second best starter!  Starter's record is now 12-28 with 2 7no decisions and bullpen record of 18-9. 

- Whew wan't that a fun one?  Seems like every year Coors has some epic see saw battle.  Think after scoring 7 runs in the third would be enough but Padres chipped away and made it a ball game.

- Nothing like scoring 10 runs and outhit your opponent by 9 hits and still lose the game by a run!

- Pacheco has a 11 game hit streak.

- With three games left against the Padres they lead the season series 8-7.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 131

- Game 66 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 29-37.  Chacin pitches a gem.  Best start by a Rox starter in 2012.  Goes 7 innings, throws 74 pitches, and gets the W.  Last time a starter when that far in a game was June 4th.  Starter's record is now 12-28 with 26 no decisions and bullpen record of 17-9.

- Dex hits his first MLB Grand Slam.

- Colvin has had a sneaky good year.  Has 16 homers so far this season.

- Rox welcome back Giambi from the DL.  

Friday, August 31, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 130

- Game 65 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 28-37. Rox have now played at least half their games this year with the 4 man rotation.  Their record before the experiment was 25-40 with the starter's going 13-29 with 23 no decisions and a bullpen record 12-11.  Pundits would like to claim that this has been a success but with 3 more wins I hardly think this new rotation thingee has really mattered.  Starter's record is now 11-28 with 26 no decisions and bullpen record of 17-9.

- Three home runs by our Rox and all we got was a lousy loss...

- Alex White is looking like that AAAA type pitcher.  He can handle the AAA but can't handle the majors.  Rox have collected 3 wins this year from the Ubaldo trade last year.  Not exactly what fans like to see.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 129

- Game 64 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 28-36.  I realize we are rushing this kid so that we can get immediate gratification and know whether giving up our greatest pitcher was worth it but watching Pomeranz pitch is just painful.  Collected another loss today and went all of 4 innings.  In 16 starts he has one win.  Averages about 4.1 innings pitched.  Certainly a trial by fire but how long are we going to give this kid?  Starter's record is now 11-27 with 26 no decisions and bullpen record of 17-9. 

- Rox had 15 hits, they were all singles!

- Once again I am just amazed at some of the success of opponent's starters at Coors.  Joe Blanton pitches into the 8th inning.  Rox pitching is just the antithesis of every one else in baseball.  Nice article in the Denver Post about the "paired pitching" experiment.  If this is the path forward, are the Rox trendsetters and if it succeeds what does it mean for pitchers in the future?  Pitchers might curse Coors even more with the loss of starter's salary...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 128

- Game 63 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 28-35.  Chatwood gets above the .500 mark with a nicely pitched five inning, two runs allowed start.  Starter's record is now 11-26 with 26 no decisions and bullpen record of 17-9. 

- And we wonder why Rox continue to falter with expectations as quoted by Rosario from last night's win,"We're playing to our abilities and there is no pressure on us." That mindset needs to change because they seemingly can't play with pressure.

- LeMathieu tied a MLB record with 12 assists last night.

- Rox have won all the season series at home against the Dodgers this year.  They lead the Dodgers 8-6 with 4 more games this year.  Sad thing is the Rox continue to play OK against the NL West this year.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 127

- Game 62 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 27-35.  Francis rematch against Beckett from the 2007 World Series and Francis wins.   I had forgotten we lost 13-1 in that game...ughhh.  Starter's record is now 10-26 with 26 no decisions and bullpen record of 17-9. 

- Fourth time in 161 games against the Rox at Coors that the Dodgers failed to score.

- Rosario goes deep again for his 21st.  Getting close to Rox all time Rookie Record of 25 held by Helton.  With another homer he ties for sixth for most homers by a rookie catcher all time.

- According to High Heat Stats, Rox snapped a franchise record 50-game streak of single digit scoring...really?  That's pretty amazing.

Rox Talk - Week 21

Week 21
A 5-2 week against the Mets and Cubs. The Rox currently stand at 51-75 (second half record at 18-23). Nineteen games behind the Giants for the division lead in last place. Currently 26-39 at home and 25-36 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 699-589 (expected wins is 53 versus historical wins at 60). On pace for 66 wins with 757 runs scored and 899 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs Scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.84 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

In the last two weeks, Rox have played 10-4 baseball.  After reaching a low point over two weeks ago and playing on pace for only 59 wins someone decided it was purple time.  Since the mandatory wear of purple, Rox have gone on a tear.  Good to see some positives in this otherwise dismal season.  Although I'm not declaring what I have seen a success it at least points to something that can be built upon.  Of course it also would suggest some real conflicts.  Biggest being Helton and Cuddyer.  Team didn't win with them and are now winning without them.  I believe the Rox should put Cuddyer on waivers and see if anyone bites.  With cheaper alternatives in Colvin and EY Jr for next year why bother paying $20M?  Helton I think will take on a more Giambi type roll next year with a couple starts a week.  Rox have been terrifically faithful to our players to a fault.  With Helton I think it is time to think to the future.

Additionally I think the 75 pitch thing will continue.  The trick in the off season is to find pitchers who accept it.  At this right I think you will only find scrap heap pitchers looking for a major league team (Francis and Cook, anyone) and rookies, who don't have a choice.  The next key is finding that piggyback reliever.  Rox, who I don't think planned for Roenicke and Ottavino slipping into this role, will have to find similar type pitchers for this to work.  A bullpen record of 17-9 since the start of the 75 pitch limit might be a little luck.

Evil Empire Returns
Well if we didn't know, we do now and that is we are living in Dodger Country!  With the Dodgers taking on over $260M in contracts from the Red Sox over the weekend I think it should only make Rox management sit up and take notice that we have to be doing it better and cheaper.  We will never be able to compete with those zeroes but Tampa Bay has proven that you can compete against the money clubs through smart drafts and wise free agent signings.  It will certainly be a struggle but the Rox need to decide their path forward before Dodgers get too entrenched.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 126

- Game 61 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 26-35.   Chacin gets his second start since injury.  Starter's record is now 9-26 with 26 no decisions and bullpen record of 17-9. 

- Rox went runless against a guy who hadn't won in 24 starts...go figure

- First shorten game of the year.  Lots of rain delays, amazing the game made it this far.  Rox are 4-10 all time in shorten games.  First shorten game since June 11, 2010.  I think it is interesting how MLB tries to get every game finished even though the rule book says 5 innings....

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 125

- Game 60 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 26-34.   White throws 80 pitches, gets through 4 innings and 18 batter's faced.  Starter's record is now 9-25 with 26 no decisions and bullpen record of 17-9. 

- With Rox pitching being so bad another aspect of the Rox game that has been horrendous is fielding.  Another error today.  Rox lead the majors with 96 errors...have to wonder if it is the pitching or the pitching is as bad because of the defense...

- Andrew Brown (who?) got his first homer today for the Rox and got it off Rox fan favorite Corpas who now pitches for the Cubs.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 124

- Game 59 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 25-34.   Tough luck Drew left with a win only to see his bullpen implode.  Starter's record is now 9-25 with 25 no decisions and bullpen record of 16-9. 

- Even more impressive lineup today with Blackmon, Herrera, Pacheco, CarGo, Hernandez, Colvin, LeMahieu, and Pomeranz.  Must have been a split squad spring training game in Arizona!

- Rox couldn't get their 6th straight win...against a team that is 5-17 this month!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 123

- Game 58 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 25-33.   Starter's record is now 9-25 with 24 no decisions and bullpen record of 16-8. 

- Rox have gotten owned on the mound the last two games and yet still came out on top.  What's the story?  Previous months Rox would have just played dead and moved on.  Amazing what some confidence and wins do for a team.  

- At 50-73 do the Rox make this season respectable?  With 39 games to play, Rox would have to finish 31-8 to finish at .500 (which was there preseason over/under).  To make playoff chase interesting Rox would need about 86 wins so what do you say 36-3 down the stretch?

- Colorado finishes the season series taking a 5-2 lead.

- How impressive is a 4 game sweep?  In Rox history they are now 18-52-25 in 4 game series on the road.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 122

- Game 57 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 24-33.   Francis pitches an honest days work as always.  His 15th start of the year for Rox and Rox are now 10-5 in his starts.  He goes 5 innings gives up 5 hits and 1 run and leaves with 82 pitches.  Starter's record is now 9-25 with 23 no decisions and bullpen record of 15-8. 

- It is once again unfortunate that 1) Rox stink and 2) Rox are stuck in TV no man's land because Rosario is having a series run at Rookie of the Year.  He goes deep for his 20th homer tonight.  While his defense has been shaky he certainly garners more attention than he probably will get which is a shame.  Of course Todd Helton missed out on RoY considerations so it doesn't mean everything!

- Rox get their seventh straight victory at Citi Field.  They swept 4 games there last year as well.  They are also winners of 8 of the last 11 games.

- According to research notes the Astros, Indians, Mets, Blue Jays, and Cubs have the worse record since the All Star Break.  Rox are 16-21.  If Rox can finish strong I think that will be huge going into next year!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 121

- Game 56 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 23-33.   Chacin returns and looks like the Chacin of old.  Some rust but nice to see a pitcher that deserves to be starting.  He goes 6 innings gives up 4 hits and 1 run and only throws 73 pitches.  Great start for his first win this year and first start since May 1.  Starter's record is now 9-25 with 22 no decisions and bullpen record of 14-8. 

- Rox have won 10 of 15 with a lot of young players.  Interestingly this is being done without the presence of that "veteran" leadership, maybe that is a whole bunch of bunk, and maybe you just need some ballers. 

-  Sixth straight win at Citi Field which is helping to bury the nightmare that was Shea Stadium for our Rox

- Before sac fly in the 7th, the Rox had an 18 inning scoreless streak, again where would we be without this year's bullpen?


Monday, August 20, 2012

Rox Talk - Week 20

Week 20
A 5-2 week against the Brewers and Marlins. The Rox currently stand at 46-73 (second half record at 13-21). Nineteen and half games behind the Dodgers for the division lead in last place. Currently 26-39 at home and 20-34 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 681-567 (expected wins is 50 versus historical wins at 56). On pace for 63 wins with 772 runs scored and 927 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs Scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.83 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Rox actually redeemed themselves somewhat with a decent homestand.  Part of it was I think luck of the draw with certain opponents that they seem to do well against in the Brewers and Marlins.  That said they had couple of decent pitching outings, good bullpen relief as always, and some timely hitting.  If this team ever amounts to something, I think they will look back at the trials that this season has brought them and consider that the on the job training made a difference.  If this team amounts to nothing than it really won't matter will it?  Hard to believe how many players have passed through Denver this summer.  The lineup we see in late September will not be the one any Rox fans would have hoped for but to put a positive spin on everything this season basically became an extended Spring Season and try out central.  Rox management should have no excuses entering 2013 as to who is ready and who is not. Any ambiguity better be tried out because if I hear any lame excuses next April about players it will make me very angry.

In other news, another perfect game was thrown in baseball last week, highlighting once again just how bad our staff is.  Also the Astros dumped their manager.  Haven't really said too much about the Astros but only because they are probably more embarrassing then our Rox this year.  One really has to wonder what changes the Rox make and how they go about things in 2013 and what excuses they come up with to keep any of the current management in place.  I'm all for continuity, but Rox haven't put a decent product on the field since 2009.  Three years of anti-growth does not bode well.

What Works
Most people will tell you that statistics can be manipulated in whatever way so that the creator can tell their story.  Data bias is probably always present just because the creator doesn't truly have all the data and that just the selection of what data to used is probably skewing the data in the direction the conclusion is reaching for.  Does data create conclusions or does conclusions create the data we see?  Semantics and off topic but whatever.

Last week I had briefly created a graph showing the difference between Rox ERA and the league average to winning percentage.  Below is similar graph but shows all of baseball between 2002-2011.  X-axis is wins and y-axis is the difference between ERA and the league average for the corresponding year. Rox numbers are highlighted in purple.  Generally it shows that when you are better than league average in ERA you tend to have a better record although you will note quite a few teams were below average and only won 70-80 games (except for those rare outliers such as Yankees in 2004 who won 101 games and was 0.23 above league average in ERA and 2010 Seattle who won 61 games but had a 0.15 below league average).  With the lastest playoff hunt the new standard for playoff is around the 86 win mark which indicates you better be within 0.50 of the league average.  The thing that stands out most when looking at the Rox is how dependent their record is based on ERA.  For both of their playoff appearances their staff was below the league average which suggests for Rox pitching is key.

For comparison look at OPS difference between league averages with the graph below.  In the case for offense Rox are a bit more flatter and have had similar above average OPS seasons and yet win totals have ranged from 67-92 wins.  Ultimately what I am suggesting is not something we don't all know but to win in purple we really need to find pitching.  Playing half your games at Coors will help your offense, what you need to do is pitch better!  No duh!

Box Score Bytes - Game 120

- Game 55 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 22-33.     White struggles but controls his wildness and gets through 4 innings.  Goes a bit deeper as five starters are on the roster and throws 83 pitches.  Starter's record is now 8-25 with 22 no decisions and bullpen record of 14-8. 

- Colvin, playing first because everyone else is injured, made a game saving grab with bases loaded in the 8th to preserve the lead.  Big night for him at the plate as well as his first homer in 105 at bats tied the game.

- Some love for Herrera.  In the eighth he bunted and then got to second on an errant throw to first, then got to third on a sac, and then scored on a passed ball.  Got to love small ball!

- Nice to get a win against one of the better starting pitchers this year especially with a lineup straight out of AAA:  Blackmon, Pacheco, Fowler, Brown, Rosario, Colvin, LeMahieu, Herrera, and White

- The umpire calling balls and strikes tonight was Fieldin Culbreth, now that is a baseball name...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 119

- Game 54 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 21-33.   No luck Pomeranz actually pitched fairly well just ran into a guy that started off better.  Starter's record is now 8-25 with 21 no decisions and bullpen record of 13-8. 

- Rox finished their homestand with a 5-2 record.  Finished their season series against the Marlins going 4-3 against them.  

- Rox are the walking wounded with Cuddyer going back on the DL and both EY Jr and Rutledge leaving today's game due to injury.  Hard to know why a team falls into the injury bug but it certainly can't help them from keeping 100 losses...

- Betancourt has really had a nice season.  Earned his 23 save.  One bright spot in a season of disappointments.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 118

- Game 53 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 20-33.  Chatwood couldn't follow up his last start with another win.  Starter's record is now 8-25 with 20 no decisions and bullpen record of 12-8. 

- Stanton hit his 6th homer in so many games.  He now holds the record for consecutive homers by a visiting player (over Jeff Kent) at Coors as well as in baseball in general.  This shot was monster actually going out of the stadium on a bounce into the player's parking lot.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 117

- Game 52 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 20-32.  Francis goes 5 innings, gives up 4 runs but can't get the decision although he left with the lead.  Starter's record is now 8-24 with 20 no decisions and bullpen record of 12-8. 

- Stanton is making a name for himself against the Rox.  After blowing up a scoreboard in Miami against Moyer, he has now hit a homer in his last 5 games at Coors.  He mildly hit a 474 foot shot which is the longest at Coors this year.

- Must have been Singles night at Coors, Rox had 11 of them last night and only 12 hits.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 116

- Game 51 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 20-31.  Alex White goes 4 innings giving up 2 runs with 74 pitches thrown.  Really when this whole 75 pitch came about I think the intent was to go at least 5 innings...Starter's record is now 8-24 with 19 no decisions and bullpen record of 12-7. 

- Rox win their 4th in a row at home.  Nice compared to their last 1-8 home stand.  Only 19 games left to go.  Need to go 16-3 to finish with a winning record...

- Have to ask again where would the Rox be with Ottavino and Roenicke?  Ottavino won today and got his 4th win.  Roenicke also has 4 wins.  Ottavino has pitched 53.1 innings and Roenicke has gone 72.2.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 115

- Game 50 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 19-31.   Moscoso gets a spot start with Pomeranz having arm tightness.  Gives a standard Rox starter output:  4 innings pitched, 7 hits, 4 runs, 78 pitches, just like clockwork.  Starter's record is now 8-24 with 18 no decisions and bullpen record of 11-7. 

- Through the first 65 games of the season the Rox were 25-40, good for a .385 winning percentage.  Through the last 50 games they are 19-31 or a .380 winning percentage.  Not for sure if the vaulted 4 man rotation is doing all that much...

- Rox got first series sweep in quite a while (since june 1).  Took some Coors magic but hey whatever it takes!

- Colvin gets a walk off double that scores two and Rox win the game.  Another reason you got to love EY Jr...he is freaking fast.  Scores from first on a double to the right field corner.

- In other baseball news, Felix Hernandez, threw the third perfect game this season.  On the bright side Rox have thrown 3 shutouts and have allowed only 3 hits in two games.  The graph below shows Rox ERA versus the league average versus Rox winning percentage.  I might not be a baseball guy but something tells me that to be competitive in this league you might need pitching...just saying

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 114

- Game 49 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 19-30.   Chatwood throws another good game.  Second consecutive game that the starter earned the victory.  Starter's record is now 8-22 with 19 no decisions and bullpen record of 11-8. 

- Poor EY Jr...a great player with a lot of heart who just doesn't have a position.  Think he can be more than just a pinch hitter if given the chance the problem is there are just sexier players ahead of him.  Since August 6 in LA, he has gotten a start every day usually batting in the lead off position.  In that time he has batted .434 with 3 home runs and 3 stolen bases.  He has a .619 OBP in August and in the games he has played Rox are 8-9.  Not to suggest he is the reason but a firecracker at the top of the line up can sure help the CarGo's of the world...

- With EY Jr hot, would it be wise to just waive Cuddyer?  I know he is hurt but is he really the long term answer for the Rox?  Next year I foresee a lineup of Rosario, Pacheco, Tulo, Rutledge, Colvin, CarGo, Fowler, and Cuddyer.  I think having EY Jr instead of Cuddyer and EY Jr value has a lead off trumps whatever power we lose from Cuddyer...

- First home series win since June 1-3 against the Dodgers

Monday, August 13, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 113

- Game 48 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 18-30.   Francis bends but doesn't break and hangs on for his 4th win, first since July 25.  Starter's record is now 7-22 with 19 no decisions and bullpen record of 11-8. 

- Every position player has a hit tonight, 15 hits in all.  Interesting because Rox don't typically hit all that well after a West Coast road trip.

- Rosario, a work in progress, allowed his 14th passed ball this season.  A club record ;(

Rox Talk - Week 19

Week 19
A 3-3 week against the Dodgers and Giants. The Rox currently stand at 41-71 (second half record at 8-19). Twenty and half games behind the Giants for the division lead in last place. Currently 21-37 at home and 20-34 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 646-525 (expected wins is 45 versus historical wins at 53). On pace for 59 wins with 759 runs scored and 934 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs Scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.81 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential). 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 112

- Game 47 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 17-30.   Alex White returns to the mix.  Goes four innings giving up 3 runs with 82 pitches.   Starter's record is now 6-22 with 19 no decisions and bullpen record of 11-8. 

- Rox were looking good until a 5 run 8th which effectively ended any chance of winning their second series in a row!  Bullpen has been good this year but ugly when things go bad.

-  A 3-3 road trip to LA and San Fran is a step in the right direction.  Rox wore purple uniforms for the whole trip.  I wonder if that was on purpose?  

- Rox are 3-8 against the Giants this year with seven to play.  Sure would be nice to play spoiler's in late September although to allow the Dodgers to win out might be hard to take!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 111

- Game 46 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 17-29.   The hard luck starter, Pomeranz, continues to struggle.  Hard to know if it is the 4 man rotation or just immaturity.  He is now 1-7, failing to pitch past the 4th inning and surrendering 4 runs with 73 pitches.  Starter's record is now 6-22 with 18 no decisions and bullpen record of 11-7. 

- Interesting stat in that Giants now have 38 triples, only two shy of the Rox leading total of 40.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 110

- Game 45 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 17-28.   Chatwood's second start of the year and pitches 5 strong innings with only 71 pitches!  Somebody got the memo!.  Starter's record is now 6-21 with 18 no decisions and bullpen record of 11-7. 

- Hard to believe we shut an offense down at their home park after they erupted with 35 runs at your park in about a weeks time.

- Rox third shutout this year and second in four games.  Have to wonder if Rox pitchers were pitching in pitcher friendly parks all the time whether they would be more successful.  Aggressiveness on the mound and self confidence can certainly be powerful.  Coors has really wrecked havoc on our psyche this year...

- Helton's 2012 campaign is over.  Had surgery today and hopes to be ready for next Spring and the 2013 season which in all likelihood will be his swan song and farewell tour.  At 38 years young he played in 69 games and collected 57 hits in 283 plate appearances.  He has 2,420 hits in his career.  It would be nice if he could stay healthy next year and get to the 2,500 plateau.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 109

- Game 44 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 16-28.   Francis continues to struggle especially in the first inning.  Rox have been outscored 17-4 in the first inning in his 13 starts.  Goes 4 innings and gets the no decision.  Starter's record is now 5-21 with 18 no decisions and bullpen record of 11-7. 

- Rox starter's have one victory in their last 23 games. Last win was by Francis on July 25.

- Like father like son, EY Jr got his first inside the park homer.     His father hit two inside-the-park homers during his 15-year career.  His first was in 1994 at Mile High when with the Rox and his second was when he was with Milwaukee in 2003.

Rox Talk - Week 18

Week 18
A 1-5 week against the Cardinals and Giants. The Rox currently stand at 38-68 (second half record at 5-16). Twenty games behind the Giants for the division lead in last place. Currently 21-37 at home and 17-31 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 621-504 (expected wins is 43 versus historical wins at 50). On pace for 58 wins with 770 runs scored and 949 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs Scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.81 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential). 

Where Do We Go From Here
Baseball is frustrating to say the least.  For years, our Rox struggled to find a solution to what was termed "Nintendo Ball".  For three years from 2007 - 2009 we seemingly tamed the beast.  Baseball was fun, it was fun to be a fan, it was fun going to the ballpark knowing we weren't watching batting practice.  The shocking part of this season is how quickly this all went away.  To have tasted the fruit of success and to have it ripped away from you is the cruelty that baseball can bring.

I feel for the players and management.  I can be harsh but it is frustration that comes out.  Frustration that we seemingly came so far only to fall back to mediocry.  So be it.  In an interesting article at Yahoo Sports, Steve Henson makes some valid points.  Not to say baseball can't learn new tricks but the game remains remarkably similar over the years.  Everyone wants to find that "moneyball" moment but baseball caught on pretty quickly and that team really succeeded with that baseball standard, pitching.  Rox seemingly are trying to find that moment and realistically it is really not trying something as it is just masking a young inexperienced squad.

I mean if Rox really want to go off the deep end how about they really mix it up and have home and away pitchers?  I mean with squad of 13 pitchers.  You could have 4 starters who only go pitch when the team travels leaving 9 pitchers to mop up on away games and some sort of rotating 3 to 4 inning rotation for home games.  How about carrying more than just 13 pitchers?  How about 8 non-pitcher's with a extra catcher, infielder/outfielder for 10 non-pitchers which would leave room for 15 pitchers?  If pitchers complain that arm slot is an issue at Coors versus away then just get four starters that play only in away games.  Heck don't even let them travel to Coors.  Each of these starters would get about 20 starts, not for sure how long home stands would work but whatever.  This would then leave 11 pitchers to tame Coors.  With statistics showing that lineups tend to get better each time they see a pitcher it would suggest that limiting those times might make sense.  With the specialization in the relief corp and death of the nine inning starter would it be a stretch to think of a time in the future when there is no such thing as a starter?  With inning eaters a thing of the past, and the thought that more innings lead to injuries, is it a wonder that the traditional starter might go away?  Team averages about 1400 innings a year so would it make sense to limit your pitchers to about 100 innings?  

Box Score Bytes - Game 108

- Game 43 of the Great Tracy Experiment (Train Wreck): Record 16-27.   Alex White gets a return call to the Bigs when Sanchez goes on the DL.  Goes 4 innings and gets the no decision.  Starter's record is now 5-21 with 17 no decisions and bullpen record of 11-6.  Where would we be without Roenicke?  Can a middle reliever get some Cy Young votes?

-  From Troy Renck and the Rockies, this is the 18th time in Rox history they have allowed only one run in back to back games.

-  First series win in LA since 2010.

- Interesting article about WAR and team wins.  H opefully Rox can get 12 more wins in the their last 54 games because if they finish the season with just 52 then we would have a completely "replacement" team!  Of course $85M would suggest otherwise!  Of course has bad as our Rox the Astros have been worse!  They only have 36 wins!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 107

- Game 42 of the Great Tracy Experiment: Record 15-27. Pomeranz pitched well but lasted only 4 innings after throwing 84 pitches and got the no decision.   Starter's record is now 5-21 with 16 no decisions and bullpen record of 10-6.

- Last night's game will go down in infamy as Tracy and Vin Scully do a nice duet.  It was blinking fertilizer!  Vin has made a career out of giving our Rox a hard time.  Remember Scully and Tulo's mullet?

- First shutout since June 4.

- Rox should watch that game over and over because frankly that is how baseball is supposed to be played.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 106

- Game 41 of the Great Tracy Experiment: Record 14-27.  With Friedrich on the DL, Chatwood gets thrown into the  mix.  Another stellar outing, not, going 3.1 innings.  When will this madness end?  Starter's record is now 5-21 with 15 no decisions and bullpen record of 9-6. 

- Ho hum another sweep, a 1-8 homestand, good times and a loss to Lincecum.

- Giants totaled 35 runs at Coors Field after scoring six in their previous three games.

- Rox put Sanchez on the DL along with Helton...will anyone be left?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 105

- Game 40 of the Great Tracy Experiment: Record 14-26.  Francis struggles again and manages only 3.2  innings.  Gives up 6 runs and saw his ERA increase to 6.02.  How bad is our rotation?  He has been been our best...Starter's record is now 5-20 with 15 no decisions and bullpen record of 9-6. 

- Pinch me but really?  The Giants, the offensely challenged, has banged out 33 hits in the last two games.  Yikes!

- Giants own us this year compiling a 6-2 record against us.  Ughhhhh

- Not to beat a dead horse but 105 games into this Rox starting pitching has 18 wins.  Think about that...on pace for 28 wins...second closest to this value is 37 from Rox inaugural year

Friday, August 3, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 104

- Game 39 of the Great Tracy Experiment: Record 13-26.  Sanchez and Guthrie are two peas in the same pod.  Sanchez suffers through 3 innings against his old team.  Starter's record is now 5-20 with 14 no decisions and bullpen record of 8-6.

- Giants are 18th in the league in runs scored, they score 16 tonight...nothing we haven't seen with visitor's this summer.  Seemingly they come in, swing big bats, and for whatever reason their pitchers go into the 7th inning.

- Fowler got his 50th triple, now is number one in Rox history

- Have to wonder after 39 games of the 4-man rotation is the bullpen starting to collapse?  Gave up 14 runs!

Box Score Bytes - Game 103

- Game 38 of the Great Tracy Experiment: Record 13-25.  White comes back from AAA and has a pretty decent start.  Goes 5.1 innings, leaves with the loss but keeps things close for once and Rox offense takes over and wins one giving White a no decision.  Really this is the formula for success that has been lacking.  If Starter's could just learn to give the offense time instead of allowing them to step to the plate for their first at bat and already being behind.  Starter's record is now 5-19 with 14 no decisions and bullpen record of 8-6.

- Rutledge goes deep for the four straight game, becoming Rox first rookie to do so.  Be nice if this can continue but scouts will make adjustments and we shall see if he can make them too.  A middle infield with Tulo and Josh could be a big bonus next year.

- First win for Rox at home in 8 games.  Yikes this year has truly been miserable.

- Pacheco, who is probably having one of the quieter good seasons, had his 5th three hit game of the season.  He is batting .307 at this point.

- Helton had his 9,000th plate appearance and drew a that is a lot of pitches!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 102

- Game 37 of the Great Tracy Experiment: Record 12-25.  Pomeranz goes 4 innings and throws 72 pitches.  Fortunately he does not get his 7th loss but the bullpen has given up a bunch of runs (12 runs in the last two nights in fact) and you have to wonder if the other shoe is going to drop.  Thirty-seven straight games of the four man rotation has added up to a lot of extra innings for the bullpen (starter's 169 innings vs relief 156.2).  Theoretically if our starter's averaged 6 innings then the relief corp would have only mopped up on about 100 innings.  Hard to say if an extra 5 or 6 outs per game takes a toll.  Starter's record is now 5-19 with 13 no decisions and bullpen record of 7-6. 

- Excitement was palpable yesterday before the Rox press conference.  For those of us looking forward to the day with a new GM we will just have to wait a bit longer.  In what continues to be a source of frustration, the management continues to misunderstand the concept of what it means to fire someone.  I applaud the notion of loyalty and all that but baseball is not a mom and pop business.  Loyalty in this business is for fools.  Players (and management included) need to be evaluated on a day to day business.  Playing favorites and staying loyal only lead to old players who end up in the scrap heap with nothing to show in return.  If we were the Yankees we could afford to keep and pay everyone regardless of production on the field.  Unfortunately we don't play in New York.  I applaud the efforts of the Denver Post for trying to prod the team into making those required hard decision.  Rox in their paranoid delusional world even kept this news from the two people that follow and report on the team (Renck and Saunders) and gave the scoop to a Broncos reporter!  This lack of accountability and circle jerk between Monforts, O'Dud, and Tracy just goes to show you that at least in the immediate future this team is going no where.  As shareholders of this team, we deserve more.  Monfort says he takes full responsibility for the mess we are in and that the right people are there and that they just aren't in their right positions.  To be honest Dick, the one person not in the right position is you, go back to your meat packing business, and leave baseball to people who care and desire to win, not steal the money from your patrons...

- CarGo goes hitless and was one shy of tying the record for consecutive hits at home.  Larry Walker retains the record with 32 home games with at least one hit.

- An interesting study would be how traded super stars tend to do against their original teams.  Holliday has been on an absolute tear against Rox.  Two more homers last night.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 101

- Game 36 of the Great Tracy Experiment: Record 12-24.  Up until this game Francis had been our most reliable starter.  Last night he couldn't get out of the 4th giving up 5 runs.  Starter's record is now 5-19 with 12 no decisions and bullpen record of 7-5. 

- Matt Holliday continues to spank us.  I am sure that in some perverse way this is personnel but if I was him I would be glad that Rox didn't retain his services...He is batting .500 with 3 homers against us this year.  In the end though we traded Holliday for CarGo.  I think it was a good trade for both teams...

Holliday 538 2302 2004 339 622 146 5 93 357 29 253 365
CarGo 454 1911 1722 326 541 98 24 93 309 76 154 396

- Helton collected his 958th double and is tied with Fred McGriff for 45th place.

- Over at Hard Ball Times there was a nice write up on winners and losers after the current trade deadline.  The following was written about our Rox, "The Rockies are a bad baseball team. Bad baseball teams don’t need veteran relievers. Bad baseball teams should trade veteran relievers for younger talent at positions with longer shelf lives. Betancourt and Belisle are high risk assets who can easily go from valuable commodity this year to worthless next year. The Mariners made this same decision with Brandon League a year ago, and they ended up essentially giving him away to the Dodgers. Relievers are inconsistent and should not be counted on as significant building blocks for your future. The Rockies simply whiffed on an opportunity to turn two good trade assets into something that could have helped the team get back to where they need to be. 2012 is a lost season in Colorado, but they could have at least salvaged something by selling high on their relievers when they had the chance."

Does this remind you of something? Is history repeating itself?  Do our leaders not learn anything from keeping Hawpe and Atkins for far too long.  Rox continue to standby players but hey our fearless leader continues to standby a worthless GM so we shouldn't expect much...

- Meanwhile in the same article one of the winners at the tradeline was the Dodgers.  Don't look now but if I had to guess Rox missed their chance in trying to win a division these last few years with the Dodgers being down.  With Dodgers new management they are going to become the Yankees of the West Coast.  Rox better find something they are good at because they are going to have to pull off some magic to win the division anytime soon...