Monday, April 16, 2012

Rox Talk - Week 2

The Week That Was
A 3-3 week against the Giants and D-Backs. The Rox currently stand at 4-5.  Four and half games behind the Dodgers for the division lead in third place. Currently 3-3 at home and 1-2 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 50-46 (expected wins is 4 versus historical wins at 4). On pace for 72 wins with 828 runs scored and 900 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.92 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

I didn't bother with Week 1 as it was the opening series in Houston.  A disappointing 1-2 series where Rox should have taken 2 of 3 wins.  In the big scheme of things I think a 4-5 start is pretty good.  Looking at the season they probably gave one away in Houston but then stole two this week against the D-Backs.  Early season, especially in April, I think the best you can hope for is to stay consistent, let new teammates find their roles, don't get buried, and build on some things for the Summer (when it really counts).

I think the hard thing at this point of the season is that you've been without baseball for so long you just get excited and want your team to win every game.  Your expectations are so high.  This is brought on mostly because frankly no one in Spring Training tells the truth.  Every team has a chance if x, y, and z happen.  Now the odds of x, y, and z happening in the real world are never revealed (1% for most of us, unless you are the Yankees), but least the chance exists.

The Rox expectations were pretty low this year.  Without the Kool Aid, most people see this team being a 0.500 team.  Perhaps if they find some LoDo Magic they might get in the mid-80s and if the pitching completely falls apart then we find ourselves in the mid-70s.  Nothing great and nothing too bad just about an average summer.  Of course then Opening Day in Denver hit and suddenly this team was too old, terrible pitching, and disrespected the Denver faithful.  Nothing like April Boo Birds...

So after 9 games can we note any trends of interest?  My thoughts:

1)  Starters have lived up to their pre season billing as they have struggled.  In Houston Guthrie and Nicasio both went 7 innings but since then at home they have gone 4.0, 3.1, 5.2, 2.2, 4.0, and 4.1.  That is not a recipe for success.  Bullpen won't be able to sustain this type of work load over the long hot summer.

Over the last 5 years starters have averaged about 5.2 innings per start, this year they are at 4.2.  Average game score over this 5 year period was 49, this year it is 40.  Interestingly over the last 4 years the number of strikes thrown by the starter is about 58 per game and this year it is currently at 53.

2)  The lineup can hit as they are on pace for 828 runs scored (and our pitchers allowing 900!).  While we have scored runs it hasn't exactly been from the usual suspects.  Rox table setters, Scutaro and Fowler, have 5 and 6 runs scored with 0.265 and 0.333 OBP for each.  I love the gutsy Scutaro but he belongs hitting 8th or 2nd.  Fowler needs to find his stroke for this team to work.

3)  Two good surprises have been Cuddyer and Colvin.  Cuddyer has 13 hits already.  Colvin looks like a much better Spilborghs.  On the mound I think it has to be Chatwood.

4)   Wait and see has to be Guthrie and Rosario.  Both have high expectations especially Guthrie and his inning eating ability.  His first two starts have had both good and bad.  The bad being back to back home runs in both appearances.

5)  Disappointments at this stage is probably only Chacin although his game on Saturday night was going well until the rains came.  The importance of him finding his game is crucial if the Rox expect the 80 win mark.

6)  Incidentals like managing already makes me cringe a little.  Tracy helped loss a game in Houston and his mantra of keeping players fresh is really going to mess with the daily flow.  I understand our team is old and needs some days but to swap out 5-6 guys out of your daily lineup on get away days is just screaming for losses.  How about we swap a guy every day or mix and match with opposing pitchers?

7)  Rox played some tough opponents at home but to be 3-3 suggests we are still letting teams come in and be too comfortable.  Where are the brush backs?  To be successful Rox need to be winning close to 50 games at home...always.

8)  Other silly stuff...I miss the old Roots team especially Rizzo and Helmer.  I understand change but some people were a "part" of the broadcast.

9)  I am beginning to hate in between inning entertainment.  Why don't you just play music, show some highlights on the big screen, and let us swig some beer.

10) And finally, who cares about what I just said, baseball is back baby!

No comments: