Saturday, June 30, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 77

- Game 12 of the Great Tracy Experiment: Record 5-7.  Friedrich threw 74 pitches in five innings and got a no decision.  Friedrich was in line for the win leaving with the score at 2-1 but of course Guthrie came in and threw batting practice, gave up two homers and received the loss.  He is now 3-7

- Rox finish the month of June at 9-18.  In the past June as usually been a good month for Rox records but this month (and year) as been a struggle.  The only other time Rox only won 9 games was in 2004...

- Fireworks would explain the 49,000 people who came out to see the Padres hit the fireworks! - Yasmani Grandal was the first player to homer from both sides of the plate for his first two major league hits according Elias Sports Bureau. Another infamous Coors Field fact...

Box Score Bytes - Game 76

- Back to back wins!  First time since June 3/4.

- First win by a Starter since June 4.

- As bad as the Rox are...Padres are probably worse...funny how Rox have Coors, hitter friendly park who can't find pitchers and Padres have Petco, pitcher friendly park who can't find hitters!

- Can't go wrong with Black uniforms.  Rox are 8-8 with black, best record by far this year.

- Game 11 of the Great Tracy Experiment: Record 5-6.  Francis threw 82 pitches in six innings but got the win.

- On a side note, former Rox Aaron Cook threw a 2-hit shutout for Boston tonight with only 81 pitches!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 75

- Rox scraped to a 2-2 series split.  Today's game should have been easier when they got out to a 7-0 lead but as with anything Rox this year, nothing comes easy.

- Nationals scored 35 runs in the series and split the series.  Make any conclusion you desire from that bit of info...

- Rox Roenicke gave up a homer to his brother-in-law Ian Desmond, sure holidays will be fun for Josh.  Hope is wife made it up to him ;)

- Colvin will be an every day player from here on out.  He has earned it.  Only a double away from a Cycle. Someone needs to talk with the veteran Helton and tell him the facts.  He is not the future and we need to start finding it.

- Ottavino was light's out.  Struck out 5 batters in two innings of work in extra innings and got the win.  Huge, huge appearance.

- Four hour game on a getaway day...yikes!

- Betancourt blew his fourth save chance this year.  Interesting to see if he stays or goes...

- Really Roenicke gets on base for getting hit by a pitch?  What exactly was the Nats pitcher throwing up there?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 74

- You know it is just one of those days when you have 14 hits, 4 walks, and only 2 strikeouts and you lose by 6 runs.  Oh yeah you hit into four double plays too

- The last time a Rockies starter won a game, it was June 4.

- Rox are 4-16 in their last 20 games.  Can we wave the white flag now?  Will GenR2 commence shortly?  Also announced today was that de la Rosa is pretty much shut down for the year.  All signs point to 2013...

- Game 9 of the Great Tracy Experiment: Record 3-6.  Cabrera got Rox'd in his MLB debut.  Not for sure why they started a rookie at home.  Let him get his feet wet somewhere else...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 73

- Apodaca Era is over.  Kind of fitting that Rox give up 21 hits, 12 runs, and 4 dingers in his exile.  Team calls it a transfer.  He is now a special assistant to the GM.  Can't wait for the GM to go next...Apodaca was hired in October of 2002.  Rox went 725 - 806 in his tenure...

- Game 8 of the Great Tracy Experiment: Record 3-5.  Friedrich threw 70 pitches in a 4.1 inning outing. He was actually doing OK.  Only down one run when he left.  Moscoso came in and promptly gave up 8 runs in 1.2 innings.  Nights like tonight you have to wonder if starter should have gone a bit longer...also have to wonder if this experiment was the cause of demise of Apodaca

- A Coors Field kind of night.  87 plate appearances, 33 hits, 17 runs, and 6 home runs.  Yikes!

- Interesting tid bit but at one point there were four Rox with socks showing tonight...I love the old school look.  Glad to see Nats' Harper do the high sock thing.

- How often do player's match up at the plate and on the mound with the last name?  CarGo and Gio, both Gonzalez's, did tonight.

Box Score Bytes - Game 72

- I break the Rox season into nine 18 games stretches.  With 72 games played, Rox just finished their 4th inning of the season.  This 18 game sequence was just plain awful.  Rox were 4-14.  Worse stretch of baseball since the last 18 games of 2010 (when I started tracking this).  The most shocking aspect of this stretch was that the Starters went 0-12.  Simply unfathomable in today's game.  With an average of 14 outs per outting and a game score of 33 this has to be the bottom right?

- At least Rox ended this stretch on a high note.  Probably not a whole lot of people gave our Rox a chance going against best pitcher on the best pitching team in baseball.  Maybe Coors Field effect played some mind games with Strasburg.  It was his first appearance in the thin air although having come from San Diego State I bet he must have pitched at the Air Force Academy during MWC play?

- Don't believe the hype?  Bryce Harper goes 0-4 with 3 strikeouts in his Coors Field debut...where was Moyer, Rox could have written history again...

- Game time temperature was 100 degrees.  First triple digit reading in 1,406th regular-season contests.  More excuses for Dismal Dan...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rox Talk - Week 12

The Week That Was
A 2-4 week against the Phillies and Rangers. The Rox currently stand at 27-44.  Ffiteen games behind the Dodgers for the division lead in fourth place. Currently 15-21 at home and 12-23 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 403-355 (expected wins is 31 versus historical wins at 33). On pace for 62 wins with 810 runs scored and 920 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs Scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.88 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

The Rox nine game road swing through Detroit, Philadelphia, and Arlington is done.  Rox finished at 3-6.  Not a complete nightmare, for a Rox road trip, although any hope that Interleague might help the Rox was squashed fairly earlier this month with sweeps by the A's and Mariners. Detroit and Texas only added to Rox woes.  In an interesting scheduling quirk Rox potentially might be facing potential World Series teams in back to back series.  After finishing with Texas, the Rox travel home to start a four game series against the second best NL team in the Washington Nationals.

As if we need any more reminders about how our team is terribly constructed we get to see two teams in one week that define the class of baseball.  Of course baseball schedulers also prove this by then scheduling the Padres visit which will highlight two of the worse teams in baseball!  Either way Woody Paige had an interesting take on the Rox this weekend.  Frightening how the Post has become good reading again for Rox fans.  Nice to see someone cares or at least finds the idea of getting someone fired more interesting than Manning's ability to throw a pass.  Interesting to see if anyone in Management bothers to care or if they just keep counting the money they make off of people more interested in being at a ballgame as opposed to actually caring who wins that ballgame.

I am also quite befuddled at the amount of people claiming that the humidor brought sanity to Coors Field. Sure it had some effect but is it so hard to make the leap that maybe we actually had some decent pitchers tossing for the home team and that was the cause of real baseball being played in the altitude challenged Coors?  Couple of articles went on to discuss warmer temperatures and drier air and yada yada.  Dismal Dan even admitted that he was scratching is head for answers.  Can someone just admit that Rox just don't have a very good pitching rotation and leave it at that?  Stop making excuses, look at Texas, they got good when they got pitching.  Baseball isn't that challenging of a game.  Good players win games.  Replacement players don't.

And finally I am somewhat appalled that people think it would be crazy to trade CarGo.  Excuse me please but to win at Coors (and anywhere else) requires pitching.  Rox have none at this point.  To win therefore we need all the pitching we can get.  We can't draft pitching (Dismal Dan has proven this point), so the only way we get pitching is to trade offense.  Coors makes offense wonders so trade high and get pitching.  If CarGo can get a pitching prospect that can tame Coors then Rox will find offense.  When hasn't Coors made a wonder child out of a replacement or reclamation player?

Oh and Rox defense has been terrible too...

Box Score Bytes - Game 71

- Game 6 of the Great Tracy Experiment: Record 2-4.  White threw 78 pitches in a 2.2 inning outing. Whoopee!  The Rockies have now gone 17 games since a starter has won a game.

- On the flip side, Guthrie has now thrown 6.1 scoreless innings since losing his rotation spot.

-  All three games in Texas ended in a strikeout 

-  Should Rox trade Giambi? Was a DH in only 6 games. He had 26 at bats, 7 hits, no homers and one RBI.

- Rox are now 11-11 all time against Texas. Rox finish interleague at 2-13. Fairly dismal as Rox before this year had a 111-112 record against the Junior Circuit. AL West continues to frustrate us now with a 43-60 mark. We have a 30-27 record against the East and 40-38 record against Central. What is it with the West! The Rox tied with the 2010 Pirates for the worst interleague record in a single season.

-  Rox continue to flirt with respectability.  Had the bases loaded with no outs in the ninth before Scutaro had a mental lapse and popped off the base after being signaled safe only to be tagged out.  Bad News Rox continue to prove they belong in AAA.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 70

- Rox win their second interleague game.  At 2-12 just another example of the difficult season Rox are having.  First win against the AL West this year.

- Rox win 11-7 or Rangers lose 7-11...I call it a slurpee score!

Game 5 of the Great Tracy Experiment:  Record 2-3 although is the experiment dead?  Tracy allowed Outman to pitch 92 pitches (!) but he only went 4.2 innings.  Clear sign he didn't get the memo about pitching more efficient.  My guess is that he is gone next week.

- Think we've found Dex's spot?  In Texas batting 9th, too bad we aren't a AL team.  Maybe Tracy can experiment and put the pitcher in the 8th spot and let Dex claim the basement.

- Herrera stole 2nd and 3rd base in the first.  Up to this point he had only 7 stolen bases in 235 games.

-  Been a lot of negatives but if Rox could win on Sunday they would finish this beast of a road trip with a 4-5 record.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 69

- Respect?  Yup you know you don't get much when the Rangers trot out their reclamation project in Roy Oswalt.  I am sure it will be said that it will because he is facing a NL team which he has some familiarity. He is now 9-2 in 13 starts versus the Rockies, marking his best ERA against any of the 16 teams he's faced more than three times.

- Rox at 26-42, Rangers at 43-27.  Rangers gunning for their 3 straight world series appearance.  Rox gunning for a 100 losses.  What can we take away from all of this?
1) Rangers made some key trades years ago, specifically trading Texeira, and getting a bounty in return.  While Tex had no desire to stay in Texas and would have walked, sometimes you have to make a giant trade and get something in return.  Sure we traded U-Ball last year but will White and Pomenranz make Rox a playoff contender in 2-3 years?  Why not trade CarGo?
2)  Pitching, pitching, and pitching.  With Texas heat and offense, another franchise that as always struggled to find pitching to tame the stadium and ghosts.  With some decent home grown arms, under the tutelage of generations most dominant pitcher, Texas is winning not only with a potent offense (i.e. Rox) but with pitching too (Rox not so much)
3) Money helps too.  Amazing how new TV contracts makes teams suddenly big spenders.  The Angels and Rangers both helped themselves because of new deals.  Rox have the potential in a few years, how is that going to play out?

-In his past 12 games, Rockies OF Dexter Fowler is 5-for-37 (.135 BA) with 17 strikeouts. Entering Thursday, Fowler is 12-for-71 (.169) with 27 strikeouts on the road this season.  Of course he then goes out and gets his 7th triple of the season.

Game 4 of the Great Tracy Experiment:  Record 1-3.  Friedrich pitched 6 complete innings (!) throwing 73 pitches.  Perhaps the experiment is working with pitchers being forced to try and be efficient...  

- 1-12 in Interleague, 'nuff said

Box Score Bytes - Game 68

- Rox finally find a way to win in Philly.  It will be interesting next year with the schedule.  Due to Colorado not having a natural rivalry (KC anyone?), Rox are forced to play an extra NL opponent.  This year by luck (or not) we get Philly 9 times rather than the normal home and away 6-7 games.  Sometimes seasons just don't set up well.

Game 3 of the Great Tracy Experiment:  Record 1-2.  Francis, besides the first inning homerun, pitched 5 complete innings (!) throwing 76 pitches (shocking Tracy kept him in past 75...).  Four relievers than pitched 2 hit ball the rest of the way and Rox earn first win under the Experiment.  The blogosphere has been abuzz with this Experiment.  Shockingly most aren't opposed to the ideal although most think the Rox current crop of pitchers aren't the best to try this out with.  Baseball as always been slow to change but with the continued specialization of the modern day bullpen one has to wonder why starter's are asked to pitch long into games. Current thought of saving your bullpen arms is one big reason but my guess with the continuing babying of arms in the minors the day of the dominant long inning starter is over.  

- Nelson, much like Fowler, is one of those mystifying wonder players for the Rox.  High draft pick with high potential who for whatever reason can't stick.  Nelson's problem has always been lack of a position to play.  With his recent surge, 5 homers this month vs none in April/May, and much like Colvin he will be worked into the game.

- Rosario continues to pound the ball.  11th home run this season leading all MLB rookies.  We will see what happens as catching wears on his body and pitchers find his weakness...will he be another long line of high end catchers that fizzle with the Rox?

- For a non-exciting line up last night, there has been some quiet performances this year...Pacheco is batting .294.  Can his defense keep him in the lineup or will he forever be the super-utility player?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 67

- Including the playoffs, the Phillies have won 24 of the last 29 games against the Rockies and 13 of the last 15 regular-season matchups at Citizens Bank Park.

- Game 2 of the Great Tracy Experiment:  Record 0-2.  Last night Rox were actually tied after 75 pitches.  Guthrie came in and threw three good innings only allowing one baserunner.  The more things change the more they stay the same.  Way back in 1993 LaRussa tried the same although he limited his starters to three innings each.  Read this article from the Seattle Times.  Oakland's experiment lasted all of five games (?).  As with the Rox, Oakland didn't have much on the mound so it's difficult to determine if the pitcher got pulled or just had a bad outing.  But starting on 7/21/93 and running through to 7/25/93 pitchers threw 4.0 IP, 2.2, 3.0, 4.2, and 4.1.  After 7/25/93 the experiment was over with starter going 6 innings.

Best article written by FanGraphs Dave Cameron

- Wow 17 games below .500 with Tulo on the shelf for the next week.  This season just keeps going from bad to worse...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 66

- At 25-41 this is the fourth worse record in franchise history through 66 games.  Only the inaugural year and the '04 and '05 campaigns were worse.  Yeah this year is starting to be GenR2.  Too bad management couldn't be honest with us from the start.

- Yeah on the night Rox announce they are going to a 4 man rotation with starters limited to 75 pitches, Rox got beat by a starter who goes 8 strong and gives up 6 hits.  This is after a the last game when starter went 8 strong and gave up 7 hits.  Let's not coat this "new" pitching philosophy.  It is just a nicely wrapped piece of crap.  Please fire some one and admit this was all an epic fail...

- That is all, I feel a little bit better...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rox Talk - Week 11

The Week That Was
A 1-5 week against the A's and Tigers. The Rox currently stand at 25-40.  Sixteen games behind the Dodgers for the division lead in fourth place. Currently 15-21 at home and 10-19 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 373-329 (expected wins is 29 versus historical wins at 30). On pace for 62 wins with 820 runs scored and 930 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs Scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.88 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Wow I am just blogless (yes not speechless, but blogless) on how to describe this season.  With the clarity of hindsight, I am not for sure how I really thought Rox were going to be competitive with the pitching staff as constructed.  When Moyer made the team, I think the alarm bells should have been loud enough to make me run for cover.  I will give some credit to the management because after last season's debacle they did try and make some things happen.  When the season is an obituary the acquisition of Cuddyer will be a positive although overpriced (check out what Seth Smith did in Oakland).  I won't touch the Guthrie trade other than someone missed something and they should not have a job moving forward.  Reading the tea leaves, management must have thought that pitching would be adequate to keep the team at least competitive and that theoretically the offense could mask some of the growing pains on the mound (?). Again someone is being paid a lot of money to make baseball decisions.  Forget loyalty someone botched a whole lot of money at this point.  Either way the offense has done spectacular.  It has scored the 3rd most runs in baseball with only Boston (1 more run) and Texas ahead.  Anyone want to guess how many runs will be scored by Texas this upcoming weekend?

I won't throw the staff under the bus again but the Rox pitching is last in the league in runs allowed.  Having allowed 373 with Minnesota trailing at 349 (So much for that mid-market magic working, seems the pot at the end of the rainbow has dried up in Twinland).  So to beat a dead horse, Rox pitching isn't so good.  Purple Row has a nice article on the inexplicableness of Guthrie and where his confidence went.  Chacin was suppose to offer something but is on the scrap heap.  Raise your hand if you thought Francis would be wearing purple pinstripes this year?  So after 11 weeks offense is doing real well and pitching as done real horrible.  Pitching wins games, so what now?  What makes this even worse is how dominant pitching in MLB has been this year with two perfect games thrown already.

100 Losses in 162 Games?
With 100 losses looming this year, the graph below shows a rolling 162 winning percentage over the 20 years of the Rox existence.  Rox worse 162 game stretch occurred in the 2004-2005 seasons.  Their record was 59-103 which stretched from August 22, 2004 (lost against Montreal!) through August 20, 2005.  On the bright side we also had one 100 win 162-game stretch from the 2009-2010 season.

What I get most from this graph is the dismal direction we have been going since June 1st, 2010.  Since that highpoint Rox have gone 153-184 and are challenging the worse teams in Rox history.  And the frightening thing is that Rox are playing this way with an $81M payroll.  Would I feel better if we were crashing and burning with a $40M payroll?  At least then I would know there was a reason and a sense to all of this madness!  With their current contract structures Rox have $77M on the books for 2013, $85M for 2014, and frightening $101M in 2015.    The 2004 team had an adjusted 2012 dollar payroll of about $77M and 2005 of $55M.  How this can't get the attention of ownership is beyond me.  If above represents your stock price, I would say your stockholders would be going ballistic right now.

With our current contracts this graph could potentially stay bad for a very long time.  With CarGo and Tulo contacts growing there is some true inflexiblity.  Rox aren't going to be able to sign a pitcher nor sign to keep any of them (assuming one of the many acquisitions last year actually amount to anything).  Funny thing is when O'Dowd was hired, Rox were in a similar inflexible pay structure.  After a complete overhaul we find ourselves in the same scary place.  Not to add a nail to the coffin but come on this is beyond loyalty...make a change and give our club a chance.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 65

- Sometimes I think opposing pitchers just like to show up the Rox and just prove to us all that it is pitching, stupid.  Today Rox got mowed down by Scherzer who struck out 11 in 8 shutout innings with no walks.  He threw 89 strikes and only 33 balls.  Kapow!

- Dex is back to his old ways.  Struck out three straight times with men aboard.

- Things only seem to get worse for the Rox.  CarGo was pulled minutes from game time because of a tight hamstring.  With Tulo already out this makes things only worse...

- Guthrie = Loss.  Worse signing since Kile and Hampton...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 64

- Cabrera scored a little league homer tonight as he hit a grounder to Friedrich who threw wildly to first.  He then scrambled to third.  Rosario meanwhile picked up the wildly thrown ball and threw past third base Pacheco.  Cabrera rumbled home.

- Two more errors, another team loss, and the team's 9 out of the last 10 games.

- Rox thankfully scored in the ninth to avoid their fifth shutout.  Last year they only had 8 shutouts.

- Rox still have one of the better interleague records despite going 1-10 this year.  Unfortunately the Tigers have the second best interleague schedule to the Red Sox over a similar span.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 63

- Rox finally break on through and win after an 8 game losing streak.  Also notch their first interleague victory of the year.  Of course had to do it in dramatic fashion winning in extra innings...

- Rox are 2-2 in extra innings this year.  Eight runs scored by the Rox in an extra inning is the most ever.

- It has certainly been a miserable year so far for our Rox but think about Detroit and the expectations they had.  All they had to do was show up and they were penned in to win the AL Central.  At 30-34 and third in the division they have a whole lot of weight to move around to get back into it.

- Hard to believe the Tiger's skipper once managed the Rox.  What a debacle that was, funny thing is that 1999 season has a lot in common with this year's club.  That team went 72-90 and scored 906 runs but of course allowed 1028, the most in Rox history!

- Francis who pitched his 151th game for the Rox looked a little better this time out versus his opener.  Hard to believe at this stage we are going to keep him around.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 62

- The Rockies are the first NL club to allow six or more runs in eight straight games since the Florida Marlins from July 8-18, 2005. Colorado's staff ERA is 8.85 during the losing streak. 

- The starting rotation, the anchor of any team, has compiled a 13.35 ERA and allowed their opponents to bat a little league average of .420.

- How bad is it going for our Rox?  This is the first road series sweep by the A's since the 2010 season.

- Hey Mr. Monfort - I think I might have found a replacement for your GM.  Try the kid who threw on the mound today.  His comment from the game today, "You can't get hurt on the ground"  What was that garbage O"Dowd was spewing in the Spring about flyball pitcherrs?  How's that going for you, sometimes I think we can think a little too much...

- Again can't figure it out...three more errors this game...surprisingly they have only the sixth most errors in the NL

- Rox are still winless in interleague, this after being one of the better NL teams against their opposite league opponents

Box Score Bytes - Game 61

- Not only are Rox losing in weird and wondrous ways but gut wrenching too.  Again Rox take a 5-2 lead and squander it away to a 10-8 loss with Betancourt 2nd blown save this year.

-  Seven straight losses after seeing Helton hit a grand slam and Cuddyer go deep twice.  Sometimes you just got to shake your head and say why?

- The Rockies have hit five grand slams this season, tying the New York Yankees for the most in the major leagues.

- Typical, on a night when Tracy shuffles the lineup to keep Colvin in, sits CarGo, and Colvin goes 0-5 in the three spot.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 60

- Rox continue to lose in mysterious and wondrous ways.  Facing a team with the worse batting average in the league, .220, Rox manage to take a 4-0 lead only to find themselves behind 6-4 in the fourth and ended up losing with 8-5.

- The Rockies, 0-7 against AL opponents in 2012, have been outscored 52-21 during this second six-game losing streak of 2012. Colorado starting pitchers have a 14.23 ERA during this current skid.

- Seth Smith, the former Rox, doubled twice and drove in a pair of runs.  You may compare and contrast the cheaper Smith to the $10M Cuddyer...

- Guthrie continues to give up the long ball.  He served up a nice fat pitch to the A's Moss who promptly sent it deep into the night air ricocheting off a beer sign on the right field upper deck.   It was the first time this season and the 32nd time in Coors Field that a homer had reached the third deck.

- The Rockies traded RHP Esmil Rogers to the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rox Talk - Week 10

The Week That Was
A 1-5 week against the Diamondbacks and Angels. The Rox currently stand at 24-35.  Fourteen games behind the Dodgers for the division lead in fourth place. Currently 15-18 at home and 9-17 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 334-301 (expected wins is 27 versus historical wins at 27). On pace for 66 wins with 826 runs scored and 917 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs Scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.90 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

A tale of two weeks.  Two weeks ago Rox were coming off a 6-1 home stand, the offense was clicking, starting pitching was decent, and Rox were winning.  Life was good, Rox were getting back to some respectability and maybe their May struggles were behind them.  Unfortunately last week removed any doubt that this team is close to respectability.  Good teams will toy with the Rox the rest of the year.   Good pitching will outclass anything we throw onto the field.  This column is starting to sound like a broken record (does a new idiom exist for a broken record?  Only the older generation vaguely remembers analog music playing...).  I won't rehash the same old stuff week in and week out.  Bottom line is without any starting pitching this team is surely heading for a 100 loss season (their record over the last 162 games, dating back to last year, has been 69-93).

After 10 weeks of caring, my main feeling towards this season is sadness.  With crowds of 41,814, 37,801, and 37,422 this pass weekend, what impression did the average Colorado fan come away with from their experience?

a) Wow what a beautiful Colorado day at the ballpark, who played?
b) Wow did I get transported in a time machine back to the 90s and early naughts?
c) Fun day but was bummed there was no Tulo chant...
d) When did the Cardinals change their uniforms to read the "Angels"?
e) Was that major league pitching out there?

There couldn't have been that many Pujols fans?  He doesn't exactly ire the average fan like Bonds used to do.  This is the condrudrum that is being a Rox fan.  Fans come out in droves to support our team and yet we have nothing to root for.  In no other year have I felt such pain for a team.  How can you not like Helton, CarGo, Tulo, and Cuddyer?  I feel their frustration as they step to the plate only to behind already in the first inning much like this weekend when they were down 0, 2, and 4 runs.  Can you doubt them for not thinking , "gee guys on the mound can't you give us a fighting chance?"

To go out there night after night, play 3 hours games, and really have no hope.  Us fans can go about our lives this Summer but these guys have 103 more games.  I think every team tries to build on the future but what does Helton have to play for at this point?  This will probably be the worse team he ever plays for.  His hope of ever returning to the playoffs as a Rox is slim to none.  Will Tulo be the Dan Marino of the Rox?  Reaching the World Series in is rookie year and never being in the Fall Classic again?  Is CarGo this generations Larry Walker?  Baseball is a grind and while these guys make a lot of money to play a kid's game I am pretty sure that losing stinks regardless of the payday!  No one thought this team was World Series worthy but I don't think anyone thought we would be 14 out in early June.

ERA versus Winning
Graph says it all.  When starting pitching ERA is less than 5, our Rox win more games!  EXTRA, EXTRA (not exactly a newsflash but boy this year's data point is ugly).  Could we compete for the worst starting staff ERA in history of baseball?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 59

- The top three batters in Angel's lineup, combined to go 23 for 42 (.548) with 16 RBIs and 21 runs scored in the series.

- Two glaring issues this year for the Rox have been terrible starting pitching and errors in the field. Pacheco was the latest victim missing on a potential double play that then led to a 3 run homer. This occurred right after Rox had gotten back into the game by tying it up 6-6.

- The Rockies have gotten four innings or less from their starter in four of the past five games.

- So goes Dex, so goes the Rox?  Since the conclusion of his nine-game hitting streak, Fowler has two hits in his past 15 at-bats with nine strikeouts.

- Jack Corrigan, Rox radio announcer, is a fairly low key guy. I think in the business you  have to be because of emotional roller coaster of watching a team game in and game out. Yesterday though he let it loose after the terrible call in the 9th inning that doubled up Scutaro and CarGo.  At the time Rox had scored a run and had closed to within 2 runs.  With  no outs and Scutaro on first and with CarGo at the plate Rox had a nice chance.  CarGo ripped the ball to the pitcher who apparently caught it but dropped it on the transfer (?).  CarGo saw the out signal but umpire called it a hit and thus instead of just one out and Scutaro on first, Rox comeback was cut short with the easy double play.  Corrigan was beside himself and went ballistic as did Tracy who got thrown out for the first time this year.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 58

- Welcome back Jeff Francis, guess what...Coors Field hasn't changed!  Francis went 55-50 with a 4.77 ERA in 150 career starts with the Rockies from 2004-10. He was tagged for eight runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings in his return.

- With the arrival of Jeff Francis, Rox say goodbye to Esmil Rogers.  Rogers who has been intriguing especially for his high velocity never found his role in Colorado.  Pitched here since 2009, he started 22 games and had an overall record of 8-11 with 184.2 innings pitched in a Rox uniform. Owning a career bWAR of -3.8, he probably didn't deserve a spot even in baseball's worse pitching staff.  He will most likely be claimed and thus not be a Rox.

- How crazy must it be being a hitter for the Rox?  Second game this year where the team homered five times and loss...just goes to show what kind of year it has been...

Friday, June 8, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 57

- Rox are 8-17 all time against the Angels. Of all the AL opponents the Angels have been the toughest on Rox.

- As an aside Alex White earned his first career victory against LA on May 7, 2011, when he struck out six in the Indians' 4-3 victory.

- Pujols, anxious to return to the NL (?),  is batting .285 with nine homers and 32 RBIs in career 38 games in Colorado.

- LA last visit to Coors was in 2001 and Rox suffered a three-game sweep  in July 6-8.

- What do the unwritten rules say when you lay down a bunt with a no hitter through 3.2 innings?  Granted Angels were only up 2-0 but still...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 56

- How is it a team can go from on fire, a blazing to frozen popsicles so quickly?  One run, nine runs in the last two games and 23 strikeouts.  Wow 62 runs and only 48 strikeouts in the previous  eight games and then Rox come crashing down.  Which team is showing up against the Angels this weekend?  Think Pujols is salivating to get back to the NL?

- Got to love Kirk Gibson and his quote on Goldschmidt, "His swing is good".  Understatement of the game yesterday

- I got nothing today so I will leave with this quote from Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes fame).  "Everybody seeks happiness! Not me, though! That’s the difference between me and the rest of the world. Happiness isn’t good enough for me! I demand euphoria!"

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 55

- 16 strikeouts pretty much tells you everything you need to know about Rox dismal offensive output last night. 16 K is a rare event.  Chart below shows total number of games per Ks since 2008.

- While D-Backs starter, Ian Kennedy, has rediscovered his pitch, Rox starter, Guthrie, has not.  In another awful outing Rox starter allowed seven runs on 11 hits in 3 1/3 innings.  Now the owner of a 6.35 ERA, Guthrie has been a big disappointment.  Another questionable deal by our front office.

- On Monday night Helton collected his 952nd extra base hit, moving him into a tie with Mickey Mantle.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 54

- Rox get their first pitching performance of the year.  Friedrich goes 7 innings of four hit baseball and pitches a shut out.  His game score of 71 is tops this year for the Rox.  Rox, last team to get a shutout.  First Rox to win 4 of his first six games.

- Rox are within a half game of taking over 3rd place in the division.  Rox are 4-2 against D-Backs so far this year.  Rox are 13-13 against the division so far this year.  Not too bad considering since 2000 Rox have a .456 winning percentage against division foes (vs .476 against rest of league and interleague).

- Dex has a nine game hitting streak.  Let the game off again with a triple.  Dex is so tantalizing but can Rox really deal with a player who doesn't start hitting until June every year?

- It will be interesting to see if Rosario can get any ROY consideration.  I believe he leads all rookies with 9 home runs.  Can a Rox catching prospect actually live up to expectations?

- Interesting oddity last night and that was Friedrich who did not have one swinging strike last night.  He has averaged 11 up to last night's game

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rox Talk - Week 9

The Week That Was
A 6-1 week against the Astros and Dodgers. The Rox currently stand at 23-30.  Nine and half games behind the Dodgers for the division lead in fourth place. Currently 15-15 at home and 8-15 on the road, the Rox have been outscored by its opponents 290-281 (expected wins is 26 versus historical wins at 24). On pace for 70 wins with 859 runs scored and 886 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs Scored/Runs Against ratio) is 0.97 (1.16 indicates high playoff potential).

Rox have scored their runs in bunches this year.  Because of this, their runs scored versus runs against would suggest they should have about 26 wins.  Therefore through 2 months of the season, Rox theoretically could be sitting with a record of 26-27 which sounds a whole lot better than 23-30.  If Rox were in fact flirting with .500 what would then be the current thought on this team?  In the real world, because of the record and the dismal starting pitching, a clear finger has been pointed to both the management that put together this rotation and those on the mound.  If Rox could have had a couple of breaks and were in fact even then would we consider these starters as serviceable?  I ask these questions because regardless of record we have four more months of this rotation to look forward to and to be realistic Rox need to lay the groundwork for 2013.  If this year was simply a "bridge" year to next year then the importance of the next 4 months can't be understated.

Last year's collapse in September really was just a preview of what to expect this year?  If 2012 is a preview of 2013 then what do Rox need to do this year?

1)  Decide the fate of third base.  If Arenado is going to be next year's starter than he needs to start learning at the next level.  Not a September call up but a June/July call up so he can see true pitching.

2)  If Arenado is the future at third then is Pacheco the future at first?  I realize this is sacrilegious but Helton is not an everyday first baseman anymore.  Major league teams should get huge production from their first baseman (Pujols and Fielder anyone?).  While Pacheco isn't going to have Pujols numbers his production would be better than Helton.

3) Trade Giambi to a NL contender and let him have one last shot.  Start transitioning Helton into the Giambi role.

4) Trade Guthrie and Colvin.  Maybe try and get an up and coming first baseman.  Start thinking 2014.

5) Test the waters on Betancourt.  While Brothers has faltered and we have no real closer candidate I think Rox should trade their closer especially this year when so many teams have loss their number one shut down guy.

6) Anyone who is ready to pitch in the majors should be doing it now.  Pomeranz should be working it out against major league hitters.  No questions next Spring should exist on who will be the starting five in 2013.

7) Owner, management, and coaching staff need to address the media and either move forward with what is in place or make changes now so that a new team can evaluate what is on the field and make the necessary adjustments so that all is on the same page on Day 1, 2013.

8) Look beyond the humidor to see what can be done to fix Coors.  Disparity between home and away is so great that Rox should consider everything and anything.

9) Make 2013 a make or break year.  Put all the chips in and gun for a Championship.  If it doesn't happen start a fire sale.  Make it clear to the team that if it can't play with expectations then it won't be playing together.  Sell everything of value and build for future years.  Maybe it is a major selling point that Rox have never had a 100 loss season but wins in the 70s year in and year out don't bring confidence to the Fan base. If the model is to build through the draft then Rox need to make a definite no holds bar run every few years.  It either works or doesn't and if doesn't blow up the team and start over.  Paying guys in their 30s might be nice for the fan base but doesn't help to win.

10) Bottom line:  Expectations and accountability.

Where Will it End?
Below shows projected wins through games played.  Rox are going in the right direction.  Let's hope we keep trending higher!

Box Score Bytes - Game 53

- The wonders of baseball never cease to amaze me.  After an offensive firework display, Rox quiet down for the last two games of this series.  Craziest was today when two rookies pitched a normal 3-2 game at Coors.  Have to wonder if someone remembered to turn the humidor back on?

- White pitched shut out ball through 7 innings on Sunday.  Provided some much needed rest for the bullpen before a short road trip to Arizona before interleague starts again this weekend.

- Rox completed another series win against the Dodgers at home.  Rox are 4-5 against the division leaders.  Now if they only could figure out a way to win in LA?  Rox don't see the Dodgers again until August.

- Brothers appears to still be pressing.  He had such a good start in April.  Good thing Betancourt has been reliable with 9 saves out of 10 chances this season.

- Rox return to .500 at home at 15-15.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 52

- Have to wonder if Nicasio has a big target on his back.  He continues to get peppered on the mound.  Wonder if he could pitch in Catcher's gear?

- Colorado had 53 runs, 71 hits, and 13 home runs during the previous five wins but had only six hits in today's game.  Rox did have bases loaded at one point so the potential was there once again...and with Dex's lead off triple things appeared to be rolling again...have to credit LA's starter, Harang, for not letting this game slip out of hand.

- Rox were 1 for 8 with RISP

- Cuddyer is on pace for 56 doubles this year.  Todd Helton holds Rox single season record of 59 in 2000.  Dex is on pace for 15 triples which would tie his club record.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 51

- Nice little 5 game winning streak, of course the Rox still stand at 22-29 but let's stay positive and look amazingly at the fact they have score 53 runs in that span.  That is a healthy offense which kind of makes your starting pitching look surprisingly good although only 2 starters got wins in those 5 games

- One of the stranger at bats I have seen was in the bottom of 6th when Rox relief pitcher, Ottavino, was at the plate.  He started his at bat against Capuano, a leftie, and then for some unknown reason, in the middle of the at bat Dodger Manager, Mattingly, brought in the rightie, Jamie Wright.  Ottavino had a count of 2-2 and was batting right handed and then with Wright in, he switched sides and batted leftie and promptly struck out.  How often does a switch hitter get the opportunity to bat from both sides of the plate in the same at bat let alone a relief pitcher!

- When this homestand began CarGo was batting .302.  He is now batting .335.  Pretty impressive 5 game run for the Pony.  Quick facts:

2012 League Ranks:
 • 5th in NL in BA (.335)
 • 2nd in NL in HR (14)
 • 1st in NL in RBI (45)
 • 1st in NL in R (44)
 • 1st in NL in SLG (.649)
 • 3rd in NL in OPS (1.052)

Would be neat to see a run for the triple crown.  Of course Coors would play a prominent role in that.  He is batting .400 at home, .266 on the road.  Slugging .790 at home and .500 on the road.

- According to High Heat Stats, LA grounded into 2 DPs, the Rockies 1. Team W% by GIDP, since 2011: 0 – .513 (1541-1462); 1 – .504 (1188-1168); 2 – .460 (381-447); 3 – .474 (83-92); 4 or more – .308 (12-27).

Friday, June 1, 2012

Box Score Bytes - Game 50

- Carlos Gonzalez homered in four at-bats in a row between yesterday and today.  Amazingly this is a first for any Rox player.  Last time it was done was in 2006 when Pujols did it. It was the 22nd time a major league player has homered in four consecutive plate appearances and the 38th time for four straight official at-bats.

- The Astros have a better record than the Rockies.  Astros had 55 hits, scored 23 runs, and get swept by Rox.  By the way Rox only had 56 hits in the sweep but scored 40 runs!

- This is the Rox 4th four game series at home against Astros. They are 2-2-0. All time, against all teams they are 31-22-35 in four game series at home. Of course they are 0-6-2 on the road against Houston in 4 game series and 17-52-25 all time on the road in 4 game series

- Tulo goes on the DL.  Rox historically haven't been very good without their All Star short stop.  In 2007 and 2009 when Rox made playoffs, Tulo played in 155 and 151 games respectively.  In the other years, when Rox not so good, he has played 101, 122, and 143 games.