It was a fun game to watch except for one old issue – pitching. The Rockies managed to score five runs off Carlos Martinez in his five innings of work. The highlight was a two run shot by Chris Rusin (yes, our pitcher) that tied the game at 4-4 that Colorado eventually lost 9-8. The resilient Rockies showed that they were not going to be pushed around like patsies. After D.J. LeMahieu got HBP square on his hip and/or ribs, the normally quiet Deej had some words for Martinez about his immaturity. After the inning-ending GIDP, NoDo was giving a lecture to Martinez about his antics celebrating the DP and Yadier Molina intervened barely convincing NoDo that he will give Martinez a talk.
The game went back n forth before the Rockies scored two in the eighth with the aid of Kevin Siegrist’s two throwing errors. The pitchers kept the Cardinals hanging around by getting into deep counts and issuing free passes. The game was capped by John Axford’s three walks including a walk off walk. It was Axford’s fifth straight blown save.
Think about this – how many games did we get walked off on the road and how many games did we lose the game in the ninth at home? My conservative estimate is about seven. Convert all of the ninth inning and Colorado would be right at around .500. The issues that are making the bullpen really bad are deep counts and lacking swing and miss pitches. Why are the swing and misses important? Easy answer – the hitters just keep foul ball after foul balls until they get a pitch to hit or walk.
Jeff Bridich to his credit is trying to revamp pitching so the high octane pitchers (96 or more MPH) come in late in the game and require the starters to have a very low walk rate. A very good example of this is Kyle Freeland. He’s collecting arms. Will he get more by Friday evening?
The pre-game post went viral with bullpen gripes and the comments are mostly accurate except for one which I thought was a bit too much – “get rid of everyone in the bullpen.” I wouldn’t go quite that far – Friedrich? Kahnle? Brooks Brown? Ottavino (don’t rush him back next year as we are rebuilding)? What the heck, let’s find out what Kahnle can do unless the Rox fast track Miguel Castro. Rox should save money by using minimum wage bullpen arms into the fire to get them ready for 2017 and beyond.
Now it’s time to turn our attention back to the trade rumors with less than 24 hours. The deadline is 2:00 pm MDT Friday. Today I bought my New Era cap for the Hartford Yard Goats. Great logo and colors plus the fact that some good pitchers will eventually go through Hartford on the way to Albuquerque and Coors Field. Nice change of scenery from the Rocky Horror Pitcher Show.