Axford Blows For Fifth Straight Time

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.

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Bill
Bill
5 years ago

Enjoying the backyard and family on a beautiful Colorado night. I went to my computer and saw the Rockies had a 2 run lead going into the 9th. And then I saw that I saw that Axford was pitching for the Rox. A month ago it was a sure win. 2 or 3 weeks ago Axford could have brought us a prospect, maybe two. Now a wet bag of peanuts. We all know the Rockies aren’t going anywhere this season.… Read more »

DonnyDinger
Admin
DonnyDinger
5 years ago

From Twitter, a few minutes ago:

JulieG
JulieG
5 years ago
Reply to  DonnyDinger

That is great, at least he knows what is going on. WW seems to not have a clue.

JulieG
JulieG
5 years ago

What is going on with the Rockie management? They appear to be unable to pull the trigger, Axford should not be closing, right now anyway. Kendrick should have been out of here a long time ago. We trade one of the decent ones which isn’t so bad since its his last year. We cycle the same pitchers up and down from AAA. There doesn’t appear to be much down there anyway who we would bring up because we want to… Read more »

DonnyDinger
Admin
DonnyDinger
5 years ago
Reply to  JulieG

On the one hand, as Ag said in the other thread, anyone would be better. On the other, Walt has been through every option on the current roster and none have really worked aside from Ottavino. That’s on the GM.

The next “anyone” to try is Miguel Castro. He can’t do any worse.

Gary
Gary
5 years ago
Reply to  DonnyDinger

I am only watching until these gut wrenching losses cause the team to give up.To their credit they have really fought on this road trip and played well since Tulo shocker.Losing tie games on the road is one thing,but losing leads of multiple runs is just not MLB quality.Where’s LaTroy Hawkins when you need him?

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Donny, the sad fact is you’re right. Axford is a terrible closer option, but so far this summer we’ve seen: – Boone Logan and Tommy Kahnle do the very same thing as Axford last night: inability to throw anything for a strike. If memory serves me, they both somehow got out of it, but by luck (guys swinging at Ball 4) rather than by skill – Scott Oberg blowing it multiple times the other/less stressful/quick kill way: by giving up… Read more »

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

DD is correct. This goes back to making the decision to name Hawk the Closer in the offseason. It was my opinion at the time that was a huge mistake. Not to sign Hawk…..I thought he was still useful (and still believe he’s useful) in the correct – low leverage – situations. But to think he was a Closer is just flat out stupid. Going one step further – I thought the signing of Ax was good – but once… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Agreed. It is demoralizing. But you also have to remember that on a bad team — particularly a bad team that doesn’t play that many close games — a closer isn’t as critical. My theory: when you don’t have a proven (Axford doesn’t count; he’s proven to be a failure) or “classic” young closer, stop worrying about finding a pitcher who might fit the closer description. Just find a guy who throws strikes and generally gives you good one inning… Read more »

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

True…..but the Blake Street Clown Show said we were going to contend this year. All it was going to take was a healthy Tulo and Cargo. So…………in the minds of the Blake Street Clown Show we weren’t a bad team. We were a contender. so once again……bad decision. They thought Hawk was legit (for a contender).

If I’m GM and we rebuild, I buy your theory for 2016/17.

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