After a very frustrating Sunday where Tulo near won the gam in the 8th if his line had more vertical drive, the Rox opened their series with the Cardinals, ours after getting the consensus best player in the draft, by destroying the best team in baseball 11-3 (and it felt far worse than that). The Rox have simply been getting great starting pitching of late, with David Hale, who I think we can all agree is in the starting rotation until he either blows up or gets traded, send to the team the guy who is still, all-in-all, the best pitcher they have – Jorge De La Rosa.
DLR, the undisputed master of Coors Field, is still trying to get really untracked. Spring Training was essentially nada for Jorge thanks to his groin, and his first start back was, shall we say, Ken Bottenfield bad. But since then he has slowly been rounding into shape (his ERA after that disaster against the Pads, was 31.50. Since the he has gone:
|5 IP vs SF||4H||2R||1HR||2BB||7K|
|4IP vs LAD||5H||5R||0HR||6BB||4K|
|4.1IP v. Phi||6H||3R||1HR||3BB||5K|
This is now his 7th start and while, as usual, Jorge isn’t perfectly healthy thanks to a cut on his left finger, he should be now the Jorge we know and love. You notice he hasn’t give-up a lot of hits, and he has been decent with the strikeout. But his walks have been what cuts down his innings/outing. He needs to go 6 or 7 every time to save the bullpen, as we know with so many young pitchers (and more coming?), the bullpen has to have a few days to recover.
The guys who have hit well against DLR are Holliday (injury status?) .417 in 12AB including 1 HR and SS Peralta with 2 hits in 5AB and a homer.
Opposing the Rox is former World Series Wonder-boy Michael Wacha who after a really tough 2014 seems all the way back this year, going already 8-1 with a 2.18 ERA and has been the single most important pitcher in covering for the loss of Adam Wainwright. The Rox have so few AB against Wacha that it doesn’t really matter to show. In 11 starts this year he has gone into the 7th in 7 and gone less than 6 in just 3. I guess if you want to feel good about facing right-hander, its that…he is a 2012 1st Round pick, so maybe we will get some of our former first-round pitchers to Coors soon. What, there aren’t any really good notes. Only twice allowing 4 ER (including on 5/30 vs Dodger) and 9 games with 2ER or less. Dude is on a serious run.
Rox enter tonight 6 back of Dodgers but just 4.5 back in the Wild Card, and if they can just start winning some of these agonizingly close games (like in Cinn or both losses vs. the Fish), this team might actually start getting close to .500. Why do I think they are not yet a seller (sorry, can’t just let a post title like that go without a comment) because baseball these days is all about trying to stay in the Wild Card to keep fans coming to the park in August and September, and as long as they are within 7 games of the WC when it turns 4th, this team (which as we know by now, doesn’t like to make trades at the trade deadline anyways) will not be dumping. This really is the most even the NL has been in a long-time, and until one of the second place teams fixes itself (come-on, do you think Giants are riding that group to 90 wins? In an odd year? On Timmy’s fastball), there will be a lot of teams in it. Just remember by mid-April the papers were calling the Yankees perhaps the worst team in baseball. Then they got hot. They still aren’t a good team. I use them to make the point – there are a lot of flawed teams in baseball. The Rox have talent in the farm system that might…key word might…be able to come up in July and August to give the team a burst of power.
Hey, its not even June 10th!