Dodgers Show Why They Are Best Team

Eddie Butler did everything that he was supposed to do except go six innings.  He was pulled early only because Colorado needed some offense to get back into the game from a two-run deficit.  Before we criticize Walt Weiss for putting in Scott Oberg in the sixth inning of a two-run game, let look at the context of the game.  The Rockies had only two harmless singles through five innings.  The idea was to try to get some runs before the Dodgers go into their vaunted bullpen.  Their bullpen leads the league in everything.  If the Rockies make a rally, then it makes sense to use your best pitchers to win the game.  Unfortunately CarGo popped up and Tulo grounded into double play ending the only threat of the day.

With no off day until the last day of April, Weiss needed to save the bullpen as much as possible for the long run.  With Oberg and Christian Bergman anticipated going to Albuquerque with the returns of JDLR and John Axford, it was a good time to use them on a day where the offense ended up with four singles in the final box score. Oberg gave up five runs, four of them on three different no doubters, and Bergman did his usual thing to complete the game.

The Dodgers made a big statement to the National League with their impressive sweep over the Rockies.  The Rockies hitters struck out 30 times over the weekend while the Dodgers tied a franchise record for most XBHs in a three-game series.  Let’s tip our hats to them; they have all three parts needed to be a championship team – pitching,  offense, and fielding.  If you slip up, they will take advantage of it every time.

The weekend revealed a few disturbing weaknesses on the club.  Carrying only four outfielders is starting to hurt more than anticipated.  With Drew Stubbs as the only spare OF who strikes out nearly every time at the plate, that shortens up the bench quite a bit.  Daniel Descalso hasn’t done squat and that shortens the bench by another guy.  Mike McKenry has not hit anywhere close to a career year he had last year to compensate for his weak defense.  There’s Doug Garneau who’s swinging a hot stick in Albuquerque and superior to McKenry defensively.  Baby Bull takes up a roster spot like Jason Giambi did without a position that he can play well.  Only Rafael Ynoa has performed as expected.  Jeff Bridich’s willingness to make the tough changes will be put to the test over the next week or two.

The Rockies have Kyle Parker, Matt McBride, Ben Paulsen, Brandon Barnes, and Doug Garneau in Albuquerque waiting for their phone calls.  Don’t forget that there’s John Lannon who’s pitching well, Chad Bettis, Jon Gray and David Hale (very soon) available as starters.  Thomas Kahnle and Jairo Diaz may or may not be better options than Scott Oberg and Christian Bergman.  Jeff Bridich knows he has the cards in his hands that he can deal to make the bench better.  The dominoes may start falling if a trading partner is found for Baby Bull.  Descalso may be the only one with a longer leash than everyone else on the bench due to his needless  contract.

The Rockies resiliency will be put to the test this week with San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants coming to town this week for a seven-game home stand.  Colorado is currently 6-3 on the road and 1-2 at home for a 7-5 overall record.  The Rockies need to clean up their walks and bench issues to be more competitive this year.

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sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago

That was an old-fashioned beat down!

DonnyDinger
Admin
DonnyDinger
5 years ago
Reply to  sdcarp

Yeah, after the Oberg inning, it was auxiliary power only and make way back to Denver to meet the Padres. That’s a shame, he had pitched pretty well up to today. I agree that it was innings-from-optionees time. Oberg had this look of “this can’t be happening”, especially after the Pederson jack. I think RMH is on to something here with a depth problem on the bench, outside of Ynoa. We have two backup catchers to make one. We have… Read more »

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

I agree that Descalso hasn’t shown anything. Walt should give Ynoa some of the playing time that is going to Descalso. I’m not sure why they went after Descalso given that they already had Ynoa and Adames (and Rutledge at the time).

As to Albuquerque outfielders, the interesting story so far is the resurgence of Tim Wheeler. He’s outplaying all of the other outfielders there. Parker’s only hitting about .200 so far, so he probably needs more time there.

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago

File under things that make you go “hmmmmmm” – ChiSox call up uber-prospect Carlos Rodon to do what????? Pitch out of the BP initially. Blasphemy I say – blasphemy.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Great game — really, covering the whole series — RMH. My main takeaways: 1. The best pitcher we’d faced up till the Dodgers series was probably Wily Peralta, who is fine (he’d be our ace), but is certainly not a dominant pitcher. Then we got the Cubs and missed Lester (who’s apparently hurting anyway), then the Giants and missed MadBum … and then the 1-2 of Kershaw and Greinke. Yes, we were in both of those games, but let’s face… Read more »

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Couple of things here Ag: I think you’re spot on with your comment that we’ve been fortunate to not face good pitching this year until this series. Then of course that came to a screeching halt with Kershaw/Grienke/McCarthy. McCarthy was one of the best best pitchers in the AL last year (on par with Chris Sale) after the All-Star break. The Yankees did a great job reclaiming and repairing him. We’re carrying Wilin simply to try to establish some trade… Read more »

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  sdcarp

Taking the opponents pitchers theory one step farther – we get the Padres #5 and #6 starters (Despaigne and Morrow – Ian Kennedy is on the DL) before getting James Shields and a very good Tyson Ross to end the series. So we need to win these next two.

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

OK, before we all start saying the sky is falling, let’s call this weekend what it was: we played one of the best teams in baseball, and faced their best three starters. We’re not going to beat the Dodgers and win the division. But could we still earn a wild card spot? I’m not willing to give up on that quite yet. And I’m certainly not willing to say on April 20 that we are going to be horrific in… Read more »

Pooter
Pooter
5 years ago

A bunch of irrational and over reactionary talk in here today! Rockies caught the Dodgers with a pissed off ace and some hot hitters. On the other side the Rockies have cooled off a little and their starting pitching is what it is. The Rockies will be fine! To go from playing in San Fran to playing in L.A. is a very tough 6 game stretch, I will take 3-3!! Getting De La Rosa back will be big and these… Read more »

Cameo
Cameo
5 years ago

Yeah this weekend was a tough matchup for the Rockies. I was really hoping to get at least one game, but they didn’t. Not a huge deal if they can rebound quickly against SD at home. I think they can. We need Cargo to step up in this series though.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Sdcarp, I think you’re right about carrying Wilin to try to establish trade value, but I disagree with your solution. The problem is Wilin has value as Morneau’s platoon partner, and I see no reason why he couldn’t do that at the same time as catching once a week. The alternative is to carry McKenry, which exacerbates the thin bench issue in the same way Descalso does. Of course, you might not want Wilin to catch regularly. If Hundley hits… Read more »

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

I’ll buy two of your primary suggestions here.

Keep (for the moment) Wilin and do something else with McHenry’s roster spot on the premise Wilin catches no more than once a week.

I really like DJ at SS once a week. That makes a lot of sense.

Funny thing is……..no matter how we shuffle the cards – we’re SO fundamentally flawed and look so bad moving forward (2016, 2017). There are only so many fingers to shove into the dike.

sabrchip
sabrchip
5 years ago

I agree with all that this bench has performed horribly. Bull and Descalso have no trade value right now. The only way that changes is for them to show something. Catch 22…You can’t trade from weakness. I think everyone agrees that we could not have predicted a 7-5 start with 9 out 12 road games. That being said: Milwaukee has their worst start ever. Giants have won only one home game. That’s the key to our “success” rite now is… Read more »

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  sabrchip

You make a really good point about 7-5 being much better than anticipated for the first 12 games. I don’t think I made a prediction – but had I, it probably would have been something like 4-8 or 5-7.

DonnyDinger
Admin
DonnyDinger
5 years ago
Reply to  sabrchip

Yes, Despaigne is totally Jekyll and Hyde home/road splits. He’s a reincarnated Livan Hernandez, pretty hilarious to watch. He can’t break glass, emergency or not, but he has about 17 pitches and never throws the same thing to the same hitter twice.

sdcarp
sdcarp
5 years ago
Reply to  DonnyDinger

You’ve got to be patient with guys like this and make them throw strikes. Sort of the opposite approach that you would take with Kershaw – who you know has great command and will throw strikes.

Gary
Gary
5 years ago

Cheer up guys.We are ONLY 150 million dollars worse than the Dodgers!

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