Okay, let’s get to the high points of this game:
- Another very good start from Kyle Kendrick. Once again, he got, um, stiffed, by the offense. When you go 7 and allow only 2 runs, you expect to win. He didn’t but although I couldn’t see the game, looking at the game-cast, he had another good night. Of course he did allow 7 hits (including one home run and another over-ruled home run), and 2 walks, but he scattered the hits and walks. Look, he is not Greg Maddux, but if you are getting 3 Quality
Starts, 1 Coors Quality Start, and one dud, you have a decent #3 or #4. Right now he might be in that role, if we assume DLR really is starting to find his groove (is it just me or does he always have some minor lingering injury an that is when he pitches his best – healthy and he is a batting practice pitcher – just an observation), then he is your #1. Probably better suited to #2, but he has thrown some tough games against their best of late. Then you hope – despite his bad start the other day – that Chad Bettis is stepping up and becoming a #2 (granted you would want him as your #3, but he had very good stuff and has learned to pitch – he can be a solid #2 when healthy and matured). Right now David Hale is your #4 (he goes today, and I love a pitcher who has a 0 in the BB category), and the #5 spot is up for grabs. Chris Russin had his first bad game, but probably gets one more at least. Jon Grey is throwing his best yet at AAA, if he can just find a way to be better early in the game when he is on later in the game he has dominated the opponents), but probably needs another month. The Rox seem to have taken away Grey’s K-machine in lieu of ground balls, but a guy like that with his stuff, he can get the K when he needs to. Then you have the parade of the great talent but something is wrong. Kyle Freeland, sore shoulder hasn’t pitched. Tyler Anderson, great control, Francis-like, stress-fractured elbow, Eddie Butler, can’t find that little next spot (see his game in AAA) to become the guy who at the end of 2013 was one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. And then there is Tyler Matzek. For those of you who want to write off Tyler as a one-shot wonder or lost talent, this latest bout of wildness isn’t mental (like 2010), its mechanics. See this fantastic article on Matzek from our friends at PurpleRow: http://www.purplerow.com/2015/6/1/8670839/tyler-matzek-pitching-mechanics-delivery-colorado-rockies. Those are the guys with talent and stuff to be our #5 and maybe more in their career. Then you have the cast of the possible lighting in a bottle like Russin: Jon Lannen (who has been good at AAA when healthy), Yohan Flande (can’t believe I just said that), and a few others. And we have some talent on the way-up from Low A and High A and maybe AA. So, the #5 spot…work in progress. All that to say, Kyle Kendrick looked good tonight – but he shouldn’t be your #3, and he is (sorry for the diatribe).
- Scott Oberg blew-up. I know it doesn’t sound good but look, every reliever (save guys like Rivera) have hiccup games. Friday night was his because his (we hope) in a game that at that point was 2-1, but the Rox were already dead. Oberg over his last 7 games (including last night) has a WHIP of just 1.14. That is good stuff from a reliever. He was going to have an off-night, and let’s hope that was it.
- Every starter but Arenado and Hundley had a hit. That’s something right?
- CarGo had another bomb. I just get the sense he is going to have a two or three game stretch where he is 10-12 with 4 homers or something.
- Corey Dickerson after being gone too long (really, did we think Barnes was going to keep up a .360 average) has been stroking the ball well. Another double. I am guessing the power will come all the way back in a few weeks.
- The Rox struck out only 6 times! Hey, I am reaching here.
Now, what went wrong:
- Kendrick gave up yet another homer. He has been pretty good at getting groundballs (though last night it was a 50/50 deal). He cannot give up homers every game. This must stop! (Not sure writing that means it will)
- The offense was pathetic. They did what they always do when they are struggling – they cannot string together two hits in a row to score a run. Last night 0-4 with RISP. The ducks were on the pond. And our guys were back at the port-a-john reading Sports Illustrated.
- I am beginning to think the biggest issue for the Rox right now isn’t pitching, it is our beloved Centerfielder, Beard himself. Charlie Blackmon. His career numbers are a .330 OBP and a .755 OPS, and he is below that so far this year. He is your leadoff many and he simply doesn’t get on base enough. I think ideally they still want to Drew Stubbs to be a left-right combo (and defensive replacement). Stubbs after a miserable start in Spring Training, in the Regular Season, and then in AAA has got it worked out, hitting over the last 10 .333 in 33 AB, with 9 walks to just 7Ks (and 3 SB). Stubbs is a far more dynamic player than either Barnes or Blackmon (who if you take away last year’s first 5 weeks, is probably more of a .320 OBP and .725 OPS). Of course Stubbs has a higher ceiling and much lower floor that either player. Regardless, Blackmon cannot be your lead-off guy right now. I have advocated putting CarGo there (he got really hot playing lead-off a few years ago), who over the last 15 games has hit .356 with a .400 OBP and .976 OPS. His legs are getting stronger he is even starting to steal bases again. Look, I am not Jeff Bridich or Walt Weiss (but I am unemployed and available for work), but the lead-off spot is a hole right now. Problem is, the guy who should be filling it is still a year away trying to get back within weeks of his spleen being taken out. Dahl I bet gets here soon. In the meantime – something has to change in the leadoff spot.
- The Coors Field effect seems to be in play for the first time all year (I think – I was totally tuned out with pneumonia during the losing streak). Didn’t help they face a stud in Carlos Martinez, but the last 2 days hasn’t be Smoltz and Maddux. They should have scored more than 1 run in 18 innings.
Okay, I’m done. Rox lose third straight after finally climbing out of cellar. Now 6 games below .500 (I really do think the talent is starting to play strong enough to be a .500 team). They got work to do. They get Matt Latos who has not been good this year (6.12), and he is coming back from DL. Coors Effect should be past us.
Talk about a big game on the road trip. If you win today, you have a chance to series split on Sunday. Lost today and your officially in a losing streak and you start the trip AT BEST at 1-3. This team has the grit. It just needs to really get on track. They finally did that at Coors this last home-stand. Time to get it going on the road trip.