For those unfamiliar with the above allusion (okay, everyone here knows), it is a reference to many different pitchers over time, where a team has one, maybe two decent starters, and then you simply hope for a lot of off-days and rainouts so the rest of the rotation stays safely off the mound where they can do damage. Actually, the Rox had their own version in 2013 when DLR, Chacin, and Chatwood were the most formidable 1,2,3 they ever had. And they were surronded with a cast of character, fakers, and wannabees. Two words – Jeff Manship!!! I mean, come on, that is worse than Yohan Flande!
It is still way to early to tell if the Rockies can develop and run out a rotation that everyday at least gives them a chance to win. In the past 4 days we saw Kendrick blown out, Lyles walk himself to death, Butler fight…for 5 innings, and whatever we want to say about Jorge last night. Folks, this is not a good sign. Grey got bombed in Reno last night (I see a theme starting) and now sports a 9 ERA over 14 innings, Tyler Anderson still hasn’t thrown a pitch while healing from a stress fractured elbow and Kyle Freeland is in Extended Spring Training working on as shoulder issue. So unless we turn our lonely eyes to John Lannen or Jair Jurrjens, this is probably the crew we get.
So now the mantle of “Stopper” falls onto Tyler Matzek. Tyler is a great young man (news linked of what he did for a former Rox draftee fighting cancer recently). He has battled a lot. And now, he is most important man on the 25 man roster. With the bullpen starting to get dead arm syndrome already, the team would love 7 strong of 3 ER or less pitching tonight (he cannot use 43 pitches to get through 2 innings as we saw in San Fran). Expect a lot of righties, who hit over over .300 vs Matzek last year. He has been far better this year, but in a small sample size.
The pitching is only part of tonight’s puzzle. Right now Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are simply not on right now. Tulo is 2 for his last 10, but his misses have been big. And CarGo? In his last ten games he is 7 for 41, or .171! Yikes! Really since that absolute bomb in Milwaukee he has been out of sync. The team needs these two to be their normal selves.
Tonight they face RHP Brandon Morrow, who was picked #5 in the 2006 draft (Grey Reynolds draft) and was in the running for the guys the Rox considered. Injuries derailed a promising career, with just 16 starts the past 2 seasons and now seeking a second phase of his career for the pitching friendly Padres (he has always been prone to the long-ball). He has gone 7 each of his first 2 starts (both in San Diego) and sports a 1.29 ERA. The big issue for the Rox tonight – grind out ABs. In his first two starts he went 7 with 88 and 99 pitches. It has been a while since he visited Coors (good success) but isn’t the same pitcher he was with the Blue Jays.