Load, ReLoad: AGon sinks Rockies

In our FirstLook at tonight’s game, I declared “Wrong Gonzalez” as what we’re watching. I hate it when I’m right, in a 6-3 loss to the Dodgers.

Jordan Lyles had a solid 1st, an OK second allowing a Kendrick 2B and Grandal RBI, and then ran into trouble in the 3rd. Greinke 1B, Rollins walk, Puig single, bases loaded for Adrian Gonzalez. He grounded into what probably should have been an inning-ending double play, but DJ LeMahieu’s turn ended up in the dirt in front of Morneau. DJ was flaming upset, firing his glove in the dugout after the inning ended. By rights, the damage should have been a lot worse.

Two innings later came “ReLoad”. (Yes, it’s a Metallica reference. Fortune, fame, mirror vain, gone insane …) Pederson walk, Greinke sac bunt, Rollins walk, Puig buzzed followed by a menacing stare and a walk with 1B open, and AGon to the plate. This time, the hottest hitter in baseball didn’t miss, with a long 1B driving in two runs for a 4-1 Dodger lead.

Greinke was pretty much in the rocking chair after the 1st, until giving up a revenge shot to DJ LeMahieu in the 7th which closed the gap to 4-3. Like a good team should, the Dodgers immediately responded on Brooks Brown, Rollins 2B, Puig 2B, Kendrick 2B, and that was pretty much game over. The Dodgers’ pen looks solid even without Kenley Jansen.

Although the score was almost the same near the end, and Lyles coughed up 5 BB:

I don’t think this was the same game. Subtract a missed DP turn in the first AGon high leverage spot, and retire AGon in another high leverage situation, and it’s still a 2-1 ballgame. Yeah, Brown got pummeled later in his inning when things were pretty much decided. The Dodgers’ were 5-for-12 with RISP, and it was only that bad because of two outs made in the 8th. Arenado was upset he didn’t snag two doubles scorched between him and the 3B line.

The point: the Rockies were in this one until the 5th, unlike yesterday when the Wall of Kershaw was too tall to climb after Kendrick belched up a few runs right away.

The operative word is ‘were’. Starters are still giving way too many free passes, and just plain not executing pitches. That is fatal when a real hitter steps to the plate. Something I’m watching now is how many times our pitchers miss the glove. Watch Raffy. He rarely misses his target. Watching innings from Lyles tonight, Hundley is reaching all over the place. It’s like a high school game where stuff is enough and location is not that important. At this level, especially in Los Angeles, location matters.

Somebody Tweeted during the game “the Rockies starters xFIP is 141, that’s really, really bad.” That would be really bad. It’s more like 5 something (it was 5.01 before tonight, according to FanGraphs), and it’s the worst in MLB right now.

We have a fair-weather offense, a gritty defense, a new closer who may never see the ball, and a control-challenged starting staff that can’t match up with most opposition we will face in the NL West for the next few weeks. Unless these starters – or some different ones, DLR gives me some hope – find a way to hit the glove consistently, and fast, this is going to avalanche into bullpen problems, injured arms, and an epic audition come June. Too negative? Let’s discuss where I’m wrong.

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rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
5 years ago

Totally agree with your emphasis on SPs’ lack of command. Continue that and we’re down the path of bullpen getting shot up early and often. It seems like half of opponents’ runs got on bases via walks or advanced into scoring positions as result of walks.

Gary
Gary
5 years ago

How many years have we heard in ST about eliminating free base runners only to have our staff afraid[or unable to throw strikes]? I’m sure DLR will be on pitch limit,which could mean fewer than 5 innings.We need someone to throw 6 innings and under 5 runs consistently or the bullpen and season is toast.As someone who ragged on DJ’s right field only hitting last year,I am thrilled with his new approach and ability to hit to all fields.He could… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
5 years ago

Rox pitchers 41 BB. Rox batters 18 BB. Also, Rox pitchers have 9 HBP. 9!

Can’t say how many times this season I’ve seen Rox pitchers start out with 0-1 or 0-2 count and then walk a guy on 4 straight balls.

Free bases are killing us….again. Why is it that the Rockies find guys who can’t hit the zone consistently?

RocketMan
RocketMan
5 years ago

If a pitcher’s first physical requirement is to throw strikes, how do we end up with 41BB and 9 HBP in 11 games? Are these guys are converted outfielders? And I really liked how Brooks, who ” is now getting LH hitters out” promptly gives up three doubles, two to LH. And Cargo looks lost at the plate again. And only 19 more straight games against the NL West.

EdtheUmp
EdtheUmp
5 years ago

short and sweet this morning fellas and gals… unless I am completely “out-to-lunch”, we are at the beginning of “the fall”… earlier, following spring training, I surmised our SP’ers consisted of 1-#3 (TM), 3-#4’s (KK, JL, CB) and 1-#5 (EB)… i am changing my mind (for what it’s worth) … 1-#4 (TM), 4-#5’s (KK, JL, CB, EB). i fear a meltdown of epic proportions is approaching … the return of DLR to a prominent role in the rotation (i have… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
5 years ago

We failed to perform against 2 cy young winners. Lets see what we do vs San Diego before reading too much into that. Maybe that’s optimistic. For what its worth I considered the game against Kershaw an automatic L, so it was great that we had our least potent pitcher up there to take that loss. I would have liked to see better from Lyles yesterday, but he’s still young, so I can live with these type losses from the… Read more »

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