When pictures started appearing on social media throughout the day of Tulo, Weiss, and others sporting Hartford Yard Goats gear, I thought for a second “Wow, they’ve gotten rid of everyone at the deadline.” Then I realized it was just PR day, and my hopes for some kind of positive change were at least temporarily dashed.
First, a shout-out to RMH, who called another anemic Rox offensive performance with a 2.5 over/under. Somebody said Shoemaker was “second line pitching” and he hasn’t been great this year after that outstanding rookie campaign. However he mostly baffled our offense again spreading out 9 hits over 5.2 innings. I’d take him in our rotation in a second. (If Chatwood ever gets back, he’s better than Shoe.)
There were signs of life in the 4th when the hits weren’t spread out. CarGo, Arenado, Paulsen, and Hundley strung four together and plated 2 runs. Rusin, who we know can handle a bat, caused some excitement with an apparent bunt hit, but it was off his toe. The second attempt on a low pitch that looked like a safety squeeze went foul. Shoe missed with the 0-2, but then threw another tough pitch to bunt that Rusin fouled. Shoe knows how to pitch and control damage.
The fitting end to the Shoe performance was provided by Wilin Rosario. On a 3-0 pitch with 1 out and Hundley standing on 3B, Wilin decides to swing. There are two things possibly wrong: 1) Wilin has the green light 3-0, in which case Walt needs to be drug tested. 2) Wilin misunderstood the “take” sign for the “take a hack” sign.
There is just no excuse for that, either way. Bad fundamentals. Players used to be fined for missing signs. Managers used to be fired for not giving red lights.
On the plus side, there’s Chris Rusin on the mound. He battled for six innings. Had it not been for Mike Trout, his night would have been outstanding. My somewhat tongue-in-cheek over/under of 11 turned out to be way off. Rusin only gave up 5 hits. Nobody can keep Trout in the yard, but the idea is to keep people off the bases in front of him, and Rusin did that. After getting touched for a solo shot in the 1st, Rusin got Trout to ground out in the 4th, and then was way too careful with him in the 6th. Falling behind Mike 3-1 is a really bad idea.
So, it’s Trout 2, Yard Goats 2 heading to the 9th. The 2 hour rain delay has messed me up, and I’m not missing a new Mr. Robot for this near-certain death. Maybe I can be normal. I can watch baseball without getting frustrated. I can heart Instagram pics. I can drink vanilla lattes.
Ummmm, no, back to reality. Axford in. Aybar grounds out. There’s that gosh-darned shift stupidity again, and Freese drills a ball where LeMahieu should be standing, instead it’s a base hit. Iannetta does his usual Coors field thing, dead pull double into the LF corner. Intentional BB, bases loaded. Axford throws yellow hammer for strike 1 to Efren Navarro. Way inside at the knees for ball 1. Fouls off a tough pitch for strike 2. Misses outside for ball 2, spoils a ball on the outside edge for a foul, and misses inside to run it full. Ks him on a cutter.
As Jenny pointed out in her short radio stint, the Rox are terrible in allowing runs with 2 outs. That massive threat Johnny Giavotella steps up, he’s 0-for-3 on the night. But there’s a little note on the ROOT graphic: Johnny G is 5-for-7, 10 RBI with bases loaded this year. Breaking ball low and outside. (Goodman: “Yeah, it’s that time of night.”) Way outside ball 2. Very top of zone for strike 1. Fouls off strike 2.
Seeing eye single in the 5.5 hole on a hanging curve ball. 3-2 Rox loss. You can just see this stuff coming. I suppose there was a notion of Calhoun and Trout lurking behind and having to get the out, but it was a lousy 2-2 pitch selection that sped up the bat of a not-that-great hitter. And when you think about our former utility guy Josh Rutledge wasn’t good enough to keep Giavotella off the field in the spring, it’s even more irritating.
Somebody install the rootkit, please.