Rox at Giants in Game 1

After a rather up and down home stand (how often have we said this year), having got dismantled by the Astros – a lot – the Rox took 2 of 3 from both the Brewers (behind them in the Wild Card) and the Dbacks (just ahead of them). Of course were it not for John Axford being dinked to death while having the first real bout of wildness all season, it probably is a sweep and the Rockies on a 5 game winning streak. Though full kudos to Axford for his performance on Thursday after Logan had a very bad first two batters. So now, on to the road.

 

And I know you see the mention of “Wild Card” and think “has Doc taken to drinking purple turpentine again?” Well, no actually, unless the spouse is seeking to finally cash in on the life insurance policy. No I reference this because the addition of a second wild card gives teams that have a bad but not awful start (see Brewers) a chance to come back and be close enough to promised land that one hot streak, one big trade, or one important call-up from being there at the end (even if you don’t make it like the Mariners last year, getting that close is a reward itself).   Here are today’s NL Standings from a playoff perspective:

 

 

 

Team Record Games

Behind

St. Louis – C Leader 48-24 XXXXX
Los Angeles – W Leader 41-33 XXXXX
Washington – E Leader 40-33 XXXXX
Pittsburgh – WC 1 Leader 40-32 XXXXX
Chicago Cubs – WC 2 Leader 39-32 XXXXX
San Francisco 40-34 0.5
NY Mets 37-37 3.5
Arizona 35-37 4.5
Atlanta 35-38 5.0
Cincinnati 34-37 5.0
San Diego 34-40 6.0
ROCKIES 32-40 7.5
Miami 30-44 10.5
Milwaukee 27-47 13.5
Philadelphia 26-48 14.5

 

The American League is even tighter, with all the teams within 7.5 back of the Wild Card. If you can remain that close (or preferably more like 6.0 back of the WC), you have reason to believe, especially if one of those things mentioned above (or a player who has really underperformed what you expect him to do and has done in the past), then you don’t start ripping your team apart at the trading deadline. You may or may not try and go get someone (again, the talent in AAA or advanced players in AA are always preferred when you are this far out), but there is reason to hope. It will mean having to play better going forward, but you can stay in it.

 

On MLB Network they were asking the question of whether or not the Chicago White Sox need to blow up their current team. The White Sox are currently 6.5 back in the Wild Card race but their management is not close to pulling the plug. They have simply played poorly. They are one up from last in average and runs scored. Oh, and one from last in ERA (how with Chris Sale at the top is that possible), driven by a next-to-last starting group (their bullpen 2nd from bottom – which is better I guess). So, lets be clear. They stink. Even after investing in Jeff Samardzija and Adam LaRoche. So, if you are 6.5 back and you stink in both pitching and hitting, why are you not blowing the whole thing up?

 

Because they are only 6.5 back. And their best player, Jose Abreu, is only hitting .291 and 12 homers with only a .828 OPS. Last year he was at .964 OPS. You expect your best player to be great (sound familiar….will the real Tulo please stand-up?). Or pitching to be better. Jeff Samardzija last year had a WHIP of 1.07. This year – 1.33. So you figure if he pitches just a bit better.

 

Okay, this is where the Rockies story comes in. Look, they have had a few periods of good baseball. They have had 2 or 3 periods of really bad baseball (including a league leading losing streak). Now, how bad is this team? Well, their starting is not too good although it has glimpses of decency. Their bullpen? Well it took a huge hit from injuries (Zero most of all but also Betencourt and Hawkins). Their offense? It is clearly missing Morneau and Dickerson (especially Dickerson), but also CarGo and Tulo have not been at their best. If Tulo had 20 homers and was hitting .345, well, the offense would be in business. If CarGo was getting anything out of being, by some measures, the 4th hardest hitting player in the NL, then they would be clearly a better team. And where we have seen this the most is at home.

 

Look, I still think 78 wins is the high watermark with this team. But….

 

You have Jon Gray pitching very well. Unlike Eddie Butler who never actually earner his way to Coors Field. Gray we have been told isn’t coming up until he doesn’t have to ever get sent back down. I think we are getting very close to that.

 

Tyler Chatwood is starting to get serious. For a little context, Ivan Nova went down about 4 weeks earlier than Chatwood (but not the 2nd TJ so a bit difference) and he just threw 6+ innings of shutout ball for the Yanks on Wednesday. I think we won’t see him until around August at best but…if he is close to the guy who threw in 2013, that is a nice pick-me-up.

 

You also have the hopeful return of Dickerson. Can Kyle Parker help this team? (I am guessing yes)

 

Anyways, if they can play decent on this road trip (.500 on this trip) and find a way to win 32 games on the road, then you 46 win gets you to 78. And that is a big jump. And it will keep them about 6 or 7 games back in the WC until mid-September.

 

Hey, its not much, but its something. But It all begins tonight? The good news is that the Rox throw their best pitcher (arguably at least) so far this year, Chad Bettis. And the Giants are throwing an increasingly aged Tim Hudson, who is at 5-6 with a 4.52 ERA and 43Ks and 21BB in 85.2 innings with a 1.35 WHIP.

 

Bettis is 3-2 with a 3.44 ERA (3.02 ERA in starts after the opening clunker against the Dodgers) and 43Ks and 15BBs in 49.2 innings and a WHIP of 1.23 (1.12 after the Dodger start).

 

Team Player Position Team Player Position
Colorado Blackmon CF Giants Pagan CF
DJ 2B Panik 2B
Tulo SS Duffy 3B
CarGo RF Posey 1B
Arenado 3B Belt LF
Paulsen 1B Crawford SS
Hundley C Susac C
Barnes LF Blanco RF
Bettis P Hudson P
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Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Dr. C., I’ll allow myself to fall into the trapdoor of “maybe there’s hope with the current roster and a few tweaks.” DO NOT LET A MONFORT SEE THIS! OK, what if Chatwood comes back to where he was in 2013? What if Jon Gray’s post-April run is for real? What if Bettis has really turned a corner? What if DLR finds a better manicurist? (Or maybe takes a tip from Moises Alou and Jorge Posada for toughening up those… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
5 years ago

Just want to say how awesome Spilly is on the radio this past week. Really already the best color guy on any Rockies broadcast and he’s what, 1 year into this?

also, yet another SP gives up runs the very next inning after we grab a lead.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
5 years ago

Scott Gopherg

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
5 years ago

No not Logan, go to Friedrich

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Walt, WTF!!! Woke up from a nap, whoah, Rockies up 8-3 … only to see idiot Weiss leave Kahnle in long enough to blow it. Anyone! Now!!!

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Is this a Regis Jesuit character building thing? Why on earth is Kahnle, who just threw Ball 4 to load em up (but the batter swung at it) still on the bump?

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Outfield ridiculously deep. Who sets positioning? Yes, try to cut off balls in the gap, but you’re conceding a hit on any blooper at all

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
5 years ago

Man. Another near bullpen disaster. These guys are just ridiculous.

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Holy crap … Posey swings at Ball 4 too. Without the Giants helping out Kahnle would’ve walked in the tying run …

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
5 years ago

Fire Walt Weiss. His big mistake was not to leave in Boone Logan in 9th to get Crawford for the first out.

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

Agbayani, if you are painting rosy scenarios that include Freeland, are there any starters in our minor league system that have a shot of being serviceable major league starters before we’d be likely to see Freeland in a Rockies uniform? Senzatella, or a starter at New Britain?

Agbayani
Agbayani
5 years ago

Julian, at the lower levels the guys I’m watching are: 1. Ryan Castellani/Asheville. 19 year old righty more than holding is own against mostly considerably older competition. 2nd rounder in last year’s draft. 2. Antonio Senzatela/Modesto. 20 year old righty. 2.36 ERA in the hitter friendly Cal League is impressive. Went 15-2 at Asheville last year (“all he does is win”). Not thought to have elite stuff (I’ve never seen him, or any of these guys, so what I read… Read more »

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

Agbayani, thanks. There’s an article about Musgrave in today’s Denver Post. Unfortunately, the Post also has a mention that Tyler Anderson hasn’t pitched at all this year and is still in recovery mode.

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