Rox vs. Dodgers, can they keep the magic alive?
Last night, long after everyone with sanity had gone to bed Carlos Gonzalez put a season (2.5 really) into one swing, and when I am sure anyone who was still watching was saying “I bet he is either going to strike-out or roll over to 2nd” he did what we have needed all year – hit a homer when it mattered. It felt very Cubs – Dexter Fowler-esque.
But just like baseball allows you to redeem a bad day within 24 hours, so to does it require you to leave a victory, even one 16 days in coming, in the rearview mirror.
But I am really, a game won when Stubbs and CarGo get a hit in the same inning? Don’t you have to find some mythical meaning in that? No…No. Today is what matters.
And so tonight the Rox get their third crack this year at the great Clayton Kershaw. I really like the guy, as a person and as a competitor. And while back in 2006 with the Rox management feeling they were on the cusp of competiting (which they were), they really couldn’t take the risk at the 2nd overall pick of taking a high school pitcher, given the flame-out rate of such prospects. It just so happens that Kershaw is one of those once-a-generation types. So the Rox get a pass on not taking Kershaw in my opinion. But oh, wouldn’t it be nice to have him today? And actually, he was in the bigs by 2008 – same as Greg Reynolds – and would have provided a big pickup in 2009 and 2010. But no, I totally get the decision then and hindsight is as they always say, perfectly focused.
Kershaw has been very very ordinary this year. Pitching in arguably the best pitchers park in baseball (funny all the others are on the coast as well – PetCo, AT&T, and the place in Oakland that needs to be torn-down), he starts tonight with just a 1-2 record, and an ERA of 4.26. The Rockies in two gams didn’t let him go beyond 6 (6,5.2) and put up 3 and 5 runs. Its just that Rockies pitchers were much worse in those two games (7 and 9 runs). So while normally this would be a “watch-for-a-perfect game type of scenario, this is actually a game where a decent start could give them a chance to win.
And tonight’s pitcher, Eddie Butler, despite having as many walks as Ks (19-19), has been, arguably, the Rox best pitcher. With Tyler Matzek having simply lost his ability to throw strikes (he had a simply miserable game at AAA the other day, and I think just needs about 10 days to go fishing and then come back – what he finally fixed last year broke again), Jordan Lyles sharing the walk-a-thon, Jorge DLR still not what we expect and Kyle Kendrick too much of what we expect, Eddie gets my nod. We still have not seen the great stuff that he showed in 2013. Its in there, just right now its not showing up. But, learning to pitch first and then re-finding your great stuff, that isn’t the worst thing either. So Butler has – and I have to admit it – proven me wrong that he should have started the year in AAA. I mean, who else were we going to put out there? Chad Bettis and Yohan Flande? Ha Ha? What, their both in the rotation now? Wow, this is a bad start to things.
Butler has lost twice this year vs. the Dodgers, though in both games he wasn’t really that bad. The 5 and 5.1 (rain) innings is, but he limited the Dodgers to 2 ER in both games. He have a 4:1 K/BB ratio in the first, and a 3:4 ratio in the second. For what its worth.
Go Get Rockies. Time to pay the Dodgers back with a 4 game sweep! Yes, I am crazy but why not…