After playing two very bad games in Arizona after winning the opener, the Rox had an off-day to think about their play, especially on Wednsday.
The game on Wednesday looked like it would start well, despite their troubles against Josh Collmenter in the past. But a first-inning error by DJ fill-in, Daniel Descalso, hit the runner going to third, and put the Rox in the hole 2-1. A 5th inning marred by walks and a long-bomb by former Rox Jordan Pacheco, finished any chance for victory.
We go to this re-hash because the last two games felt a lot like the first two games of the series last week vs the Pads. Too many error or general miscues plus too many walks plus too many longballs. The Rox win regardless of their hitting when they don’t walk guys, don’t make errors, and don’t give up homers. It is the key to success for this team and pitching staff.
And so tonight we get Eddie Butler, himself a walk machine this year but with signs of getting back to striking out batters, goes tonight in a park where the ball won’t travel into the stands unless you set it up. Butler has done a good job of avoiding that, and that is why despite the walks his ERA remains below 4. That plus the fact the defence when he has pitched has been excellent.
Tonight he is opposed by Ian Kennedy, coming off the DL with a sore hamstring. They have not faced him yet this year, but the good new is his return sends back to the bullpen Despaigne, who simply stifled the Rox in Coors (he, like Collmenter, changes speed and keeps the ball from getting up – thus the Rox hit like a AAA team).
Kennedy is in his walk year, and the pressure for a pitcher can cause them to run the ball up with less control. The Rox sure hope so.
Tonight the team tries something new. The suddenly Pete Rose-like DJ (can I say Pete Rose when talking about baseball or will the MLB shut us down?), will be batting lead-off. His great eye and ability to drive the ball alley to alley might make him the perfect lead-off guy – if he can keep this up. His speed is not fantastic, but he rarely gets the chance to run hitting in front of the pitcher. We might see what DJ can do – maybe he is part Pete Rose part Rickey Henderson. Probably not.
The rest of the lineup is pretty standard except for the start one of the last hitters in baseball to still be .000 (we are talking Tim Hudson levels), one Drew Stubbs. I have a feeling this might be his last go with the team, as they will need a deeper bench and bullpen going forward. Without Stubbs being able to handle the bat, the bench doesn’t exist.
1 DJ CF Myers
2 Dickerson 2B Solarte
3 Tulo RF Kemp
4 Morneau LF Upton
5 Arenado C Norris
6 CarGo 1B Alonzo
7 Hundley 3B Middlebrook
8 Stubbs SS Amarista
9 Butler P Kennedy