Season Opener Full of Promise, Loss

The Rockies came into the 2013 season ready to show the world that they could compete. With all of the conjecture over the past few weeks, especially owner Dick Monfort’s praise of the offense as well as the bullpen before the season began, one would be hard pressed to find anyone that was willing to put the game on the line based on the teams starting pitching.

With all of the random opinions about how the team would fail to make the playoffs, be last in the division and pretty much race towards another failed season, the one constant that could be heard was that the team lacked starting pitching.  That the rotation would ultimately fail any strides the bullpen and offense would make.

Well, it is only one game in, but it looks like the Boys From Blake have something to take their mind off starting pitching for the next few games.

Like recognizing a mismatch situation.

Like wasting our best relief pitcher on one pitch.

Like poor base coaching.

Notice none of that has anything to do with starting pitching.  In that corner we are undefeated.  With Chacin pitching an almost clean 6 2/3’s innings, the only run he gave up was a solo shot to Aoki over the right field wall.  Chacin’s final line, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB and 6 K’s was more than anyone could have hoped for, after his poor showing during spring.  He also witnessed a milestone nary heard of last season: a pitch count surpassing 75.  His 94 pitches (54 strikes) was very encouraging as well, because it showed Weiss has faith in Chacin, but more importantly, it showed that Chacin had the Brewers looking quite the fool.

Sadly, the faith and foolishness quickly shifted.

It only took a base-running blunder by Nelson in the fourth, and a bad decision by Weiss in the eighth, to keep this game from being a success to making it a partial failure.

The Nelson/Rosario traffic jam in the fourth can actually be put down to poor third-base coaching Stu Cole.  With Rosario and Nelson on first and second, Dex hit a single to right.  Both runners took off, looking to round their respective bases, but Cole (almost home himself), put up the stop-sign late for Rosario and either Nelson didn’t see it, or it was too late for him to react because both runners were caught playing musical-bases with only one base and two players left.

While that mistake only cost a potential rally from happening, it was the decision by Weiss in the eighth that most likely will be seen as the game turning point for the worst.

Chacin, one out away from finishing up the seventh, was pulled after walking Alex Gonzalez.  Weiss brought in Matt Belisle and one pitch later the team was heading for the dugout.  Unfortunately Weiss didn’t stick with Belisle for the eighth inning, deciding instead to bring in Wilton Lopez.  That decision, coupled with Lopez being over-matched most of the inning and the poor decision to allow him to pitch to Aramis Ramirez instead of walking in favor of Lucroy, was the proverbial turning point in the game.  Ramirez doubled home Weeks and Braun and the Brew Crew are up by 1 at that point and on their way to their walk-off win, by non other than Ramirez himself in 10.

It wasn’t all bad though.  Chacin was great, not to mention CarGo, Tulo and Dex all finding their stroke and the outfield wall with HR’s.

That’s the great thing about baseball.  You can have a few little choices that will change an entire game.  And then you do it again the next day…

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
COL
0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 4 12 0
MIL 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 5 8 0

 


IMAGES FROM THE GAME

Rox Take Field - Photo by RMH
Rox Take Field – Photo by RMH
Pre Game Pomp - Photo by RMH
Pre Game Pomp – Photo by RMH
Lineups Lineup - Photo by RMH
Lineups Lineup – Photo by RMH
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Bob in Indy
Bob in Indy
7 years ago

The first game of the season is always under a magnifying glass. Everything that happens is noticed and every bad event gets projected in our minds to be a season long problem. We can’t score without homers, our bullpen stinks, our coaches are terrible, etc., etc. etc. This loss does not make or break the season, just as it wouldn’t if this was a mid-week game in July. While I am as disappointed as the rest of you, we should… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
7 years ago

For me it was the game right there: We had a great opportunity to add on insurance runs when Rosario and Nelson started the inning off with singles. Golden opportunity to execute the little things to scratch out runs on the road. Chacin simply needed to put the bunt down and we have runners on second and third when Fowler had his base hit. That cost us two runs right there.

OrangeRocks
OrangeRocks
7 years ago

Wasn’t at the game but followed it on Gameday, and it was frustrating in that even as well as Chacin pitched he ultimately cost himself and the team the win by not executing a basic sacrifice bunt. The turning point in the game for me was with two on and no body out and after letting two go by as balls (no problem with that), Chacin then lets two go by “in” the strike zone (unacceptable if it is close… Read more »

sdcarp
sdcarp
7 years ago

RMH makes a valuable point – this team, this year, needs to score at every single given opportunity. The score doesn’t matter, traditional baseball etiquette doesn’t apply. We have to keep our foot on the gas the entire game,

Cameo
Cameo
7 years ago

While I do agree with you guys about Chacin not gettting the bunt down, I believe Nelson’s base running error was more inexcusable. Even though bunting is as basic a baseball fundamental can get, it still can be very difficult to do. Making a baserunning error like Nelson’s was not a difficult decision or difficult physical thing to accomplish. Just a bad play. Now granted, even if Nelson stays at 2nd we still have the bases loaded with no runs… Read more »

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
7 years ago
Reply to  Cameo

Like we discussed during chat yesterday. Being aggressive was one of the primary focuses during ST. I think we saw a continuation of that by Nelson and Stu Cole asleep at the wheel. Stu Cole needs to be aggressive at being the 3rd base coach.

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
7 years ago

What this game showed is that the Rox margin of error is razor thin. They can’t afford to make the little mistakes and expect to win. We can only hope they continue to do the things they did well and correct some of the small fundamental errors they made today.

Bat Cat
Bat Cat
7 years ago

Due to my disgust with the ownership I haven’t paid much attention to the Rox since the end of last season, so forgive me if this is a dumb question: Isn’t Betancourt the closer? Why were Lopez and Ottavino out there instead of Betancourt?

Bat Cat
Bat Cat
7 years ago
Reply to  jaredean

Thanks Jared, makes total sense, I was thinking that WW would want his best guy on the mound to try to win in the 10th. (Not a knock on WW – he was one of my favorite players back in the day).

egossage
egossage
7 years ago

Love the new look Jared!

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
7 years ago

If you want some light hearted humor then read through the 50+ comments at the end of the Renck’s article … which is also a good read.

roxnsox
roxnsox
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Raysfan

So glad there’s little whining over here. I like the Post forum but jeez, it’s hard sometimes. (Wish I could let it roll off me like YOU apparently do, Mike 🙂

There was so much that was good yesterday. I’ll stick with that as my takeaway. And Orange, you can’t say that Chacin’s failure to bunt “cost them the game.” It didn’t help, but it’s merely possible correlation, NOT causation 🙂

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
7 years ago
Reply to  roxnsox

Hi Julie, It’s been a long time since I’ve posted over there.

Agreed, there was good and reason to be positive in yesterday’s game.

roxnsox
roxnsox
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Raysfan

But Mike, you’re the kind of participant needed on the DP forum! 😉

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