On a slightly drizzly night at Coors where both the Rockies outfield and some of their bullpen got beat up, the Rox fall in extras to the Giants by a score of 5-4.
Tim Hudson went 7, giving up gophers to Tulo and CarGo but issuing no walks and scattering eight hits. The Rockies went deep into their bullpen after a much better, but still short 5-inning outing from Jorge de la Rosa, with 7 Ks and 2 BB. There was a lot of debate over whether DLR should have stayed in for the 6th. Coming up were Posey, Maxwell, and Susac. Posey and Susac had done damage earlier. I think they made the right move with DLR, but perhaps brought in the wrong guy.
With the game tied 2-2, it was Maxwell that did the damage in the 6th. Scott “Lord” Oberg promptly yielded a single to Posey, followed by a line drive that just cleared the out-of-town scoreboard in right by Maxwell. That put the Rockies in catch-up mode. The CarGo homer closed the gap to 4-3.
Sergio Romo and John Axford matched dead stop innings, and in the 9th the Giants went to Jeremy Affeldt for CarGo, securing the groundout. Santiago Casilla came in, and blew the save. Nick Hundley singled, DJ LeMahieu singled sending Hundley to third, and Drew Stubbs came to the plate. Stubbs was in the game because earlier in the game, Corey Dickerson fouled a ball off his quad. Perhaps it was the quad tightening or the plantar fasciitis acting up; Dickerson was double-switched in the 7th.
Stubbs is still wearing an 0-for-2015. (He’s not close to the record set by Eugenio Velez, 0-for-46, but a lot of fans including many of us here are calling for a DFA.) This time, he got the ball in play with a grounder to Matt “don’t call me Danny” Duffy, who fielded the ball in the path of DJ. In heads-up baserunning, DJ stopped, and by the time Duffy fired to first after the tag, Stubbs was safe and Hundley crossed the plate with the game-tier.
Stubbs then attempted a steal, and cartwheeled ungracefully over the bag after an attempted slide, catching a spike and flexing an ankle that could have easily broke. That killed the rally. Ottavino kept the Giants at bay in the 10th, but the combination of Blackmon, McKenry, and Tulo did nothing on Javier Lopez and Jean Machi.
Brooks Brown trotted out for the 11th. There were not many choices left, only Boone Logan and Rafael Betancourt were theoretically still available. Brown issued the 4th walk of the night to Nori Aoki. Duffy sacrificed, Pagan singled to CF, but Stubbs closed the gap quickly and held Aoki to third. Joe Panik then dropped a perfect suicide squeeze in front of Justin Morneau (no dive, I’m not sure he could have had it) and Aoki slid in safely. Chalk one up to Bochy and smallball, helped by a costly BB.
In the bottom of the 11th, Machi stopped the bleeding. Morneau singled, but Arenado GIDPed, and CarGo grounded out to end it.
Nobody likes a loss, but this game was competitive in all aspects and fun to watch. Major concerns right now are the health of Dickerson, the durability of the bullpen, and a developing black hole on the Rockies bench with Stubbs. The bench is very inflexible, and while it had a bit more power with Rosario, it still wasn’t matching the developing need for OF help.
Bridich’s hand may be forced very shortly, because he is going to have to go to Albuquerque for both bullpen and outfield help. As our astute Dr. C pointed out, Stubbs’ $5.8M salary is now somewhat prorated. If the Rox DFA him (Stubbs, not Dr. C), we’re assuming he clears waivers, then the choice is either outrighting him to AAA, or releasing him. A release would mean the Rox are on the hook for his remaining salary ($5.83M minus 20 out of 178 days, works out to a shade over $5.1M left), minus what another team signs him for (at least league minimum of $507K). Outrighting him means we are paying $5.1M for a AAA outfielder.
Why did they sign Stubbs? He’s out of options and was in an arbitration year, meaning they were going to get a market figure if they weren’t proactive. His 2014 season gave no indication of this type of slump. Stubbs is the kind of player that needs regular ABs however, and until the last couple days he hasn’t been getting them. If Dickerson goes on the DL, the irony is Stubbs may still not get ABs in favor of say, Brandon Barnes, or Kyle Parker. (No, I don’t think Rosario comes back “in a few days” … he hasn’t played a single inning at 1B in AAA yet.) We should know more shortly.