Streaking in L A

The league doesn’t have a “book” on Josh Rutledge yet.  The rookie shortstop, promoted on July 13, went 4 for 5 with 3 doubles and 3 RBI to lead the Colorado Rockies to their second consecutive victory, 3-1 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sandy Koufax Bobblehead Night at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Tuesday night.  Eric Young Jr was 3 for 4 and scored 2 of Colorado’s 3 runs as the Rockies strung 2 wins together for the first time since June 28-29, when they beat the Nationals and the Padres.

Josh Roenicke got the win for Colorado with three scoreless innings in relief of starter Alex White, who threw 80 pitches, 42 strikes, in four scoreless but stressful innings of work.  Rafael Betancourt came on in the ninth inning and logged his 19th save.  Aaron Harang pitched into the seventh and took the loss for LA.  He allowed only one run on 5 hits in six innings, but was charged with all 3 of the Rockies’ runs when the two batters he faced in the seventh both scored.

The Rockies squandered an excellent chance in the first when Young led-off with a single and moved to third on the first of Rutledge’s doubles, but the two and Carlos Gonzalez, who walked, were stranded when Dexter Fowler struck-out, looking foolish, and Jordan Pacheco and Ramon Hernandez grounded into outs.  Los Angeles had runners on third against White in the second and third, but the right-hander wiggled-out of trouble each time.

Colorado finally broke through in the fifth when Young singled with one out and came all the away around on Rutledge’s second double, a huge fly ball over the head of Dodgers center-fielder Matt Kemp. In the seventh Chris Nelson, hitting in the nine hole for White in a fifth inning double-switch, singled leading-off.  Young walked, then both came around on Rutledge double no. 3.  LA picked-up their run in the eighth when Hanley Ramirez singled off Rex Brothers, then came around on pinch-hitter Mark Ellis’ double down the left-field line off Matt Belisle.  But Betancourt came-on to retire Los Angeles in the ninth, and the Rockies walked-away with their 40th win of 2012.

Colorado clinched its first series victory since taking two out of three in Washington the weekend preceding the All Star break.  They’ll look to sweep Wednesday evening, with left-hander Jeff Francis (3-4, 6.02) facing  Dodgers’ righty Chad Billingsley (7-9, 3.74) at 8:10 pm MDT in Chavez Ravine.  Los Angeles dropped to 1 1/2 games behind the division leading San Francisco Giants, who defeated St Louis 4-2 behind Barry Zito.  Arizona held its ground 4 back, knocking-off Pittsburgh 10-4.

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GARY
GARY
8 years ago

Here’s a thought.Hasn’t Hernandez caught the last two with the 0.50 ERA.He sucked at the plate but maybe he helped the “rooks”by his pitch calling.Plus he keep the passed balls to single digits! ROX should send Rosario to the Arizona fall league to learn to play 1st base.His big bat would be corner position player upgrade.

jeem
jeem
8 years ago
Reply to  GARY

Yes. This Rosario thing is interesting. I’m no professional, but it seems to me brazenly obvious he doesn’t have the fundamental skills required to catch. Hopefully it’s just what can you do mid-season, + of course then you had Hernandez out half the year. But yeah, let’s go out + pick-up Yorvit, + go w/ he + Hernandez behind the plate next year, Baby Bull at first. We cannot afford the comical infield defense we’ve had this year, esp at… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago

This Rutledge kid will never make it. O’Dowd needs to find a few more infielders to compete for the job.

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago

Rosario: really weird case. I can’t recall a catcher who seemingly mastered the difficult stuff – hitting at a decent level, throwing, even getting out in front of the plate to handle bunts and dribblers – who failed at the position simply because he literally can’t catch pitched balls. As Jeem put it, he’s a “catcher” in quotation marks. I don’t really think it has to do with calling a game. I think that’s not really been a problem. I’ve… Read more »

jeem
jeem
8 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

For all the crap I’ve witnessed this year, I missed the “flinching” incident. Everybody’s talking about it though. You’re right-on there have been AT LEAST two astonishing “failures to catch” (I don’t remember if they were passed-balls). I was covering for the one, I believe my line was he “dozed-off during a 95 MPH fastball” (had to get that one back in there). The other one was the scary one where it hit the ump square in the face. Again,… Read more »

OrangeRocks
OrangeRocks
8 years ago

Yep but the “play at the plate” was a classic 10 year old little league move and a manager like Weaver would have sent him to AAA the very next day. While catching the outfield relay cleanly Wilin could have easily moved ever so slightly forward and tagged the runner out by two feet, but instead he steps backward seemingly to avoid contact with the runner, then reaching forward for the tag and you guessed it in a close play… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago

I don’t know Rosario’s full baseball history, but I would bet he was converted to catcher by the Rockies. I mentioned that catchers are generally self-selected tough guys, but sometimes not – they’re shifted there by player development types. I don’t think Rosario needs more game experience catching. I think there’s a chance he can get better by going back to square one: drills. Ever watched a kid learn to be a hockey goalie? They pad him up and flick… Read more »

OrangeRocks
OrangeRocks
8 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Ag I like your thought process here about catcher training drills, however I saw the Nieves DFA as a clear sign that the Rockies already believe 100% in Rosario as their MLB catcher for both the near and long term – with or without the passed balls.

Julian
Julian
8 years ago

The player development issues that we keep talking about are so frustrating. Rosario has been in the Rockies’ system for a number of years, and yet he still can’t do fundamental things that a catcher should do. EY Jr. has been in the Rockies’ system for even longer, and we’re still trying to find a position that he can play (how has he looked in RF?). Pacheco has been in the system for a number of years, and at the… Read more »

jaredean
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  Julian

Julian, i’m wondering if it isn’t that we have players that are really good at something (like EYj with his speed, Jordan with his bat) and then we have a position that needs to be filled (like 3rd) and the team decides that having them play the open position is best, since we get benefit of their talent…EYj has looked MUCH improved in the outfield this season over years past…i still wouldn’t have him at 2nd because i don’t trust… Read more »

DrRockies
Editor
DrRockies
8 years ago
Reply to  jaredean

agree with you Jaredean. While I am one of the biggest critics of Junior, I have appreciated “some” of his play this year. I am still not convinced his is anything more than a AAA player overall, he is done better in his role. I look at his inexperience at whatever position he plays in while he has made some good plays with his glove (possibly connected to not getting a good read and using the speed to make up… Read more »

Pooter
Pooter
8 years ago
Reply to  DrRockies

EYJ’s average is very close to .300 and most of that has been 1 and out pinch hit duty and spot starting which are normally average killers!!! This guy is a great leadoff hitter and and great table setter which he has shown in the last two wins. You all mention how much improved EYJ is in the outfield and that is very much true. I would argue that he is as good or even better than Fowler defensively. It… Read more »

Pooter
Pooter
8 years ago
Reply to  Pooter

Dr. Rockies– By prone to base running mistakes are you referring to the non slide play a t third not too long ago? Because that is the only base running mistake I can think of…. and that could be blamed on Runnells. I’m personnally tired of the poor defense argument but I will give you that one, however, BASE RUNNING?? I would argue that there is no one better in the game at base running! He is finally forcing his… Read more »

jaredean
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  Pooter

YAY, Pooter is alive! We’ve missed you… Ok, i honestly really love EYj and have always liked him on the team and felt he should get more playing time…i would like to see if he can play 2nd again, now that the season is over, because he has proven that he is the hardest working guy on the team trying to get better and it is completely shown in his improved defense…now is the time to see what we have…… Read more »

GARY
GARY
8 years ago
Reply to  Pooter

Hey,a Pooter sighting!

OrangeRocks
OrangeRocks
8 years ago
Reply to  DrRockies

The “defense first” bias that runs through this blog and in this case against EY2 is pretty sad at least for me. Arguably EY2 is a better defensive outfielder with a stronger arm than Juan Pierre ever had. Last I looked Juan Pierre has had a very long career in major league baseball and even played center field for the Rockies for a season or two – as I recall. When Dexter or Cargo make an error in the field,… Read more »

Pooter
Pooter
8 years ago
Reply to  OrangeRocks

Great points Orange Rocks and Jaredean! I stopped my MLB Extra Innings so I have been watching the games via colored circles and stat lines. This is the first year I have stopped watching regularly since their exsitence. So that is the reason for my lack of posting. One thing I have not lost interest in this year is EYJ, glad to see him earning a shot. Still stop by this site every week day though! My bad on the… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
rockymountainhigh
8 years ago

I thought it was Ramon Hernandez that stepped away from the plate as if he was scared on a perfect throw from Pacheco with Matt Holliday coming down the line. Did I miss the “flinching” incidents by Rosario?

OrangeRocks
OrangeRocks
8 years ago

RMH the comments above about Rosario were regarding plays in previous games.

GARY
GARY
8 years ago

That’s the “ole”play I mentioned at the time as obvious “wussiness” I also said that with Holiday being a one man wrecking crew, Hernandez should have planted him in the cheap seats!

Bob in WV
Bob in WV
8 years ago

There has got to be a problem with the coaching when it comes to planning pitching strategy for a game. How can every single pitcher we send out there seem to have 70-80 pitches through 4 innings nearly every night? Are the right strategies to attack hitters in place? Why do batters always seem to end up deep in counts after starting out 0-2 or 1-2? We never seem to have the killer instinct to put a batter away. Since… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago

Bob, I was wondering something similar about the 75 pitch limit. Really, it should be par for the course for a pitcher to get through 6 (or at least into the 6th) on that limit. Isn’t it weird that our guys use up their pitches in 4 innings, even when not getting hit hard the last couple nights? O’Dowd thought the 75 pitch limit would focus young pitchers on being economical with their pitches. Could it be having the opposite… Read more »

Julian
Julian
8 years ago

I have been pleasantly surprised by the performance of EY. His performance seems to be improving over the course of the year. He may get caught in a numbers game. As far as outfielders go, there’s CarGo, Dexter, Colvin when he doesn’t play first base, and Cuddyer when he doesn’t play first base, with Wheeler and Blackmon in the wings. If Cuddyer got traded in the offseason (which I hope happens), I could see keeping EY.

Bill
Bill
8 years ago

I should get all the credit for the Rockies win streak because I left town first thing Monday morning and they are undefeated since I left. Unfortunately I’ll be back Sunday. But winning 3 or 4 more in a row would be something. Probably add 5 more years to Tracy’s tenure. Seriously I think Ag made a good point above about the negative effect of the 75 pitch limit idea. If you set the bar low and the expectations are… Read more »

Bob in WV
Bob in WV
8 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Geez, Bill, I’m in the east year round now after 19 in Colorado/Utah. Still not used to the humidity, but if you think it’s bad now, you should have been here three weeks ago!

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