VETERAN VACANCY

PITCHING IN SUDDEN CRISIS AS ROX GET SWEPT IN LA;
GIANTS AWAIT ONE-TIME CONTENDERS AT AT +T

Rattled mildly by blow-out losses to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday and Thursday, then stymied by Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood on Friday, the Colorado Rockies were looking forward to some veteran stability and strong outings from Tyler Chatwood, facing Clayton Kershaw Saturday night, and while it’s a tendon snapping stretch to call him a veteran, Tyler Anderson, returning to the rotation on Sunday.  Instead, Chatwood delivered a stink-fest that still lingers, walking 8 in 3-1/3 and surrendering 4 runs that were plenty for Kershaw and three relief pitchers.  Anderson, as it turns out, was not in-fact healthy (a touchy hamstring is thought to be the latest aggravation) and yesterday afternoon made it only an out into the 3rd, leaving matters to an already overworked bullpen with results so bizarre they defy credibility to recount.

Wood is now 8-0 and has a 1.86 ERA.  Colorado got 1 against him in the 2nd on a Trevor Story single and Tom Murphy double, but Kyle Freeland was not his best, allowing single runs to the Dodgers in the 1st and 4th, and 3 in the 2nd that the offense had no answer for.  They  loaded them up in the 1st versus Kershaw the next night but the big lefty got strikeouts of Ian Desmond and Story to escape unscathed, then Chatwood simply said “here it is, take it.”  LA obliged.  And Sunday had the Twilight Zone ditty winding early as Dodgers starter Brandon McCarthy had very little command, walking 2 and throwing 3 wild pitches as the Rockies took off to a 3-0 lead.  McCarthy was shaky in the 3rd as well, as Colorado used 2 singles and an error to run the score to 5-0.

Then Anderson served-up 2-run homers first to Kiki Hernandez and a batter later to Cody Bellinger, and exited in favor of Jordan Lyles, who got out of the 3rd and 2 outs into the 4th before giving way to Scott Oberg.  Oberg was good for 4 outs without incident, getting through the 5th, and gave way to Jake McGee, who got LA in order in the 6th and had 2 out and one on in the 7th when Logan Forsyth doubled, putting Dodgers at 2nd and 3rd.  On came another Rockies veteran, the right-hander Adam Ottavino, counted-on for big things but lacking command and ineffective much of the year.  Ottavino was a wreck, walking Austin Barnes then uncorking consecutive wild pitches to clear the bases and move Los Angeles into a 7-6 lead before striking out Yasmani Grandal.

By the 8th Ottavino had transformed into a quivering chunk of grape Jello shimmying away on your 9 year-old’s dessert plate. Joc Pederson had a lead-off double and moved to 3rd on a sharp line drive that Chase Utley drilled at Raimel Tapia.  Ottavino walked Chris Taylor, then cranked loose a wild pitch with Hernandez batting to score Pederson.  Hernandez eventually struck-out, but Ottavino had another crazy one in him, letting it fly to score Taylor with Justin Turner, who went on to walk, batting. Hoping to save an unnecessary appearance by Greg Holland, manager Bud Black stuck with no. 0, who unfortunately still held the coup de gras in his back pocket.  Boom!  Another blast from Bellinger, another lopsided defeat.  Humiliation in Hollywood.

Manager Black was reflective, touching on the exhausted staff, bewildered by the Ottavino implosion.  As far as the smack-down went, Black sought an upside, indicating the current slide gives the Rockies a ton to contemplate as they consider the responsibility of contention.  Colorado has prospered, at times spectacularly, behind the corps of rookie starters, but it needs some veteran help, and Chatwood, Anderson and Ottavino have certainly been major disappointments.

Tonight the Rockies find themselves at AT+T Park in San Francisco, site of any number of recent triumphs, but you can bet the hated Giants are waiting in voracious anticipation to seize upon the wounded carcass.  In 5 short days Colorado has dropped to 4-1/2 behind the Dodgers and 2 behind the Dbacks.  No talk about post-season potential is about this week.  German Marquez (5-3, 3.92) gets tonight’s start, 8:08 MT in the City by the Bay.  He’ll face the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija (2-9, 4.74) as the Rockies look to get well against an opponent no doubt itching for a fight.  It’s a 3-game set ahead of 3 in Arizona to close-out the 9 game trip and 16 game run through the West.  Jeff Hoffman gets a reprieve and another start tomorrow against San Francisco’s Matt Cain, then Wednesday afternoon it’s TBD, presumably Jon Gray, against the lefty Ty Blach.

Try to stay cool, it’s gotten ugly.

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rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
3 years ago

Did the front office read my comment to call up Jairo Diaz?? Thank you! Diaz and Qualls activated, but we know one of them is only here until Friday when Jon Gray is activated.

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

And Senza out of the bullpen! And it worked. Someone is listening to us …

sdcarp
sdcarp
3 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

This move is a no-brainer.

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

And regarding Qualls and Diaz: it would be great if Diaz had been dominating in ABQ, but, well, he wasn’t, so I’m not that confident. And my support for Qualls can be summed up in this brief comment: in 800-some appearances in his career, he has never wild pitched in 5 runs. Nuff said.

sdcarp
sdcarp
3 years ago

If we had taken off our purple tinted glasses, we would have seen this coming during the SF sweep @ Coors. We were really lucky to win a couple of those games, and gave up a lot of runs to a weak offensive team in the process. The extent of my analysis is every guy on the roster needs to play better. This is a team wide funk. No need to talk trades or analyze what other teams are doing… Read more »

Bob K.
Bob K.
3 years ago
sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago

Oh what the heck – I said I wouldn’t analyze, but that’s just not true! I’m reminded a little bit of the Houston Astros. The Astros had a nice run from 1997 through 2005. Six playoff appearances in that span. But alas, they began aging, and also hired an aging, old-school General Manager (Ed Wade) in 2007. Wade continued the veteran spiral with associated declining records followed from 2008-2010. Wade was fired at the end of the 2010 season and… Read more »

Bill
Bill
3 years ago

I’ve been having so much fun watching the Rocks that I’ve been falling behind in my work. Not anymore. The June swoon has arrived with a bang. Sunday’s game was unbelievable. 5 runs scored on wild pitches. If I was a betting man and am not I would be sure that Adam O. was throwing the game instead of throwing away the game. Anyway our huge lead in the wild card race is down to 6 1/2 games and the… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

BP Playoff Odds – still at 82% … and that’s with their expectation that the Rockies play roughly .500 ball the rest of the way. So the big picture is that things are still looking good. But yeah, there’s some real problems here. The first Bridich trade is a decidedly minor one – Carasiti (we’ve got a few of him in the organization, righty relievers with late innings stuff and crazy inconsistency) for mediocre lefty reliever Rosscup. That tells me… Read more »

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

Carp, good comparison to the Astros situation a couple years ago. And as you note, while they gave up some young talent for a veteran boost, it hasn’t really held them back longer term. I guess the Mets with their trade for Cespedes in 2015 would be another comparison. Sandy Alderson saw the pitching coming together all at once and he made the move for an impact position player. It worked for both teams – without Cespedes there would’ve been… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

I find our dilemma at the moment extremely simple. We need to play better – across the board. Every phase. Pitching. Hitting. Coaching. Managing. This is a classic team-wide slump. In some ways this is a good thing – no need for finger pointing. If we right the ship and get back to playing good ball mid-July, let’s revisit the trade talk. Hell……….if we don’t right the ship by mid-July, let’s revisit the trade talk (as sellers). But for now…………the… Read more »

Bob K.
Bob K.
3 years ago

Rockies DFA Qualls and activate Jon Gray. Murphy optioned to Albuquerque and Hanigan recalled.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/06/rockies-designate-chad-qualls-reinstate-jon-gray.html

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago

Rut-roh- major miscalculation on my part.

I’ve long thought our offense isn’t as good as many others think. However, I also thought the return of Tom Murphy could help this issue to some extent. I expected Murph to get off to a slow start post-injury. But the fact that he’s been sent down so quickly tells me BB and company think there are some pitcher interface issues with Murph (regardless of what they’ll say publically).

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

Murphy – Carp, I suspect you’re right. It had something to do with handling pitchers. But I’ll put a nice spin on it for Murphy: maybe it’s not that he was so bad, but that they really think they need the classic Crash Davis guy here (Hanigan) to settle some of the young pitchers down. It was a weird day to make the switch, since if Murphy had a good rapport with any of our pitchers it was certainly with… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Regarding Rosscup and Carasiti – we KNOW first hand Carasiti has a history of good minor league results, but got absolutely torched when called up last Fall. Major League hitters torched him again early in Spring Training – before he was re-assigned to the minors. I watched him this Spring. Really good velocity, but no deception, and everything is straight. That arsenal doesn’t work in the Majors. Rosscup – I haven’t even researched. I just know that Bridich has excelled… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago
Reply to  sdcarp

Ag – I’m guessing Hanigan will also catch Chatwood, regardless of opposing pitcher. At least for short-term.

Well….scratch above comment. Wolters in lineup tonight.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago

Geez – playing surface in ‘Zona looks like crap. I missed last night’s game, so sorry if I’m late with the revelation.

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
3 years ago

This is why we lost – on Arizona’s 3rd run and twice on the 4th run strike 2 and u throw a hanger middle of plate.

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

I’m down in Arizona (July in Phoenix! Nothing like it.) Caught this one at Chase Field. Observations: (1) Carp is right. The field is a mess. I’m not really sure how it got this bad – do they keep the roof closed 100% of the time in summer? LF was one of the problem spots. I didn’t see the replay, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what caused Desmond’s injury. (2) Otto is still a mess. This loss is… Read more »

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Ag – I didn’t watch the game – how did Senzatela look? The stats say “good.” I really see him excelling in the Pen the remainder of the season.

Agbayani
Agbayani
3 years ago

Carp, I’m glad to report that we were right: Senza looked great in relief. Actually registered consistent 97 mph with one 99 mph fastball on the Dbacks in-park scoreboard (which may have been running 1-2 mph hot, but still …). I think he’ll be pitching in high leverage innings in the pen starting about now.

sdcarp
Admin
sdcarp
3 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

These guys quickly pick up 1-2 mph when only throwing an inning or two. I noted after a i saw Marquez beat the DBacks at Coors (the game before the June swoon began!) that he hit 97 mph once, and 96 about a half dozen times. Put him in the Pen and we’ll get the same thing (99), but since he has an offspeed pitch that he can command (somewhat), I can see him even pitching high leverage situations immediately.… Read more »

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