I told someone that “We won one, and lost one, and had one game to play” today. This was in reference to after game 1 of a doubleheader, we won the game, but lost JDLR when we found out he had season-ending surgery due to a torn ligament. (It turns out Tommy John may be the answer.) Talk about a huge setback to a Rockies team to lose their no. 2 starter. Even if Ubaldo is not up to 100% of his old self, the last 2 starts he’s had are a promise. JDLR has the highest batting average of all our pitchers this year, so this will suck. But there is another pressing issue I’d like to address.
My good friend David Martin (@RockiesReview) has a great review up on the doubleheader. I encourage you to read it. I don’t want to totally refute him and state that he’s wrong. But I’m going to add a few comments to him, and also thoughts with Mark Townsend (@Townie813) about Tracy and the team.
First of all, I’d like to put up the fact that no matter what, the team is obligated to provide a win by working together. No matter who is playing the field or up to bat, the whole team is obligated to put their best effort possible. That means playing smart defense, providing offense, and smart base running. The defense, by and large, is there. The latter 2 are lacking. I’ve already provided a list of improvements needed by certain baseball players. And it shouldn’t matter who Tracy picks for the lineup, there should be some sort of teamwork no matter what.
That said, there was a huge criticism on Tracy’s lineup for game 2. David argues that it was unfair the lineup was made up of virtually a different cast of players than in game 1. Many of the changes were not needed. I’m going to say that with as many rainouts and doubleheaders that have occurred this season, it is going to be necessary to avoid taxing your players. This is only the 3rd doubleheader this year for the Rockies, and so far, there have been more rainouts this year in MLB than there have been in all of 2010. We hope that this is the end of it, but one can never tell with the weather. However, you’ll have a core set of players play both games, because they play everyday no matter what. David focuses specifically on 3 players: Herrera, Amezaga and Smith. The positions as set in 1st game were (in around-the-horn fashion): Helton, Herrera, Tulo and Lopez. In game 2, it was Giambi, Amezaga, Tulo, and Wigginton. Yeah, a difference, though some of it can be explained. Jonathan Herrera has been known to be unproductive if used for long periods of time. That’s what happened recently, and why he got a day off on Sunday. Amezaga was called up to spell the non-hitting Ian Stewart (who would probably be at 3rd for both games if he had not been optioned). As we seem to have 2 super infielders and Lopez who can do 3rd, there isn’t a lot of options here. Amezaga is leading off because of the criticisms I had for Dex not getting on base and staying on base, and I believe Tracy doesn’t want this to be permanent. I wish he’d prove me wrong. I will give Tracy credit for swapping out our star players in the 8th inning of the first game, when we were up 12-3 at that point. As to Seth Smith, I couldn’t answer why, and if it was just on the lefty issue, I think that’s stupid.
Point is: everyone work together and produce, and the lineup shouldn’t be changing. Until then, you’re not pulling your own weight. Jason Hammel will need to perform really well (and have the offense to back him) so that we can conserve our bullpen through Saturday.
Asshat of the week honors goes to home plate umpire Mark Wegner in game 2. Jim Tracy was going to argue an out call at home plate, and was ejected as fast as he got out there. Instant replay did show that Fowler touched home before Joe Saunders got him out. But not only did he call Fowler out, he ejected Tracy before he got to home plate. Most umpires at least give the manager some time to make their case before ejecting the manager (if at all). Not Mark Wegner. Sorry, that was very poor judgment.
Footnotes: With the pitching situation as it is, JDLR having season ending surgery will complicate things even more. The Rox still have 2 spots to fill for the 40 man roster and we are running a minimum 24-man active roster at this time, since trading Franklin Morales and DFA’ing Felipe Paulino. The only move to my knowledge was to call up Matt Daley. Aaron Cook is expected to take a roster spot when he is eligible to be taken off the 60d DL (I have heard various dates here, so I’m not going to guess). But we need a full 40 man roster before JDLR can go on the 60d DL and open another spot. Expect roster changes all this week, and as soon as Wednesday to fix our immediate needs. Also, the Rockies split a doubleheader, winning game one 12-4 and losing game two 5-2 against the Diamondbacks. I hope this is the last doubleheader of the year. And I hope the rain never comes down on Rockies games. We don’t need any more setbacks.