If one considers the first month of the Rockies to the expectations of the whole year, every critic (myself included) would have been bombed out of the water. The Rockies have come through with some good hitting, offense, and bases scoring. With the exception of the series at AT&T park, it was high rollers for the Rox. Lately, there have been some detours that have made an impact on the Rockies. In tonight’s game, I saw several gaffes that really impacted the Rockies. Part of them were in tonight’s game, but some of these issues are ongoing for a while. Let me summarize what I have seen:
* Pitching is a bit unstable. I need to clarify on this another time, but there are days where our pitching is rock solid, and then other days where the rock slides into disaster. For example, Jeff Francis, Juan Nicasio, and Wilton Lopez have had bad performances as of late. And then, while Chacin was on the DL, his replacement Chatwood was awesome.
* RISP and flopping on basepaths. The dreaded runners-in-scoring-position-leaving-them-stranded syndrome has been a chronic issue for the Rockies in past years, and this year is no exception. The Yankees game tonight has been especially tough when you waste 2 players (Tulo to pinch hit and get plonked, and Eric Young to pinch run for Tulo) in the same play.
* Lay off the Butterfingers®. This proved costly with Dexter Fowler making 2 errors in the same game, and Johnny Herrera failed to tag out a player because he opened his glove too soon.
* Knock off with the umpire bias. Tonight’s game was a low scoring game. Yet, when playing the Yankees, the umpires seem to have different rules in the 9th inning that overall affected the game play. The close call at 1st was ruled safe, even though replay had shown it was the 3rd out. The winning run was scored on this play. And on the first pitch from Rivera to Wilin Rosario, a strike was called, even when pitch f/x data and replays showed it was clearly a foot off the plate. Now, I’m not saying that balls and strikes should get reviewed, but the umpires need better accountability for such blatant calls.
* Get well soon. The injuries have been a mixed bag. In some cases like Helton and Tulo, not playing doesn’t help because the bench is short. Though Helton did join the DL as well as Chacin for a short time, it helped as Chatwood and others were able to produce results, and show the critics that the Rockies really have the depth.
Over the next week, I’ll talk a bit more on some of these qualities. and hope that the Rockies can prove they are certainly worthy of contender talks for postseason this year.