Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Padres 8, Rockies 7 (12 innings)
2005-05-04 17:37
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Where to begin? Okay, here it is: A-Miles drew his first walk of the season. Obviously the lineup change was a good move. I have been carefully avoiding mentioning Miles' Reyes-ishness in an attempt not to jinx him; now the story can be told. 87 AB, no walks. It has to be hard to do that without trying.

Otherwise, it's a minor blessing that this game was radio-only, because I would have gouged my eyes out by now. There have been plenty of losses this year that could be pinned on the starters, the relievers, or the hitters. This one is on the manager. Why was Jason Jennings left in so long in the sixth when he was clearly done for the day? Why was Chin-Hui Tsao asked to pitch two innings with Acevedo was available? Another series, another sweep. Marcos Carvajal allowed his first earned run in the bottom of the 12th; his first major league loss will come in a game he never should have been in. Hasn't Clint Hurdle ever played ESPN Baseball 2K5?

Bright spots? Well, long-suffering Byung-Hyun Kim pitched a perfect seventh. Todd Helton's hot May continued with a double and a homer. Dustan Mohr hit a huge two-run shot in the eighth that ultimately only had the effect of prolonging the agony and wearing out the bullpen. Good on you, Dustan. It just seems like all the elements of winning don't want to show up at the same time for the Rockies, a common lament for very young teams. Hurdle isn't helping by putting his kids out there in situations where they're bound to fail. Tsao's one skill is to throw the ball as straight and hard as possible before his velocity drops a tick; in other words, he's a one-inning pitcher.

Jake Peavy is a good pitcher, so we'll forgive Colorado the eight strikeouts (thirteen total). Only six by the Rockies' five pitchers is pretty poor, though. (Two of these were by Carvajal in only 2/3 of an inning.) Two wild pitches and two throwing errors on pitchers, though? It may be time for some new voices on the coaching staff. I haven't lost faith in these young players yet, but I'm not terribly confident in the guy steering the ship.

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