Another encouraging start from Aaron Cook, more offense from Todd Helton (first half? what first half?), lots of strikeouts, no walks, one-run loss. So much for reliable setup man Mike DeJean. What's the deal with the continuing Cory Sullivan leadoff experiment? Has Clint Hurdle been taking Dusty Baker chewable vitamins? Cory has more at-bats in the #1 slot than anyone else on the Rockies roster (141) and for that show of support has posted a .278 OBP when hitting first and .305 overall. J.D. Closser is at .312.
Would anyone object at this point if Hurdle did something mildly creative like hit Matt Holliday leadoff? With Garrett Atkins hitting second, Todd Helton might get to bat with runners in scoring position every so often. Then again, if you move Holliday, who do you put in the four spot to protect Todd? Come back, Brad Hawpe, we need you. Although Jorge Piedra or Bizarro Dustan Mohr would not be a bad stopgap solution. Isn't funny how just when the Rockies are coming around to the fact that Aaron Miles isn't a good player, they're rotating in a guy with the same offensive flaws?
The Rockies as a team are .307 in leadoff OBP, 14th in the NL, which is simply not acceptable for a club that plays half its games on the moon. While he has hit for some pop recently, why try and make Holliday into something he's not in a middle-of-the-order hitter? With Sullivan, Omar Quintanilla, and the free agent catcher behind door number three, the '06 Colorado offense is going to be as poor if not worse than the current model, even if Clint Barmes hits .350. Which he won't.
Jeff Francis faces Kevin Correia today as the Rockies wrap up the series and the month. A win today and Colorado finishes August 16-13, which has to be described as progress. The pessimist in me says for every advance the starting pitching is making the offense is right there to meet them with a step back. Prove me wrong, boys! Prove me wrong!
Almost forgot: are we happy or sad that Shawn Chacon finally got blown out of a game for New York? Eight hits, four walks, and eight earned in six innings. He gave up a dinger to Ichiro, even. I can't recall whether we're rooting for Chacon's new venture or not. Simply as a fan of baseball history I will find it amusing if a team that has started 14 different pitchers this year squeezes into postseason play. They have Hideo Nomo stashed away in Columbus, too!