Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 2 -- Plus, an Exclusive Interview with Clint Hurdle!
2006-04-06 16:15
by Mark T.R. Donohue

So I went to the game again last night. After all that money I saved parking for free on Monday, I didn't really see how I had a choice otherwise. Plus I really wanted to see my boy Aaron Cook's first start of the year. Well, it was a bit of a disappointment. It's true that I sat 14 rows from the front instead of three rows from the back for the same ticket price as I paid on Monday, but Matt Holliday? Seriously, Matt. 0 for 4 with three strikeouts, twice choking after an intentional walk to Todd Helton, is bad news.

Aaron Cook looked like Aaron Cook. If you're a Rockies fan, you have to accept that he's not going to strike anyone out and will give up a fair number of bloop singles and the occasional two-base gapper. Still, he deserved to win. The Rockies lineup struck out eight times in five innings against Orlando Hernandez, which sucks. Seriously. Next time, suck less, guys. Cook pitched two more innings than El Duque, which means their game scores are about equal (54 for Cook, 55 for Hernandez) but Clint Hurdle did his best to undo Cook's good work by running Tom Martin out for the eighth. Look, the guy was terrible all spring and only made the team because four other guys were hurt. Whatever gave Hurdle the idea that Martin was cut out for anything other than extremely low-leverage LOOGY work? With a day off between Opening Day and this game, there's no reason why the call couldn't have been made for Ray King, Mike DeJean, or the Ongoing Jose Mesa Resurgence. Well, it gives me another question to annoy Clint with the next time I shell out the medium bucks to sit right near the Rockies dugout.

That's right, since it was a "value game" and I managed to park on the street for free again, I figured what the hey and got a seat right behind first base. Before the game, I went down to the field and got my ticket signed by Clint Barmes, Choo Freeman, Jamey Carroll, and Hurdle. When I had the chance, I couldn't resist asking the skipper why he pinch-hit Eli Marrero instead of a lefty against Brandon Webb in the seventh on Monday. To Clint's credit, he was only a little grumpy when he answered. "Marrero was the best hitter on the bench. The best hitter...on the bench...was Marrero." Well, I suppose there was no way for Hurdle to know that he was speaking to a quasi-legitimate Internet journalist and not just some obnoxious fan.

2006-04-06 18:08:51
1.   Ken Arneson
Just wondering...was Marrero actually the best hitter on the bench?
2006-04-06 18:13:31
2.   dsfan
Marrero's a good lowball hitter. Logical move.
2006-04-06 20:42:25
3.   Mark T.R. Donohue
The other guys who would have been available were Jason Smith and Choo Freeman. I personally would have gone with Smith, but if Clint wanted to be REALLY tricky he could have left Jason Jennings in there. Jennings bats lefty, had already hit one RBI single in the game, and smoked a fly ball his other time at bat.
2006-04-07 09:53:19
4.   Kels
I know it's early, but I hate our bench. Where are the Vanderwal's and Sweeney's…I can't believe I have to get excited when Choo comes to the plate to fly out…
2006-04-07 14:07:08
5.   Mark T.R. Donohue
I would feel much better if Jorge Piedra, Josh Wilson, and Ryan Shealy were all healthy. Then again, overpaying for a bench on a noncontending team is sillier than overpaying for middle relief. Look who we DON'T have this year -- no more Desi Relaford, no more Dustan Mohr, no more Larry Bigbie or Eric Byrnes. Marrero and Smith are no better or worse than any of those guys and I don't think they're making a million dollars between the two of them.

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