Geez, I take one day off to concentrate on watching the Bulls game (nice little team, too bad they have absolutely no chance against the NBA's relentlessly star-hyping playoff officiating system) and things just keep happening. First and foremost, Todd Helton is out of the hospital. No word on a diagnosis yet, and it's far too early to even think about when he might be rejoining the team, but we do know that's he's feeling better, and that's a load off.
The Rockies managed to pull off their first home series win of the year Sunday against the Giants, but not without stupidly risking some costly suspensions by having Jeff Francis and then Ray King throwing at Giants' hitters. Words of wisdom for Clint Hurdle: he who manages best, manages least. Whenever Clint tries to prove his strategic acumen, the Rockies run themselves out of innings or start sacrifice bunting in the first inning of games at Coors. When Clint tries to be a disciplinarian, he takes good players out of games and their less talented replacements end up making the same mistakes on the field. When Clint tries to be a tough guy, he threatens to take wins off the table. The Rockies bullpen needs King and the rotation needs Francis. Tom Martin cannot be depended on to regularly throw two scoreless innings in tight games, as he did in the loss to Philadelphia tonight. Are we sure that was really Martin out there?
I liked Cory Sullivan's defense in center tonight. I also liked Eli Marrero's hitting (homer, single) subbing in for Helton at first. I like that Rockies pitching only walked one Phillies hitter all night. I don't like that the offense struck out 10 times against Cory Lidle. Strikeouts aren't that much worse than the other varieties of out in the grand scheme of things, but it may be time to start rethinking the lineup. I think the guys hitting in the middle of the order could stand to benefit from seeing more pitches taken than Sullivan and Clint Barmes usually look at. Anyway, Josh Fogg got hit early and often in this one yet the bullpen kept Colorado within hailing distance and the offense mounted a pretty convincing comeback attempt. One thing this Rockies team doesn't do is lay down and die. Another thing they do is copiously give up runs in the first inning, two more tonight. That needs to stop. Let's start blindfolding our starting pitchers, spinning them around until they get really dizzy, pushing them towards the mound and telling them it's the second, okay?