Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 5
2007-05-21 21:11
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Yet another dreary, infuriating loss on the road in the NL West for the Rockies, who have officially crossed the line over into pathetic territory. How can you tell? Well, national columnists are already picking apart the Colorado roster to provide talent for relevant teams. The Rockies have now had 17 different players appear as relief pitchers, but they might as well all be one mixed-race ambidextrous guy who likes not throwing strikes, giving up homers, and walking in the rain. Today it was Jorge Julio who couldn't hold the lead and Jeremy Affeldt who couldn't keep the game tied, but the names don't really matter. Clint Hurdle, who can't figure out for the life of him how to develop a working bullpen rotation and keeps flip-flopping bench players as if it made any kind of difference at all, richly deserves to be fired. But this is Denver, where there aren't enough fans left for there to be any outrage.

Kaz Matsui is back. Yay, I guess.

See, this is why I'm going to go to my grave insisting that Willy Taveras is a pox upon all our houses: His box score line, 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored, makes it look like he had a pretty good game. But two of the singles were just grounders where he beat the throw to first, he got caught stealing again, making him now only 10 for 18 on the year (which is terrible), and it really appeared as if the the triple Orlando Hudson hit over Willy's head leading to the winning run in the eighth could have been caught. Brad Hawpe hit his third homer of the week off of Brandon Webb, who has only given up two other homers to the rest of Major League Baseball. It's easy to keep heaping abuse on the bullpen, but as usual this defeat was a team effort. The 3-4-5 combo of Holliday-Helton-Atkins went a combined 0-for-10. Hurdle intentionally walked Mark Reynolds, who's so raw he doesn't have an ESPN player card yet, with Carlos Quentin and his two homers lurking. A day after overmanaging the extra-inning loss to Kansas City so that the Rockies had no qualified pitchers left in the 12th, he undermanaged brutally, asking lefty Affeldt to retire a string of righties in the bottom of the 8th. Come on.

Colorado needs to do something to shake up the culture of sleepwalking through loss after loss. The fact that the young team loses all confidence on the road is hardly anything new or anything with an easy fix to it, but the Rockies' anemic play at Coors Field this season is an alarming new development. It's one thing being patient with rookies like Troy Tulowitzki and Chris Iannetta, but the lack of development shown by "young veterans" like Jeff Francis, Hawpe, and Affeldt this year is pretty damning. How can the Rockies organization develop a culture of personal accountability when they guarantee the job security of a wishy-washy manager who hasn't sniffed the playoffs in six years?

Please start firing and/or trading people, or this page is going to get as bleak and depressing and pointless to read as the Rockies are as a team to watch.

2007-05-22 00:45:14
1.   LG Denver
Keep your chin up. For as undeniably awful as the '07 Rockies are turning out to be, your blog is still interesting to read, and far from pointless. The only hope fans have are for more and more people like you to be saying things like 'please start firing and/or trading people'. It's so sad that in May, the most optimistic I can be regarding Colorado on the road is 'I hope they don't get swept', because let's face it...winning a series at Coors Field is becoming impossible, on the road it is unthinkable.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.