Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Multiple Levels of Ridiculous
2007-08-08 15:38
by Mark T.R. Donohue

On Tuesday night, after some internal debate, I decided to attend the Rockies-Brewers game in person. I'm glad that I did, especially after the late-game announcement that Barry Bonds had hit his homer. If we end up long remembering Bonds' accomplishment (which seems unlikely given Alex Rodriguez's pace), I'll at least be able to say that on one particular night I was out at a game I cared much more about, watching my team stay in contention for at least one more day against another pretty good rising young club.

I have complained about the poor quality of the new Rockies' PA announcer before, but last night was really over-the-top bad. I didn't realize that rookie catcher Edwin Bellorin had left the game with an injury until the next time the catcher's spot came up and Yorvit Torrealba batted instead of Bellorin. And I'm just now finding out that Jason Hirsh pitched his last five innings with a broken leg. Come on!

So Hirsh and Rodrigo Lopez are probably out for the season. On the other hand, the Rockies creamed the Brewers 19-4 today to complete a sweep the Milwaukee team won't soon forget. Boy, the saggy back end of the Brewers' bullpen could be a fatal weakness. The Rockies' lineup could barely touch Chris Capuano in the game I attended and then scored eleven runs in three innings as soon as Ned Yost had to go to his relievers. Meanwhile, Jeremy Affeldt, Jorge Julio, and even Ryan Speier of all people pitched very effectively from Clint Hurdle's bullpen. With Brian Fuentes rehabbing and Garrett Atkins and Todd Helton starting to hit reliably (though Helton left today's game early with back spasms), who's to say the Rockies can't weather the loss of two of their first-choice starters? Ubaldo Jimenez is already better than Hirsh and maybe Franklin Morales will replicate Lopez's surprising early-season performance.

Edwin Bellorin, poor soul, pulled a hamstring in his first major league at-bat. He was here to give Chris Iannetta the opportunity to play every day in the minor leagues, a decision that should have taken place some time ago. The same thing happened in the recent past with J.D. Closser, who lost his starting job to Danny Ardoin and languished on the bench for parts of two seasons. If you're not going to start a big-time hitting prospect catcher, he should be in the minors, or traded, as the Braves did in a timely manner with Jarrod Saltalamacchia. I would complain about this a lot more right now, but I'm distracted by the whole Jason Hirsh thing. Five innings on a broken leg! And Jason Hirsh is a large fellow. Maybe I was wrong about him. At the very least I can no longer say he's not tough.

Update: Wait a second, is this right? "Colorado had its biggest day at the plate since a 20-1 victory over San Diego on Sept. 20, 2005, when the Rockies also had 19 runs and 23 hits." Seems like... if they won... twenty to one, they would have had... twenty runs.

2007-08-09 08:45:11
1.   bzavadil
Nope, 19 is the new 20.

Sounds like the back spasms are nothing crazy. Hurdle said if the game was close, he would have stayed in.

I am now convinced that Matt Holliday is no longer the X-Factor for this team. I thought he was for a long time. Nope, Atkins, when hot, makes this team the best offense in baseball. They can hit quick.

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