Wednesday Rockpile: Are We Even Allowed to Win Four Games in a Row?

It's amazing really.   Forty-five games into the season and the Rockies haven't had a four game win streak, a four game losing streak, or a single day spent three games north or south of .500.  Thanks to a solid pitching performance last night by Jhoulys Chacin, Colorado is in position to mark off the first one on that list.

With Bob Gibson Ubaldo Jimenez going tonight for Colorado.  Prior to tonight's game, the longest winning "streak" leading to a Ubaldo start was one, so there's reason to be confident, especially with Troy Tulowitzki taking off and Brad Hawpe still raking.  

By the way, how impressive was that home run last night by Brad Hawpe?  It was so incredible that it has already taken on legendary status: to wit, no one agrees what pitch was thrown.  Troy Renck said it was a slider, GameDay called it a changeup and I clearly saw a split-finger grip on the ball coming out of Kennedy's hand.

An aside on the preceding link:  Miguel Olivo has played nine years in the bigs, never accruing more than 20 walks.  After two last night, he's sitting at 14, ready to surpass his career high a third of the way through the season.  A huge part of that is reversing his trend of swinging at pitches out of the zone (O-Swing%).  It still ranks higher than every Rockie other than CarGo and Barmes, but it has been nowhere near the debilitating levels of years past.  Someone deserves credit.

Davie Krieger and Dan O'Dowd are both mildly content with the Rockies mediocre start but recognize areas to improve.  One interesting paragraph from Krieger touches on the subject that worried me most about the offseason moves:

O'Dowd blames himself for one structural issue that may need immediate attention. By signing two backup infielders better known for their bats than their gloves, he has left Tracy with few options. With Jason Giambi limited to first base and Melvin Mora largely limited to third after some horrific play at second, Tracy has no backup middle infielder. Second baseman Clint Barmes is struggling at the plate, batting .215, but Tracy doesn't have the option of resting him unless he wants to risk Mora at second again.

More after the jump.

Rockies Mailbag: Longtime fan in N.M. questions loyalty - The Denver Post  - Troy Renck seems to field less informed questions than usual.  One part worth noting - Renck has reversed his stance on Fowler turning in his left-handed batting helmet.  I agree with him - once you give it up, there is no going back.

2010 Catcher Defense Rankings as of May 25, 2010 - Beyond the Box Score
Matt Klaassen rankes Miguel Olivo seventh defensively this season.  The numbers seem to make sense.  Olivo leads all catchers in caught-stealing runs, is below average at throwing errors and is bottom five at passed ball/wild pitch prevention.  If he were merely average at blocking balls, he would be second defensively only to Yadier Molina.

The Little Eckstein That Could | FanGraphs Baseball
Eckstein has swung and missed just 2.1% of the time this season, making contact on pitchers out of the zone over 90% of the time.  That is beyond ridiculous.  As is his pace for 14 strikeouts on the season.

Success in Tampa Bay starts with the starters - The Boston Globe - Nick Cafardo suggests one of the most disappointing free agent acquisitions this past offseason was Garrett Atkins, who has zero home runs and a .282 slugging percentage.  Cafardo goes as far as saying Atkins may be released before the season is over.  The career arc of Atkins would certainly seem to point in that direction, and if Atkins can't hang on for a full season for Baltimore of all teams, we might just witness the saddest departure from the game by a Rockie since Ben Petrick.

Garrett Atkins

#25 / First Base / Baltimore Orioles

6-3

215

R

R

Dec 12, 1979

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2010 - Garrett Atkins 35 117 4 26 7 0 0 6 6 24 0 0 .222 .260 .282
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