Tuesday Rockpile: Being at the Bottom of Your Fifth in the Top of the Third Means a You Need More Than a Bottom of the Fifth Rally

The streak is over, but the Rockies' playoff hopes aren't.  Even Woody Paige knows that.

Quite frankly, it was impressive they made it so close.  The bullpen was required to hold on for six innings, while the offense essentially had to score its output in six innings.  The latter is how San Diego has won games all season long.  The former is a more interesting storyline for the Rockies to address.

Even with expanded rosters, the Rockies cannot afford to have to pick up six innings from the bullpen every fifth game.  It makes even home games against rookie pitchers rather dubious and shortens the pen for a game on either side of the schedule.  Troy Renck tweeted on the subject last night:

For those asking, don't know when or if Rox will use Francis again. They don't need fifth starter again until 25th against Giants

It will be interesting to see how the Rockies' brass handle the Jeff Francis situation.  They will essentially need two starts from their fifth starter the rest of the way, one vs San Francisco and one in St. Louis.  They could go with Esmil Rogers, who has looked filthy and capable most of his time in the majors but had rookie lapses in effectiveness.  That could in effect end The Physicist's career with the Rockies with last night's start.  They could hope Francis' pitch count carries him further than three innings.  Or they could push the remaining four starters on four days rest for at least two starts each.

 

The big shot that kept Colorado in the game was provided by Troy Tulowitzki, of course.  Jim Armstrong opines that this September proves Tulo to be the best shortstop in  MLB.  People with purple press passes aren't the only ones getting Mullet Fever though.  Last Friday, Rob Neyer confessed he might choose Tulo over Hanley Ramirez.  In a down year for shortstops, Tulo is outclassing every MLB shortstop by at least one full WAR.  

Rockies' Mora fills void left by Stewart at third base - The Denver Post - MelMo is just the "consummate pro."  His presence is vital.  Or something.

Rockies prospects: Who’s among the best of the rest? | Inside the Colorado Rockies - Steve Foster touches on several Rockies prospects who had solid seasons (or are notable due to draft round).  He doesn't offer a whole lot other than season statistics, but Jeff Aberle will be revealing the Purple Row PuRPs list starting today, with plenty of commentary I am sure.

Phillies in pain, wild NL West highlight MLB pennant race pursuit - Joe Lemire - SI.com Joe Lemire of Sports Illustrated touches on the fantastic race in our division as well as the strengths of the Rockies.  Nothing mind-blowing here, but it is national attention for a third place team.

 Scarbinsky: Parker can sell his baseball skills, but Green can't peddle one lousy football jersey | al.com - Kevin Scarbinsky tries to understand why Kyle Parker be making seven figures for professional sports skills, but Georgia wide receiver AJ Green is in hot water for selling his jersey from last season.  If you are wondering, Parker has not gotten hurt yet in game action and has solid stats against inferior competition.

Holliday Contract: So Far, So Good | FanGraphs Baseball - Jack Moore weighs in on the Holliday contract, which is pretty much wasted breath at this point.  Of course Holliday is worth his pay in 2010.  He is 30 years old and in his prime.  The criticism for the contract came in that he will be earning $17million at the age of 36.  It is worth noting, however, that Holliday's massive home/road splits didn't seem to hamper his season line much once leaving Coors Field.  Put that in your back pocket for CarGo for MVP debates.

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