When today's match-up between the Cleveland Indians and the visiting Colorado Rockies began, it looked to be every bit of the poop star on the terrible tree that has been this road trip for the boys in purple. And although there were signs of hope, those were merely illusive dreams that scatter from your brain upon waking up into the nightmare that is your reality.
Rockies butts: thoroughly kicked.
Things got off to a rollickingly awful start when starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin gave the bad guys their first two bases on two walks in ten pitches.
Michael Branltey then singled on a sharp line drive to center field, on a poorly located two-seem fastball left near the middle of the plate, scoring Michale Bourn. Then things got all Pacheco'd up.
After Chacin struck out Jason Kipnis, backup catcher Jordan Pacheco was gifted a weak grounder which he could have thrown to third for an easy force out (getting the lead runner) or to first (making the easy play) but of course made a terrible decision in throwing to second and matched his decision making skills with execution, spiking the pitch into the dirt. Everybody safe.
Pacheco had a great opportunity to help his battery mate out but, much like a Monty Python sketch, managed to slap him in the face and say something about his mother. Okay it wasn't that bad, but it he made a bad situation much worse and the ensuing walk and sac fly would not have been scoring plays if Jordan makes either of the better plays he had available.
The Rockies need to upgrade the catcher position. Russell Martin is available and should be on this team ahead of Jordan Pacheco. If you can't hit at this level and you can't play defense at this level, you should no be at this level.
Jhoulys Chacin continues to look like a shell of himself. He has lost 4-5 mph on his fastball this season making his Lindsey Lohan-like wildness approximately eleventy times more frustrating to watch. The wicked movement for which he became known remains -- which is how he was able to battle through five innings -- but if he truly has lost that velocity his success this season will hinge almost entirely on an ability to consistently hit edges and regardless of the stats he didn't do that today and hasn't since his return this season.
Chacin has a resume that suggests he can rebound and so should, in my opinion, be given a longer leash than most to figure things out. He did lead this team in fWAR last season. It is still a valid concern though, that if the Rockies wish to contend they need to upgrade a starting pitching staff that has been as predictable as Colorado weather.
Corey Dickerson is awesome still, so there is that. He hit his seventh home run of the season, and came a few feet from hitting his eighth.
But because the Rockies has angered the gods of road baseball and unleashed their scorn upon themselves and all those who bleed purple, they were walked-off on...again. By Michael Bourn. Because of course.
The bullpen is in trouble. Adam Ottavino has been by far the diamond in the rough among the parade of nonsense that jogged out in relief this trip and (of course, of course) gave up the home run to Michael "Dude, Seriously?" Bourn. Just ouch.
You don't lose seasons with bad road trips in May (and the first day of June) and the Rockies can absolutely stay afloat if they continue to dominate at home.
Tyler Matzek should be on this team yesterday. I am not the first but I hope I am the last person to say that Franklin Morales should not make another start for this team. And also we can't continue to accept abysmal performance from behind the plate.
I still believe in this team but would address both of those issues immediately.
There is a way to look at this trip and say they were just a few at-bats and a few runs away from winning four of the games they lost so they don't have that much work to do in terms of improvement.
Or you could say that the Rockies invented new ways of losing games that they were practically given by their opponents due to simply not being good enough.
The Rockies don't need to make a drastic change. As Douglass Adams might say "Don't Panic"...yet. But we are getting further and further away from "small sample size" and it's time to start tinkering with this team.