Never before have I seen a Rockies team so listlessly accept defeat. This evening felt like a foregone conclusion from pitch one, as Jhoulys Chacin walked the lead off batter on four pitches. Honestly, I think you should forfeit the game if you do that. Matt Carpenter didn't score that inning, but the tone of the game was set. We need only watch it play out. And play out it did, in relentless, spirit-testing fashion. 8-0 Cardinals, welcome to Denver.
Tonight's loss was of a different flavor than usual. Watching Corey Dickerson belly flop into the dirt between third and home was a bummer, but it least it was a failure of effort. Tonight was a failure of heart, of desire. I usually hate to ascribe motives or emotions to athletes; how am I supposed to know what's going on in their heads? But I've never seen a team comprised of such utterly checked-out individuals.
Is Jhoulys Chacin ever going to get it back? He is now ten starts into 2014, and the fastball velocity is showing no signs of creeping above 89. Okay, fine. A sinkerballer can still play with an 87 mph fastball as long as he throws strikes and gets groundballs. Well, Chacin is posting the highest walk rate of his career with the lowest groundball rate of his career, excepting his injured 2012. His inability to throw strikes to left handed hitters is especially frustrating.
The heck of it is, Chacin only allowed four hits in his six innings. But three walks and a ridiculous HBP ahead in the count to 8-hole hitter Mark Ellis added base runners to the fray, and most of them scored. Five runs in six innings, that won't do it. Add in a three run homer by Matt Adams off Franklin Morales, and it was safe to turn this one off early. Except I couldn't, I had to watch to the bitter end for all y'alls sakes.
Should be interesting when Lance Lynn wins the Cy Young. I didn't really know much about him, but from what I've seen tonight, he must easily be the best pitcher in Major League Baseball. How else can you explain how befuddled the Rockies looked at the plate? It was soft grounder after weak fly ball after strikeout, with a couple Corey Dickerson singles mixed in. And that was basically it. No walks. No extra base hits. Nothing resembling a rally. Just eight innings of complete domination.
So the comatose Rockies stagger on through 2014, with 17 losses in their past 23 ball games. The idea was to simply maintain until injured players returned. They didn't. Blame the injuries all you want, but this team is going nowhere, and they look like zombies doing it.
At least Dickerson is fun.