What I keep on going back to from last night was the failure by Rockies pitchers to shut down the weakest parts of the Dodgers lineup. It's one thing to get beaten by Manny Ramirez, Raffy Furcal or Andre Ethier, these are top quality professional hitters, it's another altogether to get beaten by Brad Ausmus and Mark Loretta or to issue two walks to the opposing pitcher. So much of that damage came with two outs, too. It seemed that Aaron Cook, Huston Street and Manny Corpas put all their energy into containing the more difficult section of LA's lineup and then let their guards down at the bottom or when they were close to finishing, and that's just unacceptable to me.
Tracy Ringolsby has more on the growing unease with Aaron Cook's performance thus far.
The good news from last night's game was that much of the offense, including Todd Helton, Garrett Atkins, Ryan Spilborghs and Chris Iannetta continued to clmb out of early season funks, and Troy Tulowitzki's three walks were a far better result from him than the K's he's been racking up, it still would have been nice for Tulo or CDI to come through one last time for us in the ninth against Broxton. However. As Troy Renck puts it (quite well, I must add):
But when losses are measured by moral victories, that's not a good sign at any point in the season.
Unfortunately, the takeaway from the early season is that we've got the ability to compete with every team in the NL West save one, but there's not going to be a prize for second place this year. If the Rockies can't find a way to beat the Dodgers, there should be no reason to expect much from them in 2009. I think it's as simple as that. For those that are interested in the second place race, however, Brandon Webb's most recent shutdown certainly helps.