All you ask of a bottom of the rotation starter is to give your team's bats a chance to win.
Including beating Ian Kennedy and the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 on May 25th, Jhoulys Chacin has been involved in five straight one run decisions, opponents have only scored 17 runs in those five contests, or 3.40 per start. This is pretty much how we'd define giving the offense a chance to win, in fact, it's probably going a little above and beyond that standard. Now clearly anybody who saw last night's game could attest that Rockies position players supported Chacin with their gloves if nothing else, but it's that nothing else part that's been poking the team back to .500 every time that it gets a little headway.
If the team wants a large winning streak to burst back into contention, it needs, at least for that streak period, to win Chacin starts as often as it's winning Ubaldo Jimenez starts. Instead we're seeing something else, we can break the starters into three categories over the last 20 games:
Starts by Jimenez and Jason Hammel:
- Record: 8-0
- Average runs allowed/game: 1.5
Starts by Jeff Francis and Chacin:
Avg. runs allowed/game: 3.875
Starts by Aaron Cook:
- Record: 1-3
- Avg. runs allowed/game: 6.25
If you're pitching like a Cy Young contender, as Ubaldo has been all season and Hammel has been lately, the Rockies will win for you nearly every time. This is sort of understandable and fits logically. Likewise, if you're pitching like Aaron Cook has been of late, it shouldn't be surprising that any team, including the Rockies, is losing in those starts more often than not.
It's the results of the Francis and Chacin starts that are really holding the team back from being a contender right now. If your pitching is allowing less than four runs a game, a contending offense should be able to produce a better than .500 record. What we're getting instead, however, is far from that. Until the Rockies can somehow muster support for this level of pitching, they're not going to go very far from the .500 level they've been hovering at all season.
Links after the bump:
De La Rosa itching to return to Rockies lineup | All Things Rockies - See how bad you've been Rockies lineup? Jorge De La Rosa thinks he can help! Kidding aside, as WolfMarauder and others here have been indicating, the decision of where to put JDLR in the rotation may prove tricky when it becomes that time. As the above portion of the Rockpile indicates, clearly Aaron Cook is the weak link in the rotation of late, the problem is that he's also the most veteran and highest paid link, and the politics of the game may dictate that it's Chacin's spot that's in jeopardy instead
Over the Monster argues that MLB failed in awarding the 2012 All-Star game to Kansas City and Kauffman Stadium over the soon to be 100 year old rust bucket in Boston. For some reason these arguments don't convince me of anything other than to see a doctor about maybe getting some anti-psychosis meds. I have this sudden urge to stab things associated with New England. Let me get this straight, they just had the All Star Game in 1999, but they deserve it again because they are "big" and "ugly" and that "we will hear about this every day from the first day of spring training until the last game at Fenway Park."
Yeah, like I said, I'm not convinced. In fact, thank you MLB for saving the rest of us. My check's in the mail.