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Saturday Rockpile: Esmerling Vasquez is the Rockies' overlord

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A few links/rants as we mourn the death of a legend - a legend that Troy Tulowitzki was honored to meet this past offseason.

Tracy labels loss disappointing after blown save | All Things Rockies

Jim Tracy feels just like the rest of us after last night's inexplicable loss to Arizona: disappointed. The Rockies came into the game known for their bullpen strength, while the D-Backs were known for anything but that. It was the D-Backs' bullpen (mostly, Esmerling Vasquez) that stepped up last night, though, and the Colorado bullpen (and offense) that faltered late in the game.

I don't think that the Rockies' bullpen's blowup is the big issue here. They've been very good all season, but were snake-bitten by a little bit of bad luck last night. There were countless amounts of good pitches that were somehow lifted into the outfield for cheap singles, as well as pitches such as the one that Manuel Corpas threw to Ryan Roberts (a sinker below his knees) that were hit just well enough to sneak past the infield. There was Matt Daley's pitch to Chris Young, which was a few inches off the plate inside, and although Daley missed his location, Young was able to get the barrel on what is usually a tough pitch. The point here is that the for the most part, the only lack of execution on the part of the Rockies' pitchers last night was that perhaps they tried to nibble a bit too much and got burned by walks. However, I don't see the bullpen's performance as a negative issue going forward.

What does bother me is the offense continuing to show an inability to get to opposing teams' bullpens. Here is a prime example: the aforementioned Esmerling Vasquez has pitched 6.1 scoreless innings against the Rockies in 2010, racking up 11 strikeouts against only two walks and allowing no runs on just two hits. In 12 innings against everybody else? Ten runs on 15 hits, with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 9 to 8. Some of that will change as the season plays out, as the Rox have posted just a .200 BABIP against Vasquez. However, they've struck out in more than half of their 21 at-bats against him. That may not change. Simply put, the Rockies must improve their late-game performance against Vasquez and everybody else. Otherwise, they will be in for a lot more of these kinds of heartbreaking losses. I know that won't make me feel very good, and I'm sure it will be meltdown city on the Row if that continues to happen.

More after the jump...

If starting pitchers were stocks, Seattle's Felix Hernandez and Florida's Josh Johnson would be the top-rated commodities - ESPN
22 MLB executives voted, and they think that Ubaldo Jimenez will be the third-most valuable pitcher in baseball over the next ten years, behind King Felix and Josh Johnson. Some people are worried about his fastball being unsustainable, while others point to "odd injuries" that Ubaldo must have suffered as a minor leaguer, as I don't recall him being injured at the big league level. Either way, it seems that most agree that he is virtually unhittable.

Gonzalez taking D-backs deep - The Denver Post
Eight of Carlos Gonzalez's 25 career bombs have come at the expense of the D-Backs. As Rox Girl mentioned during last night's game wrap, all four of his leadoff homers have, as well.

Twitter / Tracy Ringolsby: LHP Greg Snith put on DL ...
Greg Snith (Smith) has landed on the minor league disabled list, which can be as little as seven days. According to Troy Renck, Smith felt fine after throwing yesterday and shouldn't miss much time.