Is this karmic payback for the sometimes miraculous pre-All Star break homestand? Anyway, the mopiness this 2-5 road trip engenders leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, so I'll start with some positives from today's 3-2 loss by the Colorado Rockies to the Florida Marlins:
- Injuries, or their derivative mechanical problems, kept Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez and Brad Hawpe out of the lineup. This is in addition to Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton still sitting on the disabled list. How is this a positive? Despite this, the Rockies played even with Josh Johnson, the man who may be the best pitcher in the National League. All of the above five are expected to be healthy and contributing soon. The positive here is that if good health does finally decide to grace the Rockies presence this season, the team seems strong and chaseworthy.
- Jorge De La Rosa rebounded from an awful outing in Cincinnati with a very sharp six inning effort today, striking out eight and allowing three each in the hit and walk categories. The two mistake pitches that he let get pummeled today cost him, but not as much as those mistakes did his last time out. He's showing clear signs of improvement.
- Ryan Spilborghs had a couple of hits and Ian Stewart hit a home run off Johnson with some nifty glovework thrown in. As I'm keeping this positive, I'll gloss over what these two batters did in back to back at bats with runners on first and second and none out in the eighth after Jason Giambi tied the game, but will say that this wrap might be a bit different had different results been achieved.
- Luck. This is similar to the injuries statement above, but the Rockies can't seem to buy a break lately, having one of the lowest BABIP rates in the MLB since the road trip started. Take a look at the last outs of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings this afternoon, each made with a runner in scoring position: Melvin Mora lines out to center to end the sixth, Seth Smith lines out to the pitcher to end the seventh, Spilborghs grounds out to shortstop to end the eighth. Eventually the contact will find space to land or will sneak by the gloves and eventually this will mean the Rockies will win some more of these close contests. Unfortunately, that eventually could as well be 2011 as it could be this year, that's the fickle thing with luck, but if it is this year, look out world.
I should also add on that note, and sorry for getting away from the positives, but the Rockies have also had the MLB's highest K rate since the start of the road trip. That above mentioned contact will never find space to land if it's never made in the first place. Today, Rockies hitters struck out 15 more times, and I realize that part of that's a hat tip to the opposing pitchers we've faced, but another big part is a bad contact team. If the Rockies do decide to add a bat at the trade deadline, please let it be somebody that can use it as more than a fan.
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