Despite starting Yohan Flande and Kyle Kendrick in two of the three games in Seattle this weekend, the Rockies managed to escape the Pacific northwest with a series win. It was a pleasant surprise to see considering the Rockies are just 5-15 in interleague play this season (the worst mark in baseball). Nick Groke has the scoop on yesterday's game featuring Kendrick's victory.
After the game, there were these quotes from Weiss on Kendrick making it into the Groke piece:
"He's always been a very durable guy"
"That's one of the reasons we got him. He can eat up innings."
Granted, Kendrick was only allowed to throw 72 pitches in this game since it's just his third start back from the disabled list, but it does seem a little curious to be touting a guy's ability to eat innings when he hasn't made it through six innings in a start since June. In fact, in 24 starts this year, Kendrick has made it through six or more innings in just nine of them (38 percent of the time). This is not my idea of an innings eater.
The Kyle Kendrick of 2013 and 2014 is innings eater the Rockies really wanted. During that time, he made 62 starts for the Phillies and made it through at least six innings in 42 of them (68 percent of the time).
The real stars of yesterdays game were Brandon Barnes and the bullpen featuring Scott Oberg, Justin Miller, Jairo Diaz, and John Axford who held the Mariners scoreless for the final four innings of the 3-2 win. Diaz got the help from Barnes who made a sensational grab in the eighth inning. Without it, the Rockies almost certainly lose the game.
Then in the ninth, John Axford nearly had his head taken off on this line drive up the middle. It's like watching an asteroid nearly miss Earth. Thank goodness this didn't turn out differently.
my stars pic.twitter.com/vvueGQV4L2
— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) September 13, 2015
This isn't the only reason the mention Axford though. After his trade value went in the toilet in July, Axford has suddenly recovered and recorded ten straight outings without giving up a run while striking out 16 and walking just two over that stretch. (See contenders, you should have bought low on this stock!)
This is significant because Axford will not reach six years of service time this off season, meaning he can't become a free agent unless the Rockies release him. As a result, the Rockies can once again think about trading him and getting something back. I wouldn't expect anything too nice, but Axford has value when he's pitching like this.
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Tracy Ringolsby has a piece up discussing the fortunes of managers who didn't have big league coaching experience before they were handed the job. It's relevant to the Rockies because Walt Weiss is in there, and because the Rockies might be looking for another new manager this winter. I don't think Weiss is the problem when it comes to the 2015 Rockies, but the more decisions I see him make the more I'm convinced that he's also not part of the solution going forward.
Weiss does have a year left on his contract in 2016, but if the Rockies don't think he's the skipper of their next contention window (and I'm pretty sure he's not), he should be shown the door shortly after the season ends.
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There was also some really sad news over the weekend. Troy Tulowitzki broke his left scapula and suffered severe bruising in his upper back after colliding with center fielder Kevin Pillar on Saturday. This made me sick!
After several years of playing on terrible teams in Colorado, Tulo was finally getting to play meaningful baseball in September again, and now he's out for an indefinite amount of time because of a freak play. I just feel so, so bad for him. For many Rockies fans, one of the most exciting parts of baseball the last seven weeks has been the success of the Blue Jays since the Tulo trade, and now he might not get to finish the season with his new team. This game has a heart made of ash.
Get well soon, Tulo.
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Tulo wasn't the only former Rockie to have a disastrous weekend. Huston Street had an inning straight out of every closer's nightmares yesterday.
It all started so innocently. The Angels were up 3-0, Street recorded the first two outs with ease, and got ahead of Preston Tucker 1-2.
Then this happened ...
And then this happened ...
And then this happened ....
And then this happened ...
Finally, don't forget, it's Gray day today! (Unfortunately he's drawn Clayton Kershaw as an opponent)