In what could be considered the best occurrence of 2020, the Rockies had an afternoon game on Wednesday. Yes, the bar for 2020 is very, very low but after Tuesday night’s loss, I don’t think it would have been healthy for anyone to have to have to wait another 24 hours for Rockies baseball.
The Rockies started off, seemingly feeling the hangover from the night before, but turned it around for quite possibly their best win of the year, putting up eight straight runs to win, 9-6.
On a grading scale, the Rockies earned themselves an F (or F- if possible) on Tuesday night. They turned it around with an A+ victory on Wednesday. Put it together and you have a middling grade, somewhere near where you might place the Rockies overall season performance.
A C+ is where Bleacher Report has them and you won’t be hearing any arguments coming from me. The beginning of the season was a wonderful time in the world of the Rockies and the time since has been, uhhh, less wonderful. The Rockies should be aided by the extra postseason spots up for grabs this year but a couple things will have to change. A .754 team OPS good for 12th in the majors will need to increase. Coors Field needs to start working its magic (but only when the Rockies are up to bat.)
It’s also no secret the bullpen could use some improvement, something the Rockies were after when they acquired Mychal Givens from the Orioles. Mychel Givens’ 1.38 ERA on the season should be a welcome sight to any Rockies fan, but it is worth noting, he serves as another right handed reliever for the club.
Now that Phillip Diehl was sent to the alternate training site, the Rockies officially have no left-handed relievers on the active roster.
Obviously, the most important thing is the outcome, whether the pitcher is a righty or lefty, but it would be nice to have at least a single southpaw available out of the pen. Don’t take my word for it. Just ask Bud Black.
““Well, again, it’s nice to have that balanced bullpen. We just don’t have that right now,”
Now that relievers are required to face three hitters, bullpen strategy has become a bit less focused on individual matchups and specialization which should make this not as large a factor as it would have been previously. Tyler Kinley has held left-handed hitters to a .077 average as a righty, and looks like he’ll be the best option for now. Jairo Diaz’s .222 batting average-against for lefties is the next lowest on the club so the weight may fall on Kinley’s shoulders.
At the start of Spring Training, it looked like the Rockies would have Jake McGee as a solid left-handed presence in the bullpen. A few months long break and a Summer Camp later and the Rockies would drop McGee. The lefty turned out up and down performances during his time in Colorado which makes his recent resurgence, a tough pill to swallow. The fact that it’s happening while he’s wearing Dodger Blue in Los Angeles adds insult to injury. McGee’s fastball velocity has increased and it appears the Dodgers have unlocked something in McGee that the Rockies could never find.
It’s possible the improved performances could just be the lack of Coors Field pitching McGee is required to do as a Dodger. The Rockies surely wouldn’t mind knocking in a few runs off their former teammate this weekend when they head to LA for an important matchup with their division rival.
★ ★ ★
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