Rockies Magic Number

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Remember when I said the bats were back? I was kidding.

Date: 6/17/2006
Position: 4th NL West
Games Back: 2
Elimination Number: 94

I wish I had some good news to bring. But I don't. All I know is that it seems the Rockies hate playing baseball when Aaron Cook is pitching. They seemingly refuse to give the man a win.

The Rockies were trounced by the Cardinals, 8-1. Aaron Cook pitched a solid 8 innings, allowing only 2 runs, both earned.

The Rockies were only down by 1 run, 2-1, thanks to a solo shot by Brad Hawpe in the top of the 7th. Cook retired the side in a scoreless bottom, and then the Rockies in turn were knocked down in the top of the 8th.

Then the bottom of the 8th happened.

Scott Dohmann came in to close down the 8th inning. Aaron Miles doubled to lead off the half, and then So Taguchi sacrificed him along to 3rd. With a runner on third, and Scott Rolen coming to the plate, in a 1-run game, the Rockies intentionally walked Rolen, to bring up lefty Jim Edmonds. And who better to face a lefty than our lefty specialist, Ray King?


Edmonds singled to Right, scoring Miles easily, advancing Rolen to 3rd, and then Edmonds advanced to 2nd on a throwing error from Hawpe. So 1 out, 1-3, no DP, and 2 RISP. 8 straight pitches later, and Rolen trotted across the plate with the bases still loaded.

4-1 Cards.

At this point, Hurdle decided to cut his losses and go for star rookie Ramon Ramirez. I breathed a sigh of relief. This should be the end of the inning, right?


After getting the 2nd out on an IF fly to Molina, Edmonds and Encarnacion scored on a single to center from Hector Luna. And if that wasn't enough, after the throw from Sullivan was cut off by Helton, Helton overthrew the ball to 3rd, scoring Spezio and advancing Luna to 3rd.

7-1 Cards.

Then, to add insult to injury, Perez singled, scoring Luna.

8-1 Cards.

The inning finally, mercifully, ended when Miles, up for the 2nd time in the 8th, grounded out.

Braden Looper then closed the 9th out in order.

The Rockies only mustered 5 hits off of Marquis. Marquis pitched excellently, and the seemingly rediscovered bats did nothing to stop him.

The bullpen did nothing good, either. Scott Dohmann and Ramon Ramirez have definitely pitched better innings, but I'd like to bring some focus on to Ray King.

The Rockies traded Aaron Miles and Larry Bigbie to the Cardinals in December for lefty specialist Ray King. And while I haven't been overly psyched or disappointed in Kings performance, I find him to be a complete liability when we play the St. Louis Cardinals. King seems to go out to the mound with a chip on his shoulder from StL, feeling he has something to prove. If he is, as I suggest, feeling he has to play different ball against his former club, then I think Hurdle either needs to have a meeting with him and put his head on straight, make him ride the pine, or perhaps see how the Sky Sox like him.

Maybe the last alternative is ridiculous, but if Ray King cannot get it through his big gut/head that he is a pitcher for the Colorado Rockies, and that he needs to pitch every game with the same intensity and excellence that he is capable of, then I don't see where he fits into our bullpen.

In about 2 hours, Jeff Francis (5-5, 3.76) will take the mound against Jeff Suppan (5-4, 5.35). Suppan has a 4.40 career ERA against the Rox, and in his last outing against the Rox, his 5-inning 3-ER effort was enough to lead him to a victory.

Francis, however, is posting a 0.66 ERA and 2W in 2 games (13.2 IP) against the Cards. Francis only has 1 outing this year in which he has allowed more than 3 runs. Francis is averaging just above 6IP/start, which is good news for the bullpen. Matt Holliday is posting a .450 career BA against the Cards, Helton a .309, and Jeff Suppan has given up 6 HR in his 5 career starts against the Rockies.

So here's to hoping that Colorado will quickly re-find the batting groove they had set against the Nats. So enjoy the game, sportsfans, Good Luck, and GO ROCKIES!!!


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