Rockies Notes: Giant Sweep

Rosario only has value as a catcher.

The Colorado Rockies return to Coors Field tonight for the beginning of the last home stand of the season and a matchup with the also underachieving Arizona Diamondbacks. The Rockies limped home after another awful road trip. The Rockies beat the San Diego Padres last Friday and continued to lose six games in a row, including all four in San Francisco.

This trip dropped the Rockies road record on the season to 27-48. The San Francisco sweep concluded the season series with the Giants, which the Rockies lost 4-14, which is also the club's worst record against any single opponent this season. The Rockies were also outscored 24-7 in the four games with the Giants and have now lost 13 of their last 15 games overall. Wednesday and Thursday's games were particularly out of hand as the Giants continued to simply out class the Rockies. On Wednesday, a first inning Pablo Sandoval three-run home run against Tyler Chatwood staked Matt Cain to an early 3-0 lead which he wouldn't relinquish.

On Thursday, a base running blunder by Josh Rutledge—who made the first out at third base on a ground ball to the shortstop—prevented the Rockies from taking the lead against Barry Zito in the top of the third inning. In the bottom half of the frame, Wilin Rosario, playing first base, made an error on a wind-aided infield pop up, which gave the Giants a 2-1 lead. The Rockies tied the game in the fourth inning, but Zito struck out Jordan Pacheco with runners on first and third to end the inning.

Jorge De La Rosa, who started a game in the majors for the first time since May of 2011, allowed back-to-back singles to start the fourth. De La Rosa's average fastball on the day wasn't even hitting 90 mph on the radar gun, but even more troubling was how his control faded in the fourth inning. After a fly out and a sacrifice bunt, De La Rosa tried to throw a breaking ball already behind in the count 2-0 and bounced it to the backstop. This made the lead 3-2 for the Giants. De La Rosa walked the next batter and allowed an RBI single to Marco Scutaro, which easily could've been ruled another error on Wilin Rosario who flubbed a scoop at first base on a throw in the dirt from Chris Nelson.

It was now 4-2 Giants and De La Rosa's day was over. The Rockies would go on to score zero runs in the rest of this game. Edgmer Escalona came on to relieve De La Rosa and promptly surrendered back-to-back home runs to Sandoval and Buster "MV" Posey. It was another dismal getaway day afternoon for the Rockies. 

Notes:

  • The Wilin Rosario at first base experience has only lasted one game and it's doubtful that it needs to continue any further. Rosario had one error in the game and arguably could've had another. He didn't look good at first base, just like he doesn't look good at third base, or even behind the plate for that matter. Even if Rosario was the second coming of Keith Hernandez at first base—which he is not in any way—playing him there does very little for Rosario's value. He went 3-for-4 in Thursday's game, which is good. It's obviously good that this 23-year-old can hit in the major leagues, but he needs to catch and needs to get better at catching. Blocking pitches, receiving skills, and throwing accuracy are where he needs to make big strides. I don't know how that's going to happen—apparently Rosario is open to playing winter ball—but it isn't going to happen with him playing first base, which isn't any kind of long term fix given that Rosario's free swinging style prevent him from posting a respectable on-base average. 
  • The willingness to try Rosario at these other positions is quite puzzling given the player and his skills, but it seems to bring an organizational problem to the forefront and I'm talking about who is going to be playing at the corners next year. Chris Nelson starting at third with Nolan Arenado right behind him? Alright, I guess, but what's happening at first base? Are the Rockies going to wait on Todd Helton with Michael Cuddyer playing more and more first base? This is something to watch this offseason. 
  • The Rockies have 13 games left and need to go 5-8 to avoid 100 losses for the first time in franchise history. The club needs to go 10-3 to avoid 95 losses, which would tie the franchise mark for most losses. 

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