Tagged: rockies

Cook, Torrealba Lead Rox To 5-4 Victory, Colorado Evens Series At 1-1

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 8 2009— The Colorado Rockies bounced back from a 5-1 loss on Wednesday night, winning
Game Two of their NLDS series. Colorado controlled the game from the start, thanks to pitcher Aaron Cook, who
shut down the potent Phillies lineup in 5 strong innings. The Rox offense roared to life against Cole Hamels, with
the big blow coming on a two-run homer by catcher Yorvit Torrealba, which gave the Rockies a 3-0 lead in the 4th
inning.

 The unheralded Colorado defense played a big role in Game Two, turning three double plays, including one that
bailed reliever Jose Contreras out of a sixth-inning jam. In that inning, with the Rockies sporting as 4-0 lead, the
Phillies struck for 3 runs, with Ryan Howard‘s RBI double ending Cook’s day. Following Howard’s two-bagger,
Contreras struck out Jayson Werth, but right fielder Raul Ibañez blooped a two-run single to center to cut
Colorado’s lead to 4-3. But with Carlos Ruiz at the plate, Ian Stewart, Clint Barmes, and Todd Helton turned the
aforementioned double-play, and the Rockies lead was still intact heading into the top of the seventh, where the
Rockies attempted to end the scoring for the day with a Dexter Fowler sacrifice fly.
 But Werth would not oblige, blasting a solo homerun off Rafael Betancourt in the eighth inning, cutting
the Rockies lead back to one run. Luckily for Colorado, Huston Street was able to retire the Phillies in the ninth to
preserve the win.
 The Friday travel day will be greatly appreciated by both teams. Managers Jim Tracy (Colorado), and Charlie
Manuel (Phillies), both never hesitated to go to their bullpens. Colorado used 6 pitchers, and Philadephia used 8
hurlers, including the two starters who Manuel was considering to start Game 3, Joe Blanton, and J.A. Happ.

Cook was the winning pitcher for Game Two, Hamels took the loss, and Street recorded the save.

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Matt Holliday: The 2 Trades

Before the 2009 season, the Oakland A’s made a win now move.  They acquired superstar left fielder Matt Holliday from the Colorado Rockies.  They gave up three players,

  • Previously untouchable OF prospect Carlos Gonzalez
  • Closer Huston Street
  • LH starting pitcher Greg Smith

Gonzalez hasn’t hit well in the majors yet, but he has been destroying pitching at Class AAA Colorado Springs to the tune of a .339/.418/.630 line, and is still only 23 years old.

Street is having a renaissance season in Colorado, his numbers closely mirror his numbers in his fantastic 2006 season.

Smith is a nobody.  He has bottomed out in the majors, and has been bombed at Triple-A.  He has found some sucess at Class A+ Modesto, but that seems to be the extent of his abilities.

In his three months as a Oakland Athletic Holliday hit for a .286/.378/.454 line.  Solid, but no spectacular, and nowhere near his production from 2006-2008.  More importantly perhaps, Holliday gave A’s fans hope.  Hope increases ticket sales, Holliday provided a valuable marketing boost.  He also took pressure of prospect Aaron Cunningham, who was set to take over in left field.

When Oakland flipped him to St. Louis, they received three players,

  • top infield prospect Brett Wallace
  • Class AA 1B/OF Shane Peterson
  • RHP Clayton Mortensen
  • No compensation draft picks

Brett Wallace, the Cardinals’ first-round selection in the 2008 draft is the kind of hitter that the Oakland front office loves.  A patient hitter who draws his walks, and hits his 20-25 homeruns and 35 doubles.  He isn’t the best defender, but should fill the gaping hole that Oakland has had at third base ever since Eric Chavez met the injury bug.

Shane Peterson is a  power/speed guy with good defense in the outfield and at first base.  His tools profile best as a center fielder.  If he can stick in centerfield he will be a valuable starter, if not, a top bench player.

Clayton Mortensen, another former first-round draft pick is a starting pitcher with okay rate stats who could develop into a fifth starter.  Think of him as Greg Smith+.

In acquiring Matt Holliday, Oakland received a much needed marketing boost, and was able to get rid of a horrible pitcher, and a pitcher they didn’t need, really, all the gave up was Carlos Gonzalez, who still hasn’t proved himself in the majors.  After falling out of contention, Holliday was flipped for another top prospect, one that fills one of Oakland’s most glaring needs, a promising versatile outfielder, and an extra 50/50 risk player.  St. Louis adds a threatening bat to the lineup to go with the game’s best player, Albert Pujols.  But will it push them to the playoffs, right now I don’t think so.  Right now this trade is a win for the A’s, but the Cardinals could even it out with a playoff drive.

Who Would Have Thought…

…that Jason Marquis is this good.

Colorado+Rockies+v+San+Francisco+Giants+4o9kj7KUYgTl.jpg

  • Rockies 6   Padres 1
Jason Marquis has never been regarded as a second-half pitcher.  At the All-Star break, here he is, leading the majors in wins with his 12-6 record.  Marquis, despite all the hype that surrounded him in Atlanta, St. Louis, and then Chicago, Marquis only has had one bona fide season, 2004. His one great season and his 2009 season are strikingly similar, with 2009 looking his new best.
2004: 15-7, 3.71 ERA, 201.1 IP, 115 ERA+, 1.42 WHIP, 9.6 H/9, 1.2 HR/9, 3.1 BB/9, 6.2 SO/9, 1.97 SO/BB, .302 BABIP
2009: 12-6, 3.65 ERA, 123.1 IP, 123 ERA+, 1.31 WHIP, 8.8 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 2.9 BB/9, 4.2 SO/9, 1.45 SO/BB, .273 BABIP
Marquis has improved in almost every category, he’s giving up fewer runs, walking fewer batters, giving up fewer home runs, all this with a significant drop in strikeouts.  The strikeout is not Jason Marquis’ main weapon, it never has been higher than 6.8 SO/9 at the MLB level.  Marquis has been marginally lucky about hits falling in, but he’s surviving Coors Field well, thats a huge point in his favor.  Maybe a change of scenery is just what Marquis needed, as his pitching stats show, he has established a pattern of one good season with a particular team, followed by one (Chicago), or two (Atlanta, St. Louis), bad seasons.  He’s not a top level pitcher, but he’s become what Colorado needed, and if he doesn’t collapse in the second half, he’ll be set up for a big payday after the season.

Rockies Fire Hurdle

 

  • Rockies fire Clint Hurdle, Jim Tracy new manager

Sometimes firing a manager can spur a team onward, but is it Clint Hurdle’s fault that the Rockies aren’t good?  If the Rockies were losing with the Red Sox’s pitching staff, or the Yankees’ offense, then fine; but you can’t blame Hurdle for Colorado’s performance.  It’s true that Hurdle’s job was only riding 2007’s Roctember and Rocktober, but this won’t fix the Rockies.  Colorado first basemen Todd Helton summed up the situation nicely with this quote, “He didn’t have any bad at-bats, he didn’t throw any bad pitches. He’s the same manager he was two years ago. So, we realize that ultimately we’re the reason he got fired.”  Thanks for being honest, Mr. Helton.  On a brighter note for the Rockies, Jim Tracy’s a good manager, but no one will be able to turn the Rockies around.