The Rockies once again swept Arizona and climbed to six games above .500 (40-34) for the first time this year. This was also the eighth straight win in the head-to-head match up against the Snakes. Despite starting 0-5 vs. the NL West divisional rivals (Dodgers and D-backs), they are 16-12 (16-7 since 0-5 start). The problem is that all the major holes in the team will be magnified when they face the Dodgers in seven of the next ten games. The Rockies will be lucky to win even two of those games.
Problem 1: Rotation – The Gray Wolf has been the most consistent starter. German Marquez started out well and he appears to be sliding back towards average. After the those two, it’s a crap shoot when it comes to quality start and consistency. Antonio Senzatela has only one pitch and lacks swing and miss pitch. He really should be in the bullpen. Jeff Hoffman, who replaced K-Free has shown some flashes but always find major hiccups in one of the innings. Peter Lambert has made three starts in which the first two looked good before finding a lot of trouble against the Padres.
Problem 2: Bullpen – Too many arms that are not trust worthy. They finally got rid of Mike Dunn who has been a dumpster fire. Wade Davis is having his annual middle of summer closing issues. He blew a 6-run lead in the 9th against the Padres (actually the last two) and a three-run lead on Sunday. Scott Oberg is the only slam-the-door type of reliever. Jairo Diaz is growing into high leverage situations nicely. Chettis is fine for two innings, but if asked to go three innings the wheels tend to come off like he did today giving up a two-run homer to a pinch hitter before hitting the showers. Carlos Estevez is a little too inconsistent. B-Shaw is having a good year, but always seem to hit bumps at the worst possible times during critical games. Chris Rusin was a good riddance as he throws batting practice. Jake McGee is not trustworthy as he has basically one pitch which is fastball straight as an arrow. Jesus Tinoco is looking very good but BB is scared to use him.
Problem 3: Pitching staff – way too many freaking walks and/or HBPs.
Problem 4: Lack of depth on the bench. Pat Valaika is batting .063, barely above his mom’s age. Colorado continues to hang on to Mark Reynolds despite the fact that all he does is strike out or be an automatic out rarely finding the barrel. Raimel Tapia is maddening at times. Some days he shows patience and getting hits and walks. Other days he swings at everything from head to dirt balls. All that while Sam Hilliard is waiting for his phone to ring.
Problem 5: Schedule – Colorado has not really experienced June swoon yet, but the typhoons is about to whack Colorado when they face the Dodgers twice in the next ten days. Their bats will go silent facing Kershaw, Buehler, Ryu, and Maeda while we answer with Hoffman, Senzatela, and Lambert. Growing pains.
Problem 6: Injuries – The injury bug has hit Colorado as of late. Trevor Story has a sprained thumb and landed on the IL. He will be out multiple weeks. I’m hoping he’ll be back after the all star break. Nado will probably sit out a couple of games against the Dodgers after beating up his big left toe with foul balls.
Hopefully the RWOers can flip to July while still in touch with the wild card front runners. Actually they are sitting in the WC #1 slot as of tonight, but they will be in the back of the pack after seeing the Dodgers seven times over the next ten days.