Okay, so it’s really jumping to conclusions to say that, after two losses to the Cubs, we’re bad again. But it sure seems that way.
You see, being a Rockies fan in 2007 is even more frustrating than being a Rockies fan in 2005 ever was. At least with the 2005 Rockies, they were bad, you knew they were going to be bad, and any positive developments were met with great joy while any negative developments were expected. You were happy when they won, but when they lost, hey, you weren’t surprised.
While we’re not expecting to win the division, or expecting a win on a nightly basis, I certainly thought we had worked past those lengthy losing streaks. This season, though, the Rockies are the biggest tease in the major leagues. They were pretty awful during the first month and a half of the season, but just when fans in Denver were about to forget about the Rockies and start waiting around for the Broncos to open training camp, the Rockies reeled off seven straight wins. But then, after a 20-7 stretch that vaulted us back into contention, we dropped nine of ten on the road.
And, to start the most recent homestand, the Rockies swept the Brewers out of town with an amazing offensive performance. Then, however, the Rockies scored four runs in the first two games of this series with the Cubs. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks continue to be hot and are opening some distance between them and the rest of the division. The Dodgers have flopped lately, but the Rockies still haven’t been able to make up much ground.
Aaron Cook didn’t pitch that badly tonight, as he was snakebitten by an error that ended up letting in three runs. But the pitching, if it hasn’t been that big of a problem all season, is about to blow up in our faces. Rodrigo Lopez is done for the season, and Jason Hirsh, after pitching five innings on a broken leg the other night, is back on the DL again. If the thought of Josh Fogg as our #3 starter is bad, well, the back of the rotation is worse. Ubaldo Jimenez has pitched the last few times through the rotation, but he’s hardly nailed down that spot. His control is still a major problem (14 walks in 24.2 innings.) He’s been too hittable, and he’s a bit homer-prone. All of that’s added up to a 6.57 ERA and a 1-4 record in his starts. Who takes Hirsh’s spot in the rotation on Sunday? Taylor Buchholz, who pitched five innings in relief of Jimenez on Thursday, won’t be available. Matt Herges hasn’t pitched since Wednesday, when he went three innings, but he’s 37 and has made a grand total of four MLB starts. Top prospect Franklin Morales, like Jimenez, still has some control problems that need to be ironed out. I suppose Tim Harikkala, who threw six shutout innings for Colorado Springs on Tuesday, could get the call.
This pitching situation could get ugly soon, though. Denver is slowly but surely getting ready for football season.