On July 3 Colorado Rockies‘ Tyler Chatwood faced Los Angeles Dodgers‘ Zack Greinke at Coors Field. Pre-game story lines promoted an epic pitchers dual. In the end it was more of an epic fail by both hurlers. Chatwood and Greinke would only work five innings giving up a combined 11 runs (yes, that is runs not hits).
Fast forward 10 days, change the backdrop to Dodgers Stadium, throw the same pitchers against each other and this time the pitchers dual would see fruition – and epic it was. Skip Schumacher would lead off the first inning with a double just missed by the out stretched diving glove of Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler. Schumacher would score later in the first inning giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. It would be the first and last score on the day.
Both pitchers would go the distance Saturday, the first complete game from a Rockies pitcher since Dinger the Rockies mascot was a pup. When the dust settled Chatwood would throw eight innings, surrender one earned run on just four hits.
Of course this is “the show”, where there is nothing poetic in loses because victories are all that matter. That said, the Rockies have to take away positive vibes from their last two outings. Holding the Dodgers to a single run in two games is not an easy feat. The Dodgers are a team that have won 17 of their last 21 games, an MLB best in that time frame.
The Rockies have one last game Sunday before the All-Star break.
It is that time of the season when tough decisions will have to be made. In retrospect of the first half of the season, the powers that be in the Rocks’ front offices have to determine if this team is a contender or if it’s time to turn on the “for sale” sign.
Things have not been good for the Rockies. They have hit a recent skid of catastrophic proportions, no arguments here.
The thing is, in that time they fielded a team more closely resembling the Colorado Springs Sky Sox North due to an unprecedented list of injuries to every day starters. Although not entirely there yet, the Rockies are becoming healthy once again.
Their pitching rotation has been a revolving door in the first half, but recent events have possibly lined up the starters for a second half run. There is no debating the dominance of Chatwood, Jorge de la Rosa and Jhoulys Chacin, the Rockies just need two more consistent options.
Here’s a thought. Drew Pomeranz actually gets better with each outing, and Juan Nicasio looked sharp in his last effort. And let’s be honest, the Nicasio dominance can’t be seen as a surprise, he’s been dominate all year. The problem is he’s dominant in the first four to five innings then he struggles, rarely making it through six innings. Thursday night he started solid and finished solid getting through the seventh inning surrendering no runs. Maybe a Triple-A stint was all he needed.
Just maybe the Rockies have that four and five guy they have missed tremendously all season? It’s certainly worth consideration. And there has to be an argument with the Rockies brass that the scrappy bunch that turned heads early in the first half never left, they were just bruised and banged up.
It would just be a shame if the proverbial towel were thrown in on this season. Especially in light of the return of injured every day players and the recent promise shown by the starting rotation.
This team simply needs to catch a break. Just maybe that break is the simple gesture of Dan O’Dowd allowing this group of Rockies to finish what they started.