I really hate it when I watch games like this and then have to write about them, because it’s like living through it twice. I only have enough energy to make three points I think. Here we go.
1. Why are we being complete game shut out by Barry Zito? Who was brilliant ten years ago but no longer is, and who routinely gets made fun of by Giants fans for an incredibly fat contract he doesn’t deserve? I mean, I get that our team is in the business of resurrecting the careers of guys who used to be good, and jumpstarting breakout seasons for guys who aren’t good yet, but this is outrageous. How do we fare against Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner? Those are games I’d rather not watch after this one. This is what I am so tired of, and it carries over from 2011: NO FREEBIES. Fight hard, do the little things right, and don’t give away anything. If this had been a game started by The Freak, when he had his absolute best stuff, all right, I could forgive. But not Barry Zito. I’d even be willing to look the other way if there were some great at-bats, some solid hits that unluckily went right into fielders’ gloves, some unfortunate wind. But just that last one was the case. This was a terrible effort, and there’s no excuse for it. Not one guy in a Rockies uniform performed acceptably today. Not one.
2. Okay, I take back what I just said a little bit. There was one: Josh Roenicke. What I like about Roenicke is that he’s no superstar, but he doesn’t seem to feed off the team the way so many of the other pitchers do. When he comes to the mound, he comes to do his job, and it doesn’t matter how far behind the Rockies are or whether his performance will result in any kind of stat for him. He has hiccups here and there, but mostly he just gets his work in. The most discouraging thing about this game is how the team’s collective bad attitude seems to have carried over from last season, and Roenicke was the only player who was unaffected by that today. Hats off to him and his scoreless, one-hit 8th and 9th.
3. What. The. Heck Jhoulys Chacin. I really want to get behind this guy because I think he’s got ace stuff, but I’m starting to worry that he’s developing too slowly. I don’t know how much of that is his fault and how much blame falls on the coaches, but something has to give with him. His release point on his fastball is way off, and the result is that it runs well outside on left-handed hitters. A smart manager like Bruce Bochy is going to stock his lineup with lefties on days that Chacin is pitching, and the result is this line: 4 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 5 BB, 3 K’s. Please note that he had more walks than innings pitched or strikeouts. That’s Chacin at his worst. I’ll concede that the strike zone was a tad tight, but it was pretty fuzzy along the top, and Zito noticed that and adjusted. That’s what a good pitcher does and Chacin can’t do that yet. And he’s not ever going to learn how when he’s constantly off his game mentally. We’re on a steady downward tilt with Chacin here. Somebody’s got to break his bad habits fast, and the way this organization has developed its brilliant young starters the past few years, I’m not too sure anyone is going to do it for him.
Blah. Let’s leave this one in the books where it belongs and hope tomorrow’s off day can be a reset for this season.
The Rockies continue their series against the Giants on Wednesday evening, with Jeremy Guthrie returning to the mound.