Perhaps it’s fitting that Bob Apodaca’s first day off the job as the Rockies’ pitching coach would also be one of the worst showings by the pitching staff so far this season, which is saying something. Maybe the pitchers were protesting Dac’s departure. Maybe they were lost without him. Or maybe they are just really, really bad. Yeah, it’s probably that one.
In Troy Renck’s most recent article in the Post concerning Apodaca, general manager Dan O’Dowd is quoted as saying that he wouldn’t have gone with such inexperienced pitchers had he known Coors Field would play like a pinball machine. What? So the GM of a team that has been playing in the same ballpark for 18 years, longer than all but two other National League teams, doesn’t know how baseball works in that park. Well, I don’t know about you, but I feel really great about trusting my team to this guy going forward. Maybe if he’s GM for another 13 years he’ll get it figured out.
As usual, though, the front office’s maneuverings are not as important as the game at hand, and I suppose I should make a few comments on that. You probably know by now that the Nats’ 12 runs scored was a season high for them, which continues the Rockies’ tradition of making bad teams good and good teams better. The majority of those runs were surrendered by Guillermo Moscoso, who I suspected at an outing like this waiting in the wings. Everyone’s been talking about how good he has been in long relief, but conveniently forgetting why he was in the bullpen in the first place: bad starts. He had a couple of pretty good outings out of the pen recently, but not enough to make me forget how he got there. Last night he allowed 3 home runs and a 2-run double en route to an 8-run outing in which he only recorded 5 outs.
Christian Friedrich didn’t put in a great start, but it was good enough that he should have had a chance at the no-decision our starting pitchers are used to by now. Instead he took the loss because the Rockies were losing when he went out in the 4th and never had a chance once Moscoso took over. Friedrich allowed 4 runs over 4 1/3 innings, and those were mostly thanks to a handful of extra-base hits – and an RBI single by pitcher Gio Gonzalez. Are all the Nationals’ pitchers going to drive in runs during this series? Please say no.
The performances of Zach Putnam and Matt Reynolds were nearly lost in the mess of those that came before them, but they combined for 3 scoreless innings and at least didn’t make the damage worse. It’s such a shame that the bullpen can put together a string of great innings and none of them matter because of what the starter and/or long reliever have done. If I was any of those guys and my contract was ending this year, I’d be on the phone with my agent yesterday.
The Rockies’ offense had a fine 3rd inning, with an RBI double by Carlos Gonzalez and a 2-run single by Todd Helton, thanks in part to Bryce Harper‘s lousy defense. After that, they didn’t score again except on solo shots by Dexter Fowler and Jonathan Herrera, despite getting the lead-off man on in nearly every inning. I can’t really blame them for this game, though, when the pitching was so unconscionably bad. Heaven help us.
The series continues tonight with Edwar Cabrera making his debut after being called up. I hope he’s great, because I can’t bear to see another promising young guy get creamed at Coors Field.