The Colorado Rockies committed four errors in yesterday’s loss to the Washington Nationals. They scored just one run on six base hits. Other than that, they played great baseball.
Gio Gonzalez showed just how important he is to the Nationals’ success this season, delivering 6 solid innings as he surrendered only 1 run and struck out 6. The apparently injured Ian Desmond, who was removed from the National League All-Star roster with an oblique injury, ignited the offensive attack with 2 hits, including a home run off of Rockies starter Jeff Francis.
Speaking of Francis, he insists that he wants to remain with the Rockies beyond this season. If he truly feels that way then he is a kind and gentle soul. Yesterday showed just how unappealing this franchise is for a starting pitcher, and in this case it has nothing to do with Coors Field. There are simply too many games where starters receive no support at the plate or behind them on defense. Take yesterday’s game, where they compounded their offensive problems by committing four errors, wasting another solid performance by Francis. Your reward will be in heaven, Jeff.
One of the problems with the Rockies’ defensive woes this season is that they do more than boot the ball around; they commit comically bad errors, the kind you might see in a movie. I am thinking especially of that one part when Danny Hemmerling, played by Adrien Brody, pinch hits in Angels in the Outfield (If you do not understand that reference, look it up). You know, those kinds of errors, like the time Miguel Cabrera scored on a weak grounder to the pitcher. Which brings me to Wilin Rosario.
I learned about the catcher’s dilemma when there are runners on first and third the hard way. Let’s go back. It was a calm and wonderful night of Colorado Springs Little League Baseball. The runner at first took off for second (only after the pitch crossed the plate, of course). With impeccable footwork, I fired a throw to second. As it meekly arrived on one hop, my coaches and teammates, in horrified unison, shouted “NO!” I didn’t understand what was happening until I noticed the runner from 3rd jetting home, pumping his fist in the air as he crossed the plate. Oops.
“Coach, you mean they wanted me to try and get him out at 2nd so he could score from 3rd?”
Of course that is why the team in the field has different plays and strategies for that scenario. That is why the catcher calls time and gives the infield signs. In that situation, common sense tells any catcher to hold the ball if the runner on first takes off on a ball in the dirt. In that moment, Rosario forgot what every catcher knows.
Those kinds of mistakes sum up this season. Those kinds of mistakes explain why this team is on pace to be the worst in franchise history.