Has the Jeremy Guthrie experiment failed? It’s safe to say YES. I remember when we first picked him up thinking, well, either he’ll be just ok and that’s fine because we can get by on just ok, or he’ll be really good, and then we can trade him midseason. The possibility of complete and total ineptitude did not enter my mind. And that’s what we’ve got.
Guthrie pitched a strong 1st inning, the only hit a single that didn’t get very high off the ground. All 3 outs were groundballs. I had hopes that maybe his command was with him this day, and he could find a way to keep the ball out of the seats. Then in the 2nd inning he allowed a flyball to Pedro Alvarez that very decidedly landed in the seats. I had a feeling it would all be downhill from there. And it was. Despite getting out of the 2nd without any more trouble, Guthrie proceeded to put 2 runners on and then give up another homer to Garrett Jones in the 3rd. Just like that, the Bucs were within a run.
I can’t entirely blame Guthrie for what happened next. Casey McGehee hit a grounder to Jordan Pacheco that should have ended the inning, but Pacheco misjudged it and it skipped by him. Then Alvarez hit a grounder to Josh Rutledge at short and he overran it. It was initially scored an error and later ruled a hit, but it sure looked like an error to me. In any case, after Guthrie hit Rod Barajas to load the bases, he gave up a 2-run single to Clint Barmes. Both runs were unearned thanks to Pacheco’s error, but a pitcher that can’t overcome bad defense and put the inning to bed is not a pitcher I want on the mound all that often.
I wish the loss had gone to Guthrie, but it was Matt Reynolds who gave up the lead for good. He came in to finish Guthrie’s 3rd and did so very well, after which he pitched a fine 4th. Reynolds is not a long reliever per se, and it might have been wise to take him out after that. I do think he’s better than the lefty specialist he’s often used as, but more than a full inning for him isn’t the best idea. And sure enough, in the 5th he gave up 2 homers, which plated 3 runs total. And thus he takes the loss.
After that, no pitching complaints, especially not for Rex Brothers, who went 2 hitless innings and struck out all 3 batters he faced in the 7th. But when you’ve already given up 9 runs to the other team, it’s hard to get very excited about any one pitcher’s performance.
As for the offense, well, they started off strong with a home run, a walk, and another home run to go up 3-0 before they made a single out. Then a couple of hits and a walk in the 2nd set the stage for an RBI groundout and an RBI single. First-time clean-up hitter Andrew Brown came through in the 4th with a single that scored Marco Scutaro from 2nd. So it can’t be said that the offense was ineffective. They were certainly quite a bit better than they were yesterday. But there was still an awful lot of leaving runners on base, particularly for Tyler Colvin, who was so wonderful until play resumed after the All-Star break. That’s a shame.
In the end, though, Guthrie has to go. That’s the only conclusion I can draw. Lord help us as long as he remains in a Rockies uniform.
After an off-day, the Rockies will travel to San Diego for a weekend series against the Padres.