As we are now past the one year mark of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, we went through a brief period of excitement recently when it looked like the Rockies had decidedly gotten the better end of the deal. Alex White has finally started to show signs of being the next version of Aaron Cook that made him an appealing trade target for the Rockies in the first place. Matt McBride, the “other guy” from the trade, played well enough as a member of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox to get called up and throw his hat in the ring for the future at
right field first base. And it appears that Drew Pomeranz, the prized piece, had fixed his arm angle and was poised to develop into a staff ace.
If only it was that simple to evaluate the players. Like reasonable people, we have to assess the long term and allow the ups and downs of daily and weekly performances. Last night was a down night for Pomeranz, who surrendered 4 runs and fell to a 1-7 record on the season. His struggles were made worse by the ineffectiveness of his piggyback partner Josh Roenicke, who gave up 4 runs of his own.
It was going to be a tough night for the Rockies no matter what because Matt Cain was on the mound for the Giants. He was his usual dominant self, pitching into the 8th inning. Yesterday I alluded to the Rockies potentially becoming spoilers as the end of the season grinds onward. We can reasonably see that some games are better opportunities than others. Facing Cain on the road is not one of the good chances to get such a win.
Against Barry Zito, on the other hand, would seem to be an excellent chance. And while it is probably too soon to call losses by an aspiring playoff team “killer,” dropping a home series to the Colorado Rockies would qualify as a stomach-punch loss, at the very least. To win the rubber match the Rockies will need the aforementioned White to continue his efforts to solidify the rotation in the coming years. And they get to face the also-aforementioned Zito. So they have that going for them. Which is nice.
A final thought: first place or last place, I will always be tickled, nay, overjoyed, to see the Rockies win back-to-back road series against the Dodgers and Giants. Dare we hope for that much?