Recently there has been a bit of an uproar over the rumor that Facebook has released private messages written prior to 2010 onto our timelines. I’m still not sure whether this is true, as I’ve been unable to locate any old messages on my timeline, but in the process of looking, I discovered this status update from a previous September: “SportsCenter this morning: ‘Until recently, you could count on three things in Colorado: skiing by Thanksgiving, golf by March, and the Rockies out of it by July.’ Now they’re 2 games back in the NL West and 4.5 games up in the wild card. I never thought I’d say this, Jason Giambi, but I love you.” The Giambi thing gives away the year, but can you believe that was only three years ago? The most painful part about 2009 is that it came so soon after 2007. It gave Rockies fans a new expectation for our team. We were no longer automatically out by July. Now we were a “second half team,” ready to take the rest of the league by storm at the exact moment they’d all hung up their cleats and planned to mail in the rest of the season. And now? How does 30 games out of first place sound?
If the Dodgers sweep us, and then the Diamondbacks do (again), this will be the Rockies’ first 100-loss season. And I’ll cringe in the worst way to say it, but SportsCenter will also be right.
I’m not too sure how to feel about the Jeff Francis experiment at the moment. On the one hand, I was thrilled to have him back, and in the beginning he performed much better than I’d been willing to hope for. But the “paired pitching system” has really seemed to affect especially him. His innings pitched are way down and he’s posting the worst ERA of his career (5.75). Francis used to be a pitcher who could work himself out of a jam more often than not, if you let him. Now, he’s getting the hook when the jam is at it’s worst, and his numbers are suffering for it. Last night he went 4 innings (and was only allowed 66 pitches). In those innings, he gave up 5 runs on 6 hits, thanks to an RBI double followed by a 3-run homer. That would have been more than enough to lose the game, but the insult to injury came in the 4th when Clayton Kershaw grounded into an RBI double play.
Kershaw, of course, was brilliant, and that’s no surprise. He’s in the Cy Young conversation again – though my money and love are on R.A. Dickey – and the little old Rockies are a mere blip on his radar screen. Kershaw went 8 innings and allowed 7 baserunners, none of whom crossed the plate. He also struck out 10. It was a dominant performance. With a guy like that on the mound, for a team clinging to their playoff hopes with their fingertips, what do you expect?
From there, the details aren’t of much importance. The 2-5 hitters each struck out twice. Guillermo Moscoso managed not to give up any runs. Will Harris, apparently of the opinion that this game was getting boring, threw 2 wild pitches in the 9th and allowed 3 runs on a double and a homer. There you have it – the 2012 Colorado Rockies.