Tuesday’s First Pitch

By Editorial Staff

Hope everyone had a happy Memorial Day. A huge thanks goes out from all of us at Roxpile to our soldiers, and those fighting for our freedom at home and abroad.

Leading Off
Think things are bad, Rockies fans? They may not be going as well as hoped, but remember this. The Rockies, after their game last night on May 30, 2011 against the Dodgers, are 25-28. On May 30, 2007, the year the Rockies went to the World Series, were… you guessed it… 25-28. So don’t lose all hope, Rockies fans. A little Rocktober magic may yet be in the air at 20th and Blake. And if it makes you feel any better, the Rockies were 20-28 and 12.5 games back in the NL West on May 30, 2009, the last time the Rockies tasted the postseason. Cheer up, fans. It has been, and could be, a lot worse.

Infielder Alfredo Amezega was designated for assignment Sunday night, after hitting just .242 with two RBIs with Colorado this season. To replace him, the Rockies called up promising infield utility man Chris Nelson from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Nelson was hitting .315 with the Sky Sox, with five home runs and 40 RBIs. Last year with the Rockies as a September call-up, Nelson hit .280 with one double in 25 at-bats for the Rockies, and added an impressive steal of home plate against the Reds.

The Good
In a name, Juan Nicasio. The flamethrower called up straight from Double-A Tulsa was lights-out on Saturday in front of a national TV audience. He allowed
Chris Iannetta has also been on fire. The slumping catcher homered not once, but twice off of the Cardinals Saturday night. Both were no-doubters right off the bat, and both nearly hit the concourse in left field. If Iannetta can harness that power, watch out for him the rest of the year.
Ty Wigginton has also been lights-out for the Rockies, and it might be nearly safe to say the Rockies have found their third baseman for 2011. Wigginton hit .348 this past week, with a home run and two doubles, the home run coming against the Dodgers Monday night. Barring a huge letdown, Wigginton has established himself as a quality third baseman who can produce for the Rockies.

The Bad
The offense on Sunday afternoon. After pounding out 18 hits and 15 runs (11 of which came off of Jaime Garcia) against the Cards on Saturday, the Rockies were only good for three runs on nine hits Sunday afternoon, left the bases loaded with NOBODY out in the seventh inning, and left Eric Young, Jr., the tying run in a close game, stranded at third base with two outs in the ninth inning. The team absolutely has to capitalize on those chances if they hope to compete the rest of the year. The Rockies again loaded the bases against the Dodgers Monday night in the seventh, but couldn’t push a run across.

The Ugly
The Rockies fell to 13-15 at home. How they’re below .500 at all at a hitter’s park like Coors Field is inexcusable. If you can’t defend the home turf, you have zero chance of winning a championship. Pure and simple. The Rockies dropped to 2-5 on the homestand after a 1-4 road trip. They hit the road for nine games in ten days, all against NL West teams including three in San Francisco, before welcoming in the Dodgers to Coors Field.  If the Rockies aren’t careful, they could easily find themselves batting the Padres for last place in the West.
Also worth mentioning here is the fact the Rockies pounded out 14 hits against the Dodgers Monday night, yet could only push across one run, thanks to the Wigginton homer. Hitting with men on, runners in scoring position, and with two outs has got to be something the team works on.

On Deck
After a hiatus for the Memorial Day holiday, expect a full day of blogs coming your way. The weekly RoxPile Power Rankings are on their way later today, and our weekly Minor League Monday Tuesday report is also coming at you later, along with the usual Battery and Daily Matchup.