Swept In San Francisco: What We Learned


Things got ugly today. The Giants completed a sweep of the Rockies with an utterly lopsided 10-0 victory Wednesday afternoon. Here is what we learned about the Rockies this series:

Bummed. Image: Kelley L Cox – USA Today Sports

1. They have a long way to go to catch the Giants

But we knew that anyway, right? Was there really a result from this week’s series that would have changed that fact? The Giants are the World Champions, have a complete and deep roster, hitters who come through in clutch moments, and ridiculously good pitching. Even if the Rockies are improved this season, they are still the team that lost 98 games last year. They are nowhere near the level of the Giants, and they won’t be for a while, and that’s OK. Let’s remember something else…

2. They could have won two of these games

Today was hopeless. Last night’s loss was painful, but it wasn’t hopeless. They legitimately had two chances to win a game in this series. Today notwithstanding, the lineup did not mail in at-bats and they created scoring chances. Even today, in a blowout, they had some chances to score. There was good news here: they were not completely over-matched in a tough road series. And yes, I know they got swept. The distinctiveness of each of the first two losses does lend some hope, though. Now onto some more bad news…

3. There are some serious problems in the bullpen

There are more pitchers who I don’t trust than I do out in the bullpen through 9 games. Chris Volstad and Adam Ottavino are officially on notice and could be ousted for somebody else in the coming days. Wilton Lopez, who will have a longer leash, does not look sharp and has yet to do anything to inspire confidence. Edgmer Escalona and Matt Belisle are becoming the de facto guys in tough situations because Walt Weiss is proving to be a slave to defined roles and specialization in the bullpen. Remember Rex Brothers and Rafael Betancourt? You know, two of the three best pitchers in the bullpen? Neither pitched in the entire San Francisco series, which only exposed the mediocrity of the rest of the ‘pen. Many people, myself included, took for granted that the bullpen would be a strength this season. Now we know there are some holes out there, and they need to be addressed immediately…

4. There will be some scary Jeff Francis moments

We went through this last season with Jamie Moyer. If guys are throwing mid-80’s fastballs and relying on a cerebral edge to trick batters, it works when they locate their pitches. When they don’t it gets ugly in a hurry. There will be more Jeff Francis games like this one, although it will be hard to find worse timing for one of his clunkers than today. And finally…

5. It’s all good

Seriously. Everything is OK. The Rockies are 5-4 overall, 2-4 on the road. Obviously that road mark must improve in the long run, but they are a series win in San Diego away from being 7-5 overall, 4-5 on the road. That would be just fine for a 12 game stretch in which 9 were played on the road, thank you very much. Of course if they get swept in San Diego they will be 5-7 with a 2-7 record on the road. If that happens, this is a different conversation. But for now…say it with me…

It’s all good.