Boy, when the Rockies get on a roll they just run over everything in their path. Except for the Red Sox on the grandest possible stage.
I don't care how run-prevention-oriented your roster might be - you can't go into Coors and slug .340 over a weekend and expect to come out smelling like roses. The only decent thing to come out of the whole series is that we only lost one game of ground to the Rangers, but then at the same time we lost three games of ground to the Angels, and as a result our playoff odds are down by more than a third from where they were Friday morning. I keep repeating myself, but this team needs to figure out what it wants to do. Hanging around in the periphery is great if you're gearing up to make a run, but all they've been doing so far is paddling in circles, and it's driving me crazy. Perhaps Michael Saunders could row the other oar.
On another note, it's funny; it takes a lot for me to start liking another team, but it takes precious little for me to hate them. I think I hate the Rockies and all they've done is beat us 12 times in 13 years. They're a harmless, inoffensive ballclub that doesn't get a lot of media attention and hasn't had a whole bunch of success. But because of those two miserable losses in 2006 and this weekend's sweep, they've managed to vault themselves onto my list. I guess my brain just isn't wired for neutrality. I have to have an opinion of every team, and I find it more difficult to root for than to root against. Hell, half the time I don't even like us. At this rate it shouldn't be long before I start seeing every opponent as the Angels. And then I'll need to establish a new level of hate for the Angels. Being a baseball fan is complicated.
Yuniesky Betancourt is 2-21 since his benching, and while he looked to be giving a little extra effort in the field in his first game back, it would appear that he's slipped back into his comfort zone. Annoyed? Don't you worry. The team is working on it.
- Based on a sample size of Jason Vargas, the Rockies were on the right track when they tried out that whole changeup experiment a few years back. Vargas threw 20 changeups today - 13 of them for strikes - and Rockies hitters swung through seven of them while hitting another two for groundballs. The problem is that Vargas also throws other pitches too, and this afternoon his fastball and slider got rocked to the tune of eight line drives and six doubles on 20 balls in play. I like Vargas' change a lot, and his slider is perfectly fine against lefties, but it's hard to be consistently effective when you can't trust your primary pitch. I wonder if this is what Cesar Jimenez would look like as a starter.
Our next nine games come against the 28-34 Padres and the 27-37 Diamondbacks. This is the easiest stretch we'll face for the rest of the season. It's not absolutely imperative that the Mariners take advantage of this, but if they don't, then they'll be left facing some extraordinary odds.