So 99.9% percent of the time you turn on a television and you see guys who are supremely talented, coordinated, and gifted. That other 0.01%? Well that’s A.J. Pollock.
Pollock first caught my attention because I was the lucky winner of his services for $1 in a deep Ottoneu auction league. I figured he could be depended upon to play against left-handed pitching. He’s in an underrated lineup, and he’ll get regular at-bats; I thought to myself.
Well Pollock has started the season hitting .156, commonly missing 88 MPH left-handed fastballs down the middle of the plate. He’s just all forms of awful and I wonder what a talent evaluator saw in the guy. I can’t help it.
He’s pictured here in last night’s game – of course he volleyed a ball hit by Nolan Arenado over the fence for a home run. Pollock can’t just get out of his own way.
You watch a guy like Mike Trout for a couple of innings and then you change the channel to the A.J. Pollock show and you’re left wondering whether or not it’s the same league.
Pollock will probably be teaching 8th grade Earth Science in his hometown in two years.
At the beginning of last year’s Rockies preview post you were forewarned that there wouldn’t be a surplus of Rockies’ posts on this blog during the season. We told you to enjoy it. We said this for a few reasons. The Rockies have some nice players, but they don’t contain a generational talent on the roster. That’s one way to get us writing about you. We also cover the ‘hot’ teams in baseball more often, the teams that intrigue us are the teams that are going to promote to to click around and read about them. The Rockies in their current state, fail to do that. Unless the Rockies surprisingly springboard into contention in 2014 – it’s going to be another year thin on Rockies posts. But that’s okay, because it’s only March and we’re a third of the way to our total Rockies posts for 2013 with this one.
The Rockies made a couple of trades and quiet signings of some veterans this off-season.
Major Off-season Moves:
Signed RHP LaTroy Hawkins to a one-year, $2.5 million dollar contract.
Traded Dexter Fowler to Houston for RHP Jordan Lyles and outfielder Brandon Barnes.
Traded for LHP Drew Pomeranz to Oakland for LHP Brett Anderson.
Signed First Baseman Justin Morneau to a two-year, $12.5-million dollar contract.
Their manager is Walt Weiss, who went 74-88 in his debut season. This was good enough for last place in the NL West. Last year was somewhat of a milestone year for the Rockies, but only because it was their 20th year in baseball. It’s gone by fast. It also marked their 18th season at that gem Coors Field – which we somehow consider to be a shiny new park.
The Rockies struggled in interleague play going just 5-15 last season. They boasted a winning record against divisional foes San Diego (12-7) and division winner Los Angeles (10-9). Last season featured the debuts of Nolan Arenado and Corey Dickerson. It’s hard to say if either of these guys will be iconic Rockies at this point, but 2014 should hold a slightly better fate for Colorado. One thing is for sure: when your team visits Coors Field at any point in the spring or summer, you know there’s a chance that some crooked numbers are going to get hung on the scoreboard on both sides. That always makes the Rockies a compelling watch and reason enough to leave the game on if you’re cycling through what’s available on MLB.tv.
It was one of my favorite Cincinnati games of the entire year last night. The Reds kept things quiet for the Colorado offense, and got a big game out of Jay Bruce on a night when not a lot of other guys hit.
Bruce was in the clean-up spot in Brandon Phillips’ absence to face Tyler Chatwood. Bruce put on a clinic last night with three hits. His first one was a line drive single to right field. His second was a beautiful opposite field single on an 0-2 count with the shift on. And his third, well that was the best of all.
And you have to give Bronson Arroyo a little credit for his eight shutout innings. I didn’t think he could do that to a lineup like Colorado’s in a ballpark like Great American. He’s more solid than anyone; myself included, gives him credit for.
I was so content with the way the Reds played last night – a quick, clean ballgame – that I listened to the 700 WLW postgame while walking my dog around the neighborhood late night.
As it so often is, Aroldis Chapman striking out the side in the ninth inning was the perfect cherry on top of a crisp, clean ballgame.
Look at this absolute moonshot from Jay Bruce, his 9th home run of the year. Ths kind of put the game away.
It’s just now summer, and the Reds are starting to treat their fans to nice things.
Wilton Lopez scratches his shoulder when he gives up game winning runs
The Rockies have been one of the surprises of the season so far and we still aren’t quite sure how they’re doing it. But whatever it is, today they did not do it. Wilton Lopez entered into the 9th looking to collect the save for the Rockies with them only up one run. They were at Colorado so I guess we should have known a 4-3 final score was too low. This is what Wilton did with his time on the bump:
These are probably the least sexy ways to give up the tying and go-ahead runs, but they still count. The tally: 3 hits and 2 runs. As stated in the title, the weirdest part of this is that a rank relief regular, Heath Bell, ended up backing into a win. Good for him. We’ll be seeing him soon I’m sure.
Barring something unforeseen taking place, the Colorado Rockies won’t get a ton of posts on this blog this season. Please enjoy this one.
The reason I don’t think the Rockies are due for a lot of run-time is because they have a pitching staff with flies circling it, and a lineup that is in dire need of another true threat.
The Rockies have a double edged sword in the way of a ballpark. They can dress a few Joe Random’s up and generate decent stats if the guy has an ounce of talent with the bat. But Coors Field; with all it’s beauty, does no favors to help an organization build a pitching staff. I’m of the belief that talented arms enter the Rockies rotation each year and slowly have their confidence chipped away because of the home park they make roughly half their starts in. I know the Rockies have had a few good runs, but it’s hard to ever sustain consistency without anything solid in the starting staff each year.
I guess at least Walt Weiss is the manager. Anyone remember how much Peter Gammons used to wash Walt Weiss’ balls on the old school Baseball Tonight? He loved the guy. He used to waste air-time to tell us Walt Weiss had cabbage stew for lunch and then went 2 for 4, like that somehow correlated to Walt Weiss’ ‘huge’ offensive output. I don’t know, he has to be better then Jim Tracy. Tracy was a nice guy I’m told from several friends that have spent time with the man and I always tried to have his back on a count of that. It’s just that, most baseball people thought he was a horrible manager.
Helton has accrued over $150 million in career earnings. We find it amusing that he crushed 8 or 10 Coors–you know it had to be Coors Original–and then headed to the local Citgo to buy himself a few scratch off’s. He was probably using the beer bottle top as his lucky scratcher.
The only thing Helton could have done to prove he was more like the everyman was buy a few of those condement station “chalupas” that twist all night on the turner in the middle of the gas station.
Harper’s 8th career home run off Rafael Betancourt in the top of the 9th inning.
I knew Bryce Harper couldn’t get out of town without dialing one long distance in Colorado. He waited until his final at-bat in the four game series to put another notch in his belt. This one tied the game at 10-10 off Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt. The Rockies escaped with an 11-10 victory in 10 innings.
It was almost 100 degrees in Colorado. Factor in the altitude; do you think that everyone was happy to see Harper serve one off the AT&T sign in the back of the Rockies bullpen and silently announce that more baseball was to be played?
When you’re getting ESPN alert text messages to let you know that ‘ESPN MLB – Giancarlo Stanton hit HR of LF video board knocking off portion of digital display at Marlins Park’ (I actually got the text twice, for some reason) you know it’s a bomb you better get to a computer and see somehow.
Giancarlo didn’t disappoint, taking old man Moyer’s pitch to Biscayne Bay on this full count offering.
As for Stanton, love this guy. He’s obviously playing on a bad wheel and it doesn’t matter. He’s just that good. Mammoth power down in Vice City where he fits right in. What a time to live and die in Miami.
Nice 2-1 win this afternoon for the Redlegs down at Great American Ball Park on a cool and perfect weathered getaway day.
You cannot help but recognize the fact that this is the way this team was built to operate. Playing sound defense, getting a few timely hits from guys in the middle of the order, and getting great starting pitching.
Johnny Cueto goes 7 shutout innings striking out 9 for the win, Aroldis Chapman adds a scoreless 8th for the hold, and Coco Cordero waltzes out to give up a bomb but narrowly hang on in the ninth.
They’ve won two 1-run ballgames in a row now. Things are getting weird. Win the next 8 games and we’ll climb back in this thing. Yes, I am hopeless.
Diamond Hoggers Classic Rock Song of the Game:
‘Since You’re Gone’ by our all-time favorite rock band, The Cars. It doesn’t get any better than this.
Tonight’s 3-2 win finally saw things go the Reds way a little bit. Home runs from Bruce, Renteria, and Votto and a big couple of defensive plays late to hang onto the narrow victory.
The season’s gone, and we can’t love them like we would like to love them. And the victories of the now can’t be as sweet as they were. But for just a night–a perfect August summer night–they were as good as they always were.
The Reds wasted a 3-run blast by Jay Bruce in the 1st inning; and four RBI overall by the right fielder to lose the game 10-7. This was another one of those countless games during this season where no matter what good the Reds did on the night–they were bound and determined to give it right back as soon as they could in the top frame of the next inning.
They’re now 10 games out behind Milwaukee. What a joke. I obviously think that this is a poorly constructed ball club. But they’re not this poorly constructed. A team with the reigning MVP, and ‘star’ prospects dotting the diamond, with a good mix of veterans and decent young pitching should not be underachieving by this stretch.
It’s inexcusable to be honest.
Think about it on it’s most basic plane. What are the Reds? They’re a sports team. Sports teams are meant to be a form of entertainment to us. They’re meant to distract us from the stresses of daily life. To enlighten us. These guys do anything but those things. They piss me off. Almost 4 to 5 times a week. Even the wins on many a night this season have come on a blown lead and they just barely nip and tuck at the end of the game to pull it out–sapping any form of enjoyment out of the game.
This season really has sucked in almost every way imaginable. The Reds should sit around and discuss amongst themselves the great angst they’ve caused their fan base and wonder what each of them has to do to change this course of action for next season. It’s one thing to lose ballgames; but to do it in the fashion that this bunch does it is not normal. It’s always something with these guys–they’re like a hypochondriac that has a new ailment as soon as the doctor gives them a clean bill of health.
Last night, the season truly ended. As if it hadn’t ended during those gut-wrenching losses in Milwaukee just before the All-Star break. Or losing the series to the Astros a week ago. Or losing 2 of 3 to Chicago over this past weekend. This was it. They’re done.
You probably forgot that this guy even still played Major League Baseball, didn’t you? Tucked away on the Rockies roster, spelling Todd Helton from every now and then (some 750 odd career homers between them).
Sure he had his run in’s with steroids, and parasites. Someone in every Major League town has a Giambi story through the years. But one of the great power hitters of our era took the field and hit three home runs tonight, showing us possibly one final glimpse of one of the most dominating guys of the decade before.
He’s got 419 career home runs now. There’s no telling how many more he can get before the wheel stops spinning for good. But for at least one more night, Jason Giambi was the most powerful man in baseball. Even at 40 years old.
Leading up to the start of the 2011 Regular Season, Diamond Hoggers will preview each of MLB’s 30 teams. Today’s preview features the Colorado Rockies. Stay tuned as Diamond Hoggers previews every team division by division until the start of the regular season.Continue reading →