The Blame Game…
Despite giving up 7 runs in a third of an inning for Rockies starter Kip Wells, last night’s loss falls totally on the shoulders of Clint Hurdle. Wells coming off of the injured list, delivered one hell of an inning not too soon to be forgotten by Rockies fans. Hurdle managed the first inning as if it were a intra-squad game in February by allowing Wells to pitch himself out of trouble. Which more than backfired on Hurdle and the team 7 runs later in the opening half of the first inning before pulling Wells. Hurdle failed to realize that this team can make up considerable ground in the NL West against the Dodgers in this series by leaving Wells in for too long. Sure the Rockies made some noise later in the game by scoring 10 runs, but the damage was too severe for the Rockies to overcome. Did Hurdle think that Wells, who hasnt pitched since April was going to come out and stifle the already weakened lineup of the Dodgers? That may have been the case with the Dodgers having no speed on the basepaths with Juan Pierre and Rafael Furcal both out due with injuries. Andruw Jones has been nothing but awful at the plate since doning Dodger blue this season and the only possible threats in the lineup is Russell Martin and an off and on again Jeff Kent.
The Rockies were able to make strides last night with Troy Tulowitzki fresh from his double A stint in Tulsa, going 5 for 5. But one game back from the disabled list doesnt make a season despite his average going up 26 points. Nonetheless it is an improved start in the right direction for the 2nd year shortstop phenom. Holliday continues his hot hittng (3 for 3) with his 17th homer last night. He would easily be right around 23 or 24 homers if not for his 2 week stint on the DL in May.
So the players did their part to win last night’s game with the exception of Wells and Hurdle’s indecision to pull him earlier than he did ultimately did the team in. The 18-17 come from behind win over the Marlins a couple of weeks back was incredible, but you cant continue to go the rest of the season expecting to win games in that fashion every night especially in a division as bad as the NL West, and when the Rockies as of now clearly still have a realistic chance to win it.
Look ahead to September and if this team is 3-4 games out there is a more than legitimate chance to win the division with 15 of the first 18 games played at Coors Field and not to mention that 6 of the final 9 games of the season are against the Diamondbacks. But Hurdle has to put this team in that position now for September and stop managing games like he did last night like it was spring training. Hurdle should’ve owned up to the loss in last night’s press conference but he didn’t. Instead he offered those typical baseball cliches on what happened in the game and what needed to be done. Who did he learn how to handle questions at a press conference from George Karl? What needed to be done was pulling Wells before giving the Dodgers a touchdown lead and that didnt happen. Wells should be sent back down to AAA or maybe even AA or maybe just given his release. There’s no excuse for what happened last night and clearly Hurdle is to blame.