The Colorado Rockies were embarrassed in their second home game of 2016, dropping an ugly game to the San Diego Padres 16-3. Somehow, the team managed to be worse than they were in the home opener and it all began with starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa who could not beat anyone with his fastball Saturday night.
We’ve seen bad April’s from De La Rosa before and an ability to turn it all around, but he was topping out around 89 mph with little to no late movement, allowing hitters to sit back and look offspeed, which can easily be punished if it’s all you’ve got
Rockies fans have every reason to root for Jorge, arguably the best pitcher in team history, but if the velocity doesn’t return soon it may become clear that we are witnessing the beginning of the end of his time as an effective MLB pitcher.
The only bright spot on the pitching side for the Rockies was Miguel Castro who breezed through two innings against a Padres team who was clearly seeing the ball well against everyone else. He was almost literally untouchable on his way to four strikeouts without allowing a baserunner, often inducing laughable swings. This is notable for the long-term future of the team in which Castro is expected to play a big role. None of the other pitchers knocked around on Saturday are considered pillars or even pieces of the future. Castro could have the set-up role locked down by May.
Matt Kemp continues to destroy the Rockies, getting another two-home-run day at Coors Field while Cory Spangenberg appears ready to become the newest thorn in the Rockies side, smashing a three-run blast just over the new fencing in right-center in the fourth.
In the “well-I-guess-that’s-something” category, DJ LeMahieu continues to outright rake, raising his season average to .526. Trevor Story finally played in a baseball game that he didn’t hit a home run in. He did manage an opposite field single but struck out in three of his other four at-bats. He also committed the first error of his career, coming up amped after a gorgeous diving stop, he airmailed a throw roughly 80 feet above Mark Reynolds‘ head at first. Strong throw, though.
The team is more talented than what they’ve shown so far. One needn’t look farther than Nolan Arenado‘s abysmal batting average to see proof of that.. But the pitching looks every bit as bad as the detractors have been saying for years and Saturday saw a massively insignificant amount of fight.
Technically the scoring didn’t begin until the third but the turning point in this one was pretty much when Jorge De La Rosa took the mound in the first.
Matt Kemp, Cory Spangenberg, and … to hell with it … Miguel Castro. Even the Padres would have a hard time calling themselves “stars” in this one. Rockies pitching, with the exception of Castro, was throwing frisbees.
This could have been the last MLB appearance for reliever Jason Gurka. He’s a guy worth rooting for but it doesn’t appear to be working out for him. Tonight’s game firmly puts Jorge De La Rosa in the “we need to see something, now” category. After this game, the clamors for the next wave of pitching — Jeff Hoffman, Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela, etc. — will grow louder with each passing day. But this is unacceptable.
The Rockies will try to salvage a game against the Pads Sunday afternoon at 2:10 MST. Chad Bettis takes the rock against