Rockies finish season with win, avoid 90-loss season

September 28, 2011 | 4:55 pm | 34  

The Colorado Rockies salvaged the final game of the season and avoided what would have been their first 90-loss season since 2005, beating the San Francisco Giants, 6-3, just the Rockies’ fifth win in 18 tries against the Giants in 2011.

Starter Drew Pomeranz, who the Rockies announced would not go to the Arizona Fall League as orignally planned, was solid for the third time in his four starts with the Rockies, allowing three runs on six hits with no walks and three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Two of the three runs scored after Pomeranz gave way to reliever Matt Lindstrom, who allowed a two-out, two-run single in the sixth.

Rockies hitters produced 13 hits and scored two runs in each of three different innings. In the first, Eric Young Jr. hit the first pitch of the game to deep right for a triple and scored on a single by Dexter Fowler. Fowler later scored on a groundout by Seth Smith. Two more runs scored in the fifth on RBI singles by Kevin Kouzmanoff and Jordan Pacheco. Kouzmanoff and Pacheco also produced the Rockies’ final two runs in the seventh innings, Kouzmanoff with a double and Pacheco with another single.

Rafael Betancourt finished the game for his eighth save since taking over the closer role.

34 Comments »

  • Bill | September 28, 2011 | 5:07 pm

    Steve, must be a typo somewhere. You said Pomeranz “was solid for the third time in his three starts”. I know he’s been solid in most of his starts but wasn’t last Friday night.

  • Cameo | September 28, 2011 | 5:29 pm

    Since they won today and showed great promise for next year I hereby announce that the entire coaching staff will return next season!!

  • konaman13 | September 28, 2011 | 6:04 pm

    Yes, see guys there is nothing to change here in Rockieland all is well…let’s just stay pat..

  • Curt in Florida | September 28, 2011 | 6:14 pm

    Considering Brothers’ progress and his apparent move to the 8th inning next year and Betancourt’s seemingly smooth transition to the closer’s role, where does this all leave Huston Street for 2012? Trade bait I would imagine and for some teams his high salary won’t look too high when compared with bringing in people like Heath Bell for $10MM+.

  • progmatinee | September 28, 2011 | 6:21 pm

    Unless we get a good offer, I wouldn’t trade Street. It would be nice if we could at least claim a strong pen if not much else improves. But if we get a SP, then do it.

  • Rich M | September 28, 2011 | 6:22 pm

    Pretty sure that Pomeranz was solid in three of his four starts.

    Saw the movie “Moneyball” last night, and came away with a couple of thoughts. First the movie was just ok even though I was really into the strategy, baseball history, etc. Without Brad Pitt carrying the movie, it wouldn’t be worth a doolar at Redbox someday.

    The big thing however for me was the the fire and passion that Billy Beane seems to have about what he was doing and his team. That for me was the key, and I am sorry to point out that the 2011 Rockies lacked that passion and fire for playing the game.

    Finally, since this is the final game of the season, I want to take this opportunity to thank the ITR crew for creating this site and allowing some passionate fans a chance to communicate with them and other Rockies fans. A sincere THANK YOU guys for making the most disappointing season of Rockie baseball almost bearable!

  • Bill | September 28, 2011 | 6:25 pm

    I hope they can get something for Street. If I was a GM or manager I would rather have Heath Bell but from what I understand he would rather stay in San Diego. Even when Street is on a good streak he never strikes fear in the opposition.

    But Street and Smith (had to say that) and even Wigginton can probably bring some talent here. Renck wrote that the Rockies need a starting pitcher who can eat up innings and I agree but I’m guessing he’s Pavano’s agent or brother-in-law because that’s the guy he keeps writing about. I hope he doesn’t come here.

  • Doctor_Christopher | September 28, 2011 | 6:58 pm

    Hey, it is nice to finish with a win, and to avoid 90 losses and to see Mr. Pomeranz stepping forward.

    I am wondering if we might be suprised by someone stepping up, thanks to training, winter ball, or just finally figuring it out. Doesnt mean that we are going to be a good team next year, it just means I am open to a big surprise.

    Love the site and all of your interactions.

  • Curt in Florida | September 28, 2011 | 8:05 pm

    Thanks for the Street and Smith reference, Bill. That dates us for sure. On the closer front, there’s also Papelbon on the FA market. Not having a great year (esp struggling last night), but name and arm will attract big bucks. I don’t think Wiggy offers much in the way of trade value and DOD (and others) have said they’d rather sign free agents than make trades. I think I agree. I think I’d rather see Kouzmanoff in purple than Wiggy in ’12 and I can also see Pacheco in the super utility role next year instead of either of those two vets. Any way you look at it, for us beleaguered Rox fans, bring on the off-season.

  • Miketober | September 28, 2011 | 8:07 pm

    The Rockies finished by winning 3 of their last 5, or .600. If they can keep up that pace next year they will win 97 games.

  • Agbayani | September 28, 2011 | 8:21 pm

    I used to buy that Street & Smith baseball annual every spring. I always wanted to mail order that full set of Topps baseball cards, but I think it ran 30 bucks or something, and a kid like me could only dream …

    Wiggy will be an eat-the-salary dump. It was an ill-advised signing, and I don’t think anyone (from O’Dowd, to the professional writers, to us fans) sees a role for him next year.

    Street may need to restore some value before he can be traded. At this point, if you can move him without having to pay part of his remaining salary you’d consider that a win.

    Yep, thanks ITR guys for running a great site and helping to keep up interest over 5 dismal months.

  • Eric M. | September 28, 2011 | 8:38 pm

    Great to see Pomeranz doing well with the decreased velocity. I still can’t believe that Alex White has been getting shelled like he has been (his pitches have so much movement). Hopefully he’ll find a more consistent delivery next year.

    Additionally, I’m hoping they can find a trade partner for Street and Wiggy, while non-tendering Stewart. That would save almost 10 million, which they can put toward several depleted positions. They have way too many platoon players and not enough quality starting position players (i.e. E.Y. Jr., Wiggy, Smith, Pacheco, and Nelson). Let’s pray for speedy and full recoveries for Nicasio and DLR, which would give us a solid rotation of Chacin, DLR, Pomeranz, Nicasio, and ? (Hammel, White, FA?)

    Finally, thanks for the memories and great career here, Aaron Cook! Even though he finished on a down note, I truly appreciate his wonderful career here in Colorado. You will be missed!

  • Rich M | September 28, 2011 | 8:48 pm

    Do any of you guys think that the front office has seriously underestimated the fan backlash (attendance) from making zero changes with the GM, Manager or coaches?

    I as just one fan am shocked, disappointed as well as honestly expecting the Rockie attendance to drop by 20-25% next season. Hope that I am wrong!

    BTW I love the off season even more than the regular season, even if it means pulling my hair out trying to understand some of the moves DanO makes. Two years of Wiggy at $4.0m per when nobody else would give him that for even one year – seriously misread the market on that one?

  • Agbayani | September 28, 2011 | 8:53 pm

    Rays fans out there … Wow. That used to be our Rocktober.

  • Colorado Thistle | September 28, 2011 | 9:06 pm

    The Rays comeback (and I don’t have a rooting interest) was awesome. Just for the excitement and great baseball. That team is playing like the ’07 Rockies. Maddon walks the batter to load the bases last night with no outs and they turn a triple play! Amazing. Tonight they score 7 straight to comeback. That’s a fun team. I hope we get back there someday.

  • Bob in WV | September 28, 2011 | 10:42 pm

    All I was thinking about just after Boston lost and before Tampa won, which was all of about 3 minutes, was how excited the crowd was in Tampa and how it brought back memories of THAT Sunday afternoon in Denver. We watched the scoreboard and saw that Milwaukee had beaten San Diego and went nuts. When we won a few innings later it was euphoria.

    I know that great days and games of the past tend to fade away over time, but I’m not sure that anywhere in my 57 years was there a night like tonight. The way all those games played out was stunning. It was a bonus that I really dislike the Yanks, Sox, Braves and, oh yes, the Giants. What a night!

  • Agbayani | September 28, 2011 | 10:58 pm

    Bob in WV, I share your hatred of the Yankees, Red Sox, Braves.

    But I think I’m starting to hate the Cardinals just a tiny bit more than the Braves, so I was pulling for the Braves to win this one.

    The Braves game proved the wisdom of the Jim Tracy “keep your players fresh” theory as several key players ran out of gas toward the end of the season. Of course, had they been rested in the Jim Tracy style, the Braves would’ve been out of the race a couple weeks ago …

  • GARY | September 29, 2011 | 3:29 am

    While over-matched most nights for the past 2 weeks,I give Kudos to the patchwork of guys who won 3 0f the last five-and didn’t quit!!!

  • Bill | September 29, 2011 | 7:05 am

    Love the optimism of those who found that ray of sunshine in winning 3 out of the last 5. I’m usually a glass half-full guy, so I get your point. But we did lose 11 out of 14.

    Some of the kids are promising. I was very impressed with both Pomeranz and Pacheco. You can tell White has stuff and we can just hope it is his finger issue that makes him get hit so much. I think Rosario still needs some seasoning. Field is not major league ready.

  • Rich M | September 29, 2011 | 7:47 am

    Wow what a night for a baseball fan, the only thing that could have made it better was if the Rockies had been involved in the chase for the wild card.

    The Rays and the Brewers will have my support as the representatives of the small market success stories. I know I could throw the D’Backs and Rangers in there too, but I am frankly jealous of what the D’Backs were able to do in 2011, and well the Rangers were suppose to trade us Michael Young (so love there).

    Although the media would love to see the Yankees and Phillies, I’ll take the Rays in seven in the World Series over the Brewers!

  • Alex Colfax | September 29, 2011 | 7:49 am

    Rich M: Yes, I agree– management definitely underestimated reaction
    to Tracy’s retention of all the coaches. Every website I’ve seen has registered near-unanimous disgust, judging by reader comments. Even if the move was a good one, which I seriously doubt, 98% fan disagreement and disappointment should be food for thought for the Monforts.

    This speaks of arrogance and denial in the face of a truly dismal season. My only avenue of protest is to drop my season-ticket participation from 20 games to 10 or 12. And if ticket prices are raised, that number may be cut further. I’m hoping this year’s outstanding attendance will not cause ownership to take our support for granted and simply raise rates. That could be a severe miscalculation, given the team’s performance and the desperately poor economy.

  • Pooter | September 29, 2011 | 9:43 am

    Rockies need a real cleanup hitter/ leader. Tulo needs less pressure and responsibility.

  • Liz | September 29, 2011 | 11:18 am

    Guys, Let us not pick on Tracy, the Monforts, or Dan for not making changes. Just look at the D-Backs how many managers have they had (in less time in the league) oh,sorry more than us, okay then how many different GM’s oh sorry, more than us, how about coaches? gee, you mean really being accountable actually pays off in division wins and OMG a world S ring too? I bet the Red Sox manager is gone before the next week is out. I am just so bummed. I am going to root for Tampa just because they are acting and winning as a team should and I love baseball games played for every single out and every single pitch to really mean something. Thanks again to our ISTR crew you guys are great and I love your site and all the followers.

  • drrockies | September 29, 2011 | 2:19 pm

    have to echo everyone’s thanks for a great website for those of us who share the passion for not just the Rox, but for the game itself.

    I have to say, I do not(and never have) understand the radio/website chatter that the only way to get the Monforts’ attention is for everyone to boycott attending games. Seriously? You expect those of us who go down to Coors Field often for the love of the game(yes I am a ROX fan and want titles every year) not to buy tickets in order to make a point to the owners? Never going to happen. As I tell everyone who asks why would I keep going when they struggle. They may be an ugly baby, but they are my ugle baby and would never give em up.

    Rox fan first and formost, baseball fan right up there at the top!
    GO ROX

  • Julian | September 29, 2011 | 3:58 pm

    Steve, I saw that the Rockies won’t send Pomeranz to the AFL. Will they send another player in this place?

    Like Rich M, I really enjoy the offseason and thinking about the player transactions. As we start our discussion of what the Rockies should do in the offseason, can ITR write an article summarizing the contract status of the players and who becomes a free agent after this season (or refer us to sites that already have that information)?

    And I want to echo the other guys in thanking the ITR guys for having this site. I’ve really enjoyed it.

  • Steve Foster | September 29, 2011 | 4:31 pm

    Heard that Rob Scahill is going instead, but don’t know that for sure.

  • Mike Raysfan | September 29, 2011 | 4:33 pm

    Agbayani, wow is right. I couldn’t believe it. Wow! I did wear my Rockies shirt and it got me on TV prior to the start of the Sunday afternoon game.

    A long night quickly turned into a long day. Thankfully TIA is a much smaller airport than DIA and the 2 hr rule is not as stringent.

    drrockies, speaking of attendance you won’t believe this! Attendance for the Yankees game 2: 22,820 Game 3? 29,518. Game 3 was approx 10,000 short of a sellout. UNBELIEVEABLE. Last game of the series, playoffs on the line, against the Yankees and they didn’t break 30,000. PATHETIC!!! On top of that, many fans left in 7th.

    I would love to be back there on Mon and Tue.

  • Jon S | September 29, 2011 | 6:45 pm

    Those attendance figures just depress me. If I were anywhere near Florida I would have made that drive, and I don’t even root for the Rays (well, I guess I kinda do, but I’m not a huge follower by any means).

    In any case, good to see Pomeranz pitch better this time around. I think he’s going to be really, really good. Hopefully we start seeing that in 2012. If so, then the Rockies have a real shot. While it’d be a lie to call their hitting clutch, they were still 2nd in runs this year in the NL. You team that up with decent pitching and you definitely can make the playoffs. Fingers crossed that De La Rosa comes back early and strong.

    Jon

  • robba | September 29, 2011 | 8:34 pm

    Rich M., I think the decrease in season ticket sales will be more like 10%…still enough, one would hope, to get Dick and Charlie’s attention.

    Again, old Army saying: “There are no bad units, only bad leaders.”

    Is anyone accountable?

    Thanks again, Steve and Jack!

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | September 29, 2011 | 8:50 pm

    It will be interesting to see what happens with attendance. Some of it’s not so visible to us (like # of STH’s, how much they discount). Overall attendance has gone up 6 straight seasons (so, no dip after 2008, and not after last season).

    I think the Army maxim is overselling it. There are definitely bad players, and the Rockies have more than a few. It wouldn’t have made sense to fire coaches and not make any roster changes, either.

  • robba | September 29, 2011 | 9:40 pm

    Reader f/k/a Mike,

    The Army maxim requires that the new leader get rid of underperformers, and bring people in with the right skills and attitude to improve the performance of the unit. It may sound overly simplistic, but I’ve seen it work both from having been one of the subordinate leaders brought in to help the new commander make the changes needed, and, later, as the responsible “new leader” in another situation. All this within 3 1/3 years in the Army. Not a career guy, just tried to learn what worked.

    Changing leaders worked. Does it work with millionaire ballplayers? Maybe not, if they don’t have the fire within, or the needed level of talent. Those players are part of the problem, not part of the solution, and they need to go.

    I still think it starts with the leader. Whether it’s JT, DO’D, or Dick and Charlie, somebody has to be held accountable for the unit’s (team’s) failure.

    In my opinion, it’s JT. I think the players have tuned him and the coaches out. But if DO’D doesn’t act, the leadership failure becomes his. And if that happens, and DO’D doesn’t act, then the leadership failure rests squarely at the top, with ownership.

    Just one guy’s opinion. Other opinions welcome.

  • Rich M | September 30, 2011 | 7:33 am

    I am with you Robba, in this the “stuff” flows uphill!

  • EdtheUmp | September 30, 2011 | 8:06 am

    Fellas and gals…

    Cot’s Baseball Contracts is the place to look for contract status. Steve, don’t know if you use this site but it is awesome.

    Team-by-team contract status of virtually every player in the Rockies organization. It also give the career contracts. Very informative and interesting…Jason Giambi’s first contract was for $120,000 in 1996.

    Every team is also included.
    I am also going to post this address on the current thread being written about…Post Season Chatter

    Here you go…mlbcontracts.blogspot.com

    Enjoy

  • Steve Foster | September 30, 2011 | 9:06 am

    Cot’s is an excellent site. Nearly all contract numbers I get come from that site. Only caveat is that service time numbers are updated only once a year. Greg at RockiesRoster does a great job of keep track of service time.