In the Rockpile: Rockies avoid Rangers sweep, almost win series

Colorado manager Jim Tracy will be making more trips to the mound now that the Rockies are using a pitch-count limit and four-man rotation. (Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

The bullets were fired, and after all were finished, the Colorado Rockies managed to avoid a sweep by the Texas Rangers. Thanks to an 11-7 offensive outburst on Saturday, the Rockies had a good shot at winning the series before Marco Scutaro was foolishly caught off base on Sunday. The RBIs didn’t come, despite the Rockies having more hits than the Rangers for the series, and the Rockies lineup left plenty of men on base. The batters can’t do it every day and will even fall victim to themselves on occasion, usually when it’s least desirable.

The Rangers-Rockies interleague series was not the slaughter I anticipated it would be, but it made clear where the 2012 season stands. Sporting a 27-44 record, and only two games ahead of the San Diego Padres, this Rockies team will be remembered as the worst pairing of good hitters and poor pitchers. It’s natural to have some good pitchers and some not so good pitchers, but not a stockpile of bad arms or arms that have been ruined by poor outings. That is where the Rox stand for the season. I wish I knew if the clubhouse has imploded yet or if they have just accepted the inevitable.

The Boston Red Sox reportedly had David Ortiz lead a players-only meeting that in part addressed the frustrations the batters had with the pitchers. The Red Sox have a similar problem as the Rockies, just not as bad. The Red Sox have a fairly unhealthy 4.29 ERA, the Rockies are due a triple-bypass with their disgusting 5.33 ERA. This is why I have griped in the past that the Rockies consistently have starters with 4.00 or greater ERA. A 3.97 ERA gets a team – the Arizona Diamondbacks – out of the bottom half of the league. The Rockies rank dead last in pitching while maintaining a top-five spot in major batting categories – Boston is right up there as well. The Red Sox are on a similar path, but are only 5.5 games back in their division, though, while the Rockies are 15.5 back in the NL West.

I don’t know if the clubhouse has much division over this inversion of fortunes, but it has to be addressed. The Rockies have always been held back by their pitching, but nothing is ever done to truly solve it. The Rockies tout a strong developmental system that they rely on falsely because of a few past successes. The farm system is largely depleted of quality pitchers, proven true by the recently adopted four-man rotation. Opting not to call upon Drew Pomeranz and to demote former starters, the Rockies have adopted the turtle defense – contracting instead of expanding.

No trades will be made, at least not of substantial gain, and the Rockies will continue to ignore the symptoms and diagnosis in hope that things will get better. I think the front office is fully aware this season is headed for ruin, and I believe it is damn near criminal to squander a really good lineup because they won’t make a pitching move. This indifference to action is being grossly glossed over by the media in Denver – no one is talking about the inequality of batters and pitchers – they are only focused on pitching and injuries. This indifference to action sounds familiar, like I heard it in a movie … “there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.”

The Boondock Saints knew that they couldn’t stand by idly as crime went unpunished in Boston; the Red Sox chose to address their situation while the Rockies will remain the “indifference of good men.”

Follow me on Twitter @CoryWhitmer for game thoughts and movie lines relative to sports

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