The Coors Effect

June 15, 2010 11:00 PM

Cook, Rockies get shelled in Minnesota

Looking at Aaron Cook's stat line for this season, it's easy to tell what's wrong.

He's walking too many damn batters.

The thing about pitchers like Cook is that, while they can be good pitchers, they're dependent (moreso than hard-throwing types) on limiting walks.  Cook doesn't strike many batters out and gets a lot of grounders still, so he's always going to give up a few bleeders through the infield.  The problems come about when he's walking people, and those bleeders are coming with men on base.  String together a bunch of base hits and combine it with a few walks, and it's a recipe for disaster.  It's a recipe for the fourth inning tonight: single, walk, double, fielder's choice, single, single, single, single, walk, before Cook was mercifully pulled.  Franklin Morales limited the damage by getting an inning-ending double play, but a game that started out looking so hopeful for the Rockies -- they led 2-0 after three innings on the strength of a Troy Tulowitzki homer and a Carlos Gonzalez RBI triple -- wound up as a loss as Cook imploded to the tune of five runs in 3.1 innings.

Now, the Rockies have a tough question when Jorge de la Rosa returns.  Based on results, it's easy to figure out which Rockies starting pitcher deserves to get demoted to the bullpen (or Colorado Springs.)  Based on the reality that that pitcher is owed $18.75 million over the remainder of his contract and is out of options, though, we all know that somebody undeserving (Jhoulys Chacin or Jason Hammel, probably Chacin) is going to be the odd man out.  It's the unfortunate side effect of the Rockies' desire to buy up arbitration/free agency years for their young players.  Sometimes it works really well (the Rockies would be paying Tulowitzki a lot more than $3.5 million this season if he had been arbitration-eligible), but other times, it doesn't work.

The good news is that with Chacin and Jimenez going tomorrow and Thursday, the Rockies still have a good shot at getting a series win at Target Field.  But tonight... yeesh.  Let's all forget about that one.

Rockies Top Three

1.  Troy Tulowitzki: Yeah, the first-inning solo homer didn't come anywhere close to holding up.  But, hey, at least Tulo wasn't showing signs of the groin injury that kept him out of action this weekend.

2.  Carlos Gonzalez: His third-inning RBI triple gave the Rockies a 2-0 lead.  But that didn't hold up, either.

3.  Todd Helton: 1-for-4 with a solo homer in the sixth inning.  The bad news about that one is that the Rockies were down 8-2 at that point.

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