The Coors Effect

July 20, 2010 11:58 PM

Rockies' offensive barrage crushes Marlins

I'll be the first to admit that Jeff Francis hasn't been a quality starter this season.  After missing the first month and a half of the season, Francis has been only moderately effective, with some truly awful outings sandwiched around a handful of quality starts.  The net result is that he's really been pitching on the level of his 2008 performance, the last time he was healthy enough to pitch, rather than approaching his 2007 performance in which he won 17 games.

But that wasn't the case tonight.  The Marlins were absolutely baffled by Francis, who threw seven shutout innings, striking out seven and giving up just three hits.  Of course, the bullpen's performance (Jhoulys Chacin struck out the side in the eighth, and Randy Flores struck out two in a hitless ninth) suggests that the Marlins just weren't hitting anybody tonight, the night after they got plenty of offense against Ubaldo Jimenez.

Then again, the offense provided enough cushion that Francis really didn't need to pitch that well.  The Rockies scored ten runs on nine hits and six walks; five of the runs came off the bat of Melvin Mora, who had a three-run double as part of a six-run third inning and also connected on a two-run homer, his second of the year.  Really, just about everybody contributed to this win in some way.  There were no offensive zeroes tonight, and the pitching staff was near perfect.  That was about as good of a win as the Rockies could have asked for.

By the way, the complete lack of information on what's going on with Brad Hawpe continues to baffle me.  At first, it was assumed that he wasn't playing due to injury, but now... well, it almost seems like Hawpe isn't playing because he's not hitting.  It's pretty clear that Seth Smith is deserving of playing time, and he's getting it, but nobody seems to be mentioning anything about why the guy who was an All-Star as recently as last year is mostly riding the bench lately with sporadic pinch-hit appearances.  Hawpe has started a grand total of four games in July, and one of those was at first base.

Rockies Top Three

1.  Jeff Francis
: That's about as good of an outing as you can get.

2.  Melvin Mora: Three hits, five RBI... no complaints about that.

3.  Jhoulys Chacin: It's hard to pinpoint another Rockies offensive player who was a particularly strong contributor -- basically everybody on offense was contributing.  But Chacin's perfect eighth inning, complete with three strikeouts, should be highlighted.

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