Yes, we’re doing this again: Not so fast, Rockies fans
Chill the heck out.
Yes, this is what seems like our annual spring missive to Colorado Rockies fans.
Of course, they’re 7-2, and, more stunningly, 6-0 on the road. Here we go. Get ready for Rocktober.
Maybe it’s the football mentality of Colorado — because the Broncos remain the undisputed sporting kings of this state — and a 7-2 start would be darn good for Peyton Manning and company.
We will say this until you all get this — baseball is a marathon, and the Rockies will need a periscope to see the top of the NL West by the time the season reaches Heartbreak Hill.
LACK OF STARTING PITCHING
Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are healthy, and Nolan Arenado is breaking out as one of the bright young stars of the game. Even if Tulo and Cargo stay healthy, a very big IF, that’s still not the major issue for Colorado.
It’s still starting pitching, and the lack of the Rockies pitchers’ ability to go deep into a game. Only one starter, Kyle Kendrick on Opening Day in Milwaukee, has gone seven innings. Only in three out of nine games has the Rockies starter gone six.
In 82 innings pitched — the Rockies went 10 in the finale against the Brewers — the bullpen has soaked up 33 frames.
In the early season and the accompanying off days to allow for weather, a team can use a bullpen like that. Teams can’t use their pens like that as they get into the meat of the schedule. After nine games in 11 days, the Rockies started 13 games in as many days in Los Angeles on Friday and have 38 games in the next 41.
Yes, Jorge De La Rosa should be coming back, but he’s not a game changer, good, but not an ace on the level of those particularly in the division (Clayton Kershaw, Zach Greinke and Madison Bumgarner).
The Rockies are going to burn through their pen and inevitable Tulo and/or Cargo injuries are going to hurt the team.
Yes, of course, your completely-biased, San Francisco-born sports editor is absolutely hacked the Rockies swept the Giants earlier this week in San Francisco. Yet this column is not about me opining that the Giants will rise from the ashes to repeat. (The Giants, even when healthy, which they are most decidedly not right now, probably don’t catch lightning in a bottle again.)
The Rockies just don’t have the goods to compete against the Dodgers, Padres and, maybe, the Giants. Kershaw and Greinke vs. any two starters the Rockies can field? No contest. (Go Padres. As long as the Dodgers don’t win the Series, we’re good.)
Enjoy it now, Rockies fan. The roof will be crashing in soon.
In other news and notes:
• The Masters … Golf is dead, and then the new American superstar saves the sport as Jordan Spieth crushes the field. First, golf ain’t dead. If you’ve been watching the tour regularly, there are a lot of good young players out there and the tournaments have been stunningly competitive. (Every week has seemed to have a playoff.)
While it’s nice, the sport doesn’t need to have an American superstar, though Spieth may become one. Rory McIlroy, he’s pretty good.
And for those who wrote Tiger Woods’ and Phil Mickelson’s obituaries, maybe not. Tiger looked like he was physically well. He had swings where he was going full bore, so the back looks like it’s in good shape. He didn’t have any Freud-like chips, which he displayed earlier in the year. The putts will come. Look out for him at Chambers Bay, Washington, the site of the U.S. Open.
And Mickelson tied for second. Both Tiger and Lefty don’t give a splat about the Insignificant.com Open. Both have won plenty. It’s about majors and they’re not done.
• The Golden State Warriors went 67-15 and are the No. 1 seed in the NBA Playoffs? The world is ending. (Sorry, never got into the Warriors, and won’t claim them now. Giants and Niners forever.) Yeah, the Spurs are the sixth seed in the West, but they’re the champs until someone proves otherwise. Historically, the Spurs own the Warriors, too. Spurs vs. the LeBrons, um, Cavaliers, in the Finals.
• I still don’t understand why the NHL plays 82 bone-crunching games to set up a 16-team, two-month tournament, which rarely produces the best two teams for the championship. Yes, the NBA is similar in format, but you rarely get the 8-1 upset in basketball.
I root for the Canadian teams in the playoffs because it’s their sport. Old-school me wants the Habs and the Blackhawks playing for the Stanley Cup Finals.
• And we are within two weeks of the NFL Draft, which is shamelessly spread across three days in a brilliant marketing ploy to make the sport relevant during the spring. Sure, it’s good to watch a little bit to see whom you’re team is adding, but if you watch all three days, you need help.
For all the analyzing and over-analyzing, no one saw Odell Beckham Jr. (the 12th pick) and Aaron Donald (No. 13) becoming the Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year in 2014.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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