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Here we go again.
The week that rumors broke that Troy Tulowitzki, the Colorado Rockies biggest star, was potentially going to ask for a trade, ends up being the same week he winds up coming out of the game with a left quad strain. Those are the magic words for Rockies fans who have watched mild strains turn into two months of time on the disabled list for the Rockies shortstop.
While rumors swirled that Tulowitzki wants out of Colorado, the most talented player on the team did what he does more frequently than anything else. He got hurt.
Unfortunately for the Rockies, the story line for the season has quickly shifted. In the early weeks it was all about whether this young team could shock the baseball world and actually be good. After that dream ended, it became about whether the Rockies could be competitive enough for their fans to be excited about their hopes for contention in the next couple of years. From there, things deteriorated to whether the Rockies will be able to move Tulowitzki before the trade deadline and how much he and his agent will push for the move to be made.
When Tulo limped back to the dugout after his bouncer back to the mound in the 3rd inning, the storyline shifted back to a common theme for the Rockies, how long will the slugger be out for and how much will another leg injury hurt his trade value?
As for the game, the Rockies dropped a hard-fought contest 6-4. The rallied against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers bullpen, but failed to get the biggest hits when it mattered. Ultimately, the Rockies were done in by their lack of ability to make contact with the ball. They set a new club record with 18 strikeouts at the plate. In a nine inning game, two-thirds of all outs being recorded as strikeouts doesn’t generally bode well for a team to win the game.
The Rockies struck out at the plate and continued to struggle on the mound. Eddie Butler continued to struggle as he finds his way in the big leagues. He didn’t make it out of the 3rd inning on Friday night, giving up four runs, three earned, on six hits, one of which was a home run. However, the most discouraging statistic was the four walks he gave up.
It’s hard to imagine what someone is thinking or what is going on in their head. However, Butler seems to get tentative after a bad at-bat or a tough sequence. In the 3rd inning after Howie Kendrick singled, Butler got Adrian Gonzalez to hit a ground ball between first and second base. Wilin Rosario, still learning the position, did a good job to get the glove on the ball. However, he made a poor decision and tried to turn nearly 180 degrees and throw the ball to first base. The ball went arrant and into the dugout.
For Butler, the error seemed to unsettle him. He immediately lost control of his pitches and then gave up a double to Justin Turner, which scored two runs and put the Dodgers in control.
Part of the maturing process for Butler is going to be him learning how to turn the page on a bad play. An error is bad enough, but to allow it to snowball into a bad inning is something that comes from a lack of big league maturity. Butler has great stuff and could be a very good big league pitcher, but it looks like his next hurdle is to figure out how to turn the page and move forward, maximizing his starts instead of allowing them to unravel.
The Rockies ended their losing streak on Thursday night, but they weren’t able to start a winning streak on Friday night. They face a difficult task on Saturday night when they take on Zack Grienke.
As has been mentioned, this Rockies season is all about getting better for the future. The young players need to learn how to strike out less and the young pitchers need to figure out how to attack the strike zone better and pitch with conviction. If those are the goals, this team still has time to show that they are going to get better.