They say that no lead is safe at Coors Field. Well, that should go double for anytime Ervin Santana is the one charged with protecting said lead at Coors Field. Leave it to good ol’ Big Erv to take a 6-1 lead in the second inning and turn it into a ballgame that was a lot more interesting than it needed to be.
The point I think was best made by Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza (but mostly Victor), that Santana just didn’t have the mentality to finish off batters or innings. And, really, kudos to Rojas for going after Santana on that point. I like to listen to the opposing team broadcast now and again to get to hear announcers I am unfamiliar with, and the level of homerism is shocking at times, but I digress. The fact of the matter is that Santana continues to struggle and there is no obvious reason why.
His velocity is down ever so slightly, but not enough to make this kind of difference. His slider is working about as consistently as it usually does. He has given no indication of being injured. It is even hard to blame his command in this game because he was consistently getting ahead of hitters, but still managed to get himself in trouble. He walked just one batter today, ironically the opposing pitcher, but if his command did fail him, it was because he was missing over the plate. He can try and blame Coors Field all he wants, but this was not the humidor failing Santana. This was Santana failing himself by losing focus, assuming he ever had it to begin with.
At some point something has to give with Ervin and it seems likely to happen soon as even Scioscia, despite his recent vote of confidence, couldn’t seem to hide the frustration on his face this game.
- Speaking of Scioscia, he was really playing with fire with Santana by leaving him in as long as he did. Santana really got rocked in the second, but he also struggled in the fourth inning and seemed ready to be pulled at that point but wasn’t, seemingly because Sosh didn’t want to burn a pinch-hitter until he really had to. Somehow Ervin got into the sixth inning which at least saved the bullpen a little bit.
- Torii Hunter had never played in Coors Field before this series. After going 9-for-15 with three homers and nine RBIs, I bet he is thinking long and hard about signing with the Rockies this off-season.
- For the second time this week, the Trumbomber struck twice in a game. What was really amazing wasn’t the first home that he absolutely crushed, but the second homer which looked like a pop-up off the bat, but the combination of the altitude and his incredibly hulk strength turned it into a 355-foot three-run “pop-up” home run.
- Scott Downs finally coughed up a run, but it could’ve been a lot worse if not for that bizarre lineout-turned-GIDP on CarGo’s comebacker. Judging by the replay, I think the umps made the right call, but I also don’t blame Jim Tracy for going ape and getting tossed. Baseball, no matter how long you’ve been watching, you always see something you’ve never seen before.
- Dear Mike Trout, please stop crashing into walls. Sincerely, All the Angels fans that don’t want you to get hurt.
I suppose 2 home runs and 6 RBIs is pretty good, right?