Certain aspects of this game clearly pointed to the fact that we had the inferior team on the field for much of the night:
- Bronson Arroyo was dominating, giving up mostly weak contact throughout his seven plus innings.
- Jason Hammel was not, getting hit hard at times but staying tough and getting a deep quality start in the loss
- The Reds defense executed when it needed to, turning double plays and making outs on difficult and easy plays alike
- The Rockies defense failed to execute, twice losing potential pick-offs they should have had and looking a bit less timely than the Reds on other chances.
Despite those issues, the Rockies still could have won this game if their offense could have come through in a critical bases loaded, no out situation in the eighth inning with their first three hitters coming to the plate against Reds All-Star Arthur Rhodes. Three failed attempts by Dexter Fowler, Jonathan Herrera and Carlos Gonzalez later, the game was back in Cincinnati's court and the rally (the kind the Rockies came up with often while at home before the All Star break) was squashed.
I guess then what I'm claiming as execution isn't a basic, throw the ball, catch the ball, hit the ball sort of things that all MLB players usually do at a degree above anybody else, it was just that little extra bit of effort that you will usually see separate the playoff teams from the pretenders. So the short summary of this game would be that the Rockies tonight didn't look like a playoff team should, letting the steamy Cincinnati weather sap the spark they had a week ago at Coors Field.
The good news, that little which we can get from a 3-2 loss, is that Hammel didn't get Hammered, unless you count by the rapper in attendance for a pre and postgame concert, and that the Rockies bullpen was barely touched with ten games still left on the road trip. Second, the Rockies were too legit too quit, even if not being legit enough to win, coming back from a 3-0 deficit and not giving up despite Arroyo's early dominance. Miguel Olivo homered (barely) in the seventh and Jason Giambi came through once in the clutch to drive in Carlos Gonzalez for the Rockies other run in the eighth.
So let's just pray to make it (a win)
49 - 40
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