The Colorado Rockies had a short night: after Todd Helton's dramatic walk off homer Saturday Night, the local nine had a chance to sweep a series against an elusive divisional rival for the first time since September 2010.
Two things got in the way: an erratic Drew Pomeranz, who took a loss in his very first outing of the young season; and a controversial Sunday lineup, notable for the absence of players such as catcher Ramón Hernández, who hit two homers in the series, and alongside Tyler Colvin, hit the first Rox back-to-back dingers since last April.
The result: a bitter Rockies loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-2.
Pomeranz took a toll during 4 1/3 innings, in which not only allowed five earned runs off nine hits, getting 3 strikeouts out 100 pitches in total. He also showed flaws in his windup, which were easily taken advantage of by skilled Dbacks players such as Gerardo Parra, who was able to read the young lefty's pitches and stole two bags.
Trevor Cahill, who had previously started against the Rockies and allowed seven runs in 3.2 innings, looked sharp, allowing just one run off four hits, fanning six in 7.1 frames of work. The question is if this is more the product of Cahill's own work or a lackluster performance by a team full of substitutes who don't see everyday action. The Rockies only had 6 hits, three of them by infielder Jonathan Herrera, who played second base instead of his fellow countryman Marco Scutaro.
After Pomeranz's miscues, the bullpen, as has been the norm during the young season, took a lot of work and was productive. Josh Roenicke and Matt Reynolds combined for 3.2 innings of work, striking out seven and allowing just one hit. Rafael Betancourt was his usual self, allowing no liberties during one frame.
The most promising inning offensively for the Rockies was the eighth. With one out, Johnny Herrera started an interesting frame, which resulted in loaded bases. In what could be seen as a tacit admission that the Sunday experiment was a failure, manager Jim Tracy brought in Ramon Hernandez as a pinch-hitter, only to send a groundout to first base.
Colorado took a home series against Arizona, but not before a bitter game in which the absence of big names such as Carlos Gonzalez (still recovering from a strep throat), Marco Scutaro, and Todd Helton (understandably so, since the 38-year-old first baseman needs to be handled with care) only made the question marks surrounding the starting rotation even more evident.
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