Will Harris was no match for the power of Nate Schierholtz
First, a rant on bullpen usage. I know that this is conventional wisdom, but I think that it's stupid. Bringing in an inferior reliever in a tie ball game just because it isn't a save situation and you're on the road decreases your team's chances of winning. Rafael Betancourt was well-rested (hadn't pitched since last Sunday) and could even give you multiple innings if necessary. Multiple innings for a closer? Sacre Bleu!
Now, Will Harris has been surprisingly effective (which is to say, not completely combustible) in his stint with the Rockies, but I think most people would agree that Betancourt gave Colorado the better chance of winning this game. After all, Harris is the very definition of a replacement level pitcher and Betancourt is an elite reliever. When Nate Schierholtz stepped up to the plate with two on, the game was as good as over. In any case, I thought that the 9th inning was very poorly handled in this one.
With that off my chest, Jeff Francis was quite good, going 5 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, allowing 6 hits and a walk but also striking out a season high 7 batters. Too bad that the bullpen's 20+ inning scoreless streak had to end on a two out two run double in the 7th that knotted the game at two off of Josh Roenicke.
The Rockies got their offensive fireworks in early, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a Josh Rutledge single, Carlos Gonzalez double, and Wilin Rosario single. Alas, no further runs were forthcoming despite a few chances. Rutledge was the only Rockies player with 2 hits, though the team collectively had 8 in the game.
56 - 81
Colorado needs that 25 game win streak to finish the year at .500.Graph:
We Salute: Francis (.283 WPA)
We Are Disappointed In: Harris (-.379), Roenicke (-.255), Conventional Wisdom (-.500)
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