When I applied to be a writer on PurpleRow, this was the job I was dreading most. To have to write about the club after an awful showing is something I expected after the 2012 season, but the first week of 2013 gave me hope that it might be awhile before my fear became reality. That hope was dashed against the rocky shore of the Pacific Ocean in Northern California as Jeff Francis had no answer for the Giants hitters and the Rockies hitters had no answer for Barry Zito.
Everything that could go wrong for the Rockies today did. Veteran starter not able to have enough stuff to be effective-check. Rockies hitters unable to solve a crafty left hander-check. Rockies defense unable to make a play when the pitcher needed some help-check. It all added up to a disaster that I hope we can chalk up to the emotional overflow from a loss the night before, and move on. The Rockies need to be angry about this outcome, use it to do well in San Diego and then remember this embarrassment when the Giants come to town May 16. I already have it circled on my calendar, and as we watch this team mature and gel over the next month, we can look forward to that date as yet another test against what has become the gold standard of the NL West.
On this day though, it never seemed like the Rockies had a chance to win. After Troy Tulowitzki struck out on a questionable call in the first, the Giants used an infield single, a triple, and a single to stake themselves to a 2-0 lead. With the Rockies doing nothing in their half of the second, the Giants started the bottom half with three straight base runners thanks to a double, a failed attempt at an out on the lead runner on a sacrifice bunt, and a walk. Francis only recorded two outs while allowing four more base runners, in part due to an error on 3rd baseman Chris Nelson, before giving way to Edgmer Escalona. Escalona pitched well for a couple of innings before giving way to Chris Volstad, who wasn't very effective in giving up 3 runs in 1 and 2/3 innings. Ultimately, it mattered little what the bullpen could do, as the Rockies offense was befuddled by Zito, several times stranding runners on third, and never scoring a run.
It is just one series, but from the sixth inning last night to the end of the game today, the Rockies have been outscored by the Giants 17-0. The team needs to dismiss any false sense of grandeur and get back to fighting together for a win. The good news is that the team is still 5-4, and has one road series against the Padres, whom they already swept, before returning home to the friendly confines of Coors field. The off day tomorrow will give them time to heal their wounded psyche. GOOO ROCKIES!
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