The Rockies lost a frustrating game Sunday afternoon to the Diamondbacks. The Rockies, winners of eight straight games coming into this afternoon's tilt, stranded the potential tying run at third base when EY Jr. hit a weak come-backer to closer J.J. Putz to end the game.
The Rockies did what they had been doing all series, staking themselves to an early lead and relying on pitching to close out the game. Only this time with Betancourt unavailable the Rockies turned to Wilton Lopez to preserve a one run lead in the ninth.
Lopez has struggled in the early going this year, but had pitched better of late. After a lead off single by Didi Gregorious, A.J. Pollock chopped one over the out stretched arm of third baseman Jonathan Herrera for a double. With runners on second and third, Alfredo Marte chopped another ball to third, this time fielded by Herrera - who had to charge the ball - made the safe play at first base allowing the tying run to score.
The next batter, Paul Goldschmidt, hit a deep sacrifice fly to center and that gave the D-backs the lead for good.
My thoughts on the last couple innings that transpired:
Cuddyer should have caught the ball off the bat of Cody Ross in the 8th that allowed Goldschmidt to score. He got a bad read on it and when he retreated back on the ball it was too late. It would have been a nice catch, but I'm sure it was one Cuddyer would like to have back and it would have saved a run.
In the ninth inning I had no problem with bringing Lopez in. Lopez closed for Houston at times and did pretty well. I know he's struggled a bit this year, but he has a very good track record. You don't flush his career numbers down the toilet because of a poor start to the month of April. Now, I do think they he could have done better, obviously, but he got three straight GB's to start the inning. The first was a clean base hit, but the double by Pollock was extremely unlucky and had Nelson or Brignac been at third it might have been a double play or at least a force out at second.
After the double, Marte grounded out to third and Herrera elected to throw across the diamond instead of trying to nail the tying run at the plate. In my opinion he would have had a tough play at home and it would have been a bang bang play. Better to get the out and hope that it stays tied going to the ninth. After all, it's not like the Rockies aren't capable of putting up a crooked number offensively.
As far as the rest of the game goes, four runs isn't going to win a ton of ball games at Coors Field. Overall, the offense has been great this year, but the last couple games they haven't been all that productive. They need to get the bats going again.
But hey, we still won the series and had a chance for a sweep. A frustrating loss, but we had just won eight in a row so there it's not as if they have been playing bad baseball. It's good to be critiquing a near ninth win in a row. I loved the way the Rockies bounced back after being swept by San Francisco and I think they can bounce back against a very good Atlanta team.
Games Back: 0
Streak: Lost 1
Wins to beat Keith: 41
Games Left: 144
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