For the 18th time in their last 21 games at AT&T park, the Rockies failed to score more than three runs. They did manage to get a runner on base with less than two outs in six separate innings, but they were unable to string hits together when they really needed them.
On the mound, Jorge De La Rosa had a mixed bag performance. He scuffled out of the gate and the three run home run he served up to Hunter Pence in the opening frame turned out to be all the runs the Giants would need, but he also seemed to get better as the game went on. De La Rosa ended the night needing just 76 pitches to get through six innings of work while giving up three runs to go along with three strikeouts and a walk. Not a great performance, and not good enough to get the win, but a step in the right direction from his first start in Milwaukee.
Thee moments stick out to me in this game....
1) The Hunter Pence first inning three run home run.
This one is obvious but it's worth hammering home. It is very hard to win any baseball game when you give up three runs on one swing of the bat, but when it happens to the Rockies in this ballpark, it's close to impossible. As alluded to above, the Rockies had failed to score more than three runs in 17 of their last 20 games in San Fran coming into tonight - And once Pence went deep in the first inning, this is exactly what they were going to have to do to win.
It wasn't an impossible task, but the Rockies needed to play mistake free baseball from here to have any chance - Which brings us to moment #2...
2) Eric Young Jr. gets picked off in the third inning.
This was especially painful because of Carlos Gonzalez's home run immediately following this play. A two run homer in that spot would have been exactly what the Rockies needed to get back into the game, but instead Bumgarner (who had failed to retire five of the last eight batters he faced) only had one run charged to his named when Cargo's home run ball landed in the cove.
When you get involved in these low scoring games, little things make big differences. You simply can't afford to give away free outs on the base paths with your best hitters coming up. Who knows how the rest of the game would have gone had Jr. not been picked off, but it's things of this nature added together that usually prevent the Rockies from having success by the Bay.
Despite the two major blunders highlighted above, the Rockies found themselves just one strike away from entering the 9th down by just one run. Unfortunately Chris Volstad then served up a 79 MPH, 0-2 curve ball that caught way too much of the plate and resulted in a base hit to right that double the San Francisco lead.
It all comes down to situations. When you're in the 8th inning of a one run game and have two men on base with two outs and an 0-2 count to a good hitter like Posey at the plate, you can't allow the opponent to pick low hanging fruit. Volstad was in control and he picked a horrible moment to make that type of mistake. Once a pitcher gets ahead in that spot, they shouldn't get beat with anything other than one of their better pitches, and that didn't happen in this at bat.
Overall, it wasn't the worst Colorado showing when put in the context of "Rockies at AT&T park", but they still did just enough to remind everyone why they don't win much here.
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Games Behind: (Tied for 1st)
Games Left: 155
Record needed to beat Keith Law's prediction: 49-106
Record needed to beat 2012: 60-95
Record needed to beat the Vegas Over / Under Number: 67-88
Record needed to finish above .500: 77-78
Number of Home Runs needed for Cargo, Tulo, and Rosario to combine for 100: 92