After three innings, the Rockies were up 3-0. Houston starter Lucas Harrell had given up 5 hits and 3 walks, using 71 pitches. Meanwhile, Juan Nicasio had only allowed 3 base runners in 3 innings, erasing one of those on a double play, and pitching an efficient (for him) 42 pitches. It looked like Houston would be going to their bullpen early and the Rockies would be able to salvage a season split with their 'rivals' from Houston.
One of the two starters was out of the game after only two more innings and throwing only 39 more pitches, while the other battled though 2 and 2/3 innings with 47 pitches, leaving with the lead. How the Rockies got themselves out 8 times in 47 pitches with a guy who threw only one first-pitch strike after the third inning is beyond me. Why Walt Weiss can't trust Juan Nicasio to battle through struggles when he is at the 80 pitch mark but still trusts him to start is beyond everyone. Scahill last night and Lopez tonight were the wrong answers, but I don't know if there were right answers (possibly Belisle, Outman, Ottavino).
There were good signs by the offense early, but they still could not get the one extra hit to break the game open. Runners on second and third in the first with two out, Todd Helton grounds out. Bases loaded in the second with two outs, Troy Tulowitzki flies out. Bases loaded with one out in the third, Dexter Fowler ground into inning-ending double play. Runner on first with one out in the fifth, Nolan Arenado grounds into inning-ending double play. Runners on first and third with two outs in a devestating 6th inning, Tulo grounds out to stop the comeback threat. All but the last one would have removed the Astros' starter early and given the Rockies unstoppable momentum. The last opportunity could have given the team a chance. Then the ninth inning fiasco.
Cargo and Tulo started it with back to back base hits. With first and third occupied and zero outs, Cuddyer, Helton and Arenado: strikeout, flyout, and strikeout looking. The list of hitters who failed in this game is a who's who of the Rockies lineup.
Unless this team can find their bats when they have base runners, I forsee at least two shutouts in this weekend's matchups against Kershaw, Greinke, and Ryu. I hope that I am wrong.
Games Back: 2.5
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