It's almost becoming comical at this point. The Rockies are now 56-40 in games started by Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa, Tyler Chatwood and Juan Nicasio. Unfortunately for the Rockies, these four players have only started 96 of the team's 139 games, and today wasn't one of them.
However, the bats did their part as the Rockies had a very balanced offensive attack in this one. Seven players recorded multi-hit games, but only Charlie Blackmon reached the three hit plateau. The Rockies recorded 27 total bases on the day as a team, but no one player had more than five, and despite the eight runs on the board, no player posted more than two RBIs. But again, this game was not started by one of the big four, and baseball law currently dictates that the Rockies must lose about 80 percent of the games that fit this description.
So despite pounding Clayton Kershaw early and often for five earned runs (more than any team has scored off him this season), and 11 hits (more than any team has ever recorded off him during any start is his career), and despite going 8-20 with runners in scoring position, the Rockies still lost. The defeat dropped them to a stunningly horrendous 9-34 in games not started by one of their top four starters.
Chad Bettis was in trouble from the words "play ball", failing to find the plate often, and finding the barrel of many bats when he did. However, thanks to DJ LeMahieu getting the better of Yasiel Puig twice (once by intentionally colliding with him in the first to save a run, and again in the second by jumping higher than any white man since Dwight Clark to turn a dazzling double play), Bettis actually entered the fifth inning with a 3-2 lead.
That's when the bottom finally fell out and the Dodgers began to convert base runners into crooked numbers. An Andre Ethier double, a Mark Ellis walk, and a Juan Uribe RBI single chased Bettis from the game. Jeff Manship then took over and allowed both inherited runners to score on a base hit to the pitcher (Clayton Kershaw). He followed that up by surrendering three runs of his own in the top of the sixth. Only two of those runs were earned however as Nolan Arenado began the inning with his ninth miscue of the season. Since the ball was hit by Yasiel Puig though, I'm sure the folks at BSPN have already figured out a way to give him credit for it.
Speaking of Puig, he was forced to leave the game with a knee injury following the sixth inning after making an awkward slide into third base on an Adrian Gonzalez single to right. He's currently listed as day to day, but don't be surprised if he's in the lineup tomorrow and a "30 for 30" documentary is created by the end of the weak comparing the feat to other amazing comebacks, such as surviving cancer eight times and rising from the dead.
Trailing eight to five, the Rockies would mount a rally in the eighth. It began when Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson lined back to back one out doubles off Ronald Belisario, and continued with back to back singles from Josh Rutledge and DJ LeMahieu. With four consecutive hits, the Rockies now had the tying run just 90 feet away with only one out and Michael Cuddyer at the plate - But Belisario got Cuddyer to ground into a crucial double play that ended the threat and crushed Colorado's best chance of knotting up the game.
Matt Belisle came in to pitch the top of the ninth and allowed a pair of Dodgers to cross the plate, pushing the number of blue runs into double digits. These runs would prove costly as Wilin Rosario led off the ninth with is 21st blast of the season; an opposite field shot that once again illustrated how dangers the baby bull's bat can be when he uses every part of the diamond. He now has a .944 OPS in 224 plate appearances dating back to June 14th.
Jordan Pacheco would draw a walk three batters later to bring the tying run to the plate, but Charlie Blackmon grounded out to second to end the game with Troy Tulowitzki on deck.
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Games Behind: 18.0
Games Left: 23
Record needed to beat Keith Law's prediction: -11-34 (The Rockies could finish the season on a 24 game losing streak and Keith Law would still be 12 games off. LOL Keith Law)
Record needed to beat 2012: 0-23 (Mission Accomplished)
Record needed to beat the Vegas Over / Under Number: 7-16
Record needed to finish above .500: 17-6
Number of Home Runs needed for Cargo, Tulo, and Rosario to combine for 100: 31
* * * * * *
The series continues tomorrow at 6:40 pm MT as Ricky Nolasco (11-9, 3.26) takes on Jhoulys Chacin (13-7, 3.08). With a win, the Rockies would improve their season record against LA to 8-7.