Break out the strong stuff, for tonight was a bad night for Colorado sports fans. Mere seconds after the Avalanche lost game 7 in overtime, the Rockies lost the series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks in extras by the same score, 5-4. This loss can be laid at the feet of many.
Let's start with the ninth inning, because that's where the infuriating events began. First off, it was a questionable decision to ask Rex Brothers to get those outs. LaTroy Hawkins probably wasn't available after working back to back nights. Fine. But Brothers has been fighting his command all year. Furthermore, he was going to be getting almost all righties in the inning, since Tony Campana was obviously going to get pinch hit for. I get that Brothers has the late inning pedigree, but Walt had a number of righties on hand who had demonstrated great ability so far this year. Nevertheless, Rex it would be. And no one was even warming up.
So with a 4-2 lead, of course Rex loaded the bases (though a near double play almost averted the whole mess. Still, that pitch was roped). The only lefty he saw, Gerardo Parra, he drilled in the elbow. Rex's command was predictably awful. When he wasn't spiking the pitch into the ground, he was hanging his slider right over the middle of the plate. It got whacked each time, finally by Rockie-killer Martin Prado to tie up the game. Brothers struck out Paul Goldschmidt, but the damage was done.
The top of the 10th inning was just as big a goof. Corey Dickerson led off the inning with a double. The next three batters: Charlie Blackmon, Drew Stubbs, Carlos Gonzalez. A right handed pitcher was on the mound. Please Walt. Please don't do it. Please don't do the worst thing you can possibly do right now.
He went and did it. He asked Charlie Blackmon to bunt. He took the bat out of Charlie .374/.418/.616 Blackmon's hands. And with Dickerson on third he gave it to Drew 31.8%-K-percentage-against-righties-in-his-career Stubbs. Stubbs struck out. Of course. Gonzalez lined out to center field.
Miguel Montero's walk off homer in the bottom of the tenth felt like a foregone conclusion at that point.
Oh yeah, Jordan Pacheco was called out on a sacrifice fly for leaving third base too early. Replay showed that he did not do so, but apparently that can't be reviewed. Wipe that run away. Sure would have come in handy...
Up until the ninth it had been a great game. Gonzalez homered in the first inning, a very encouraging sign for the slumping star. Jordan Lyles continued his awesome style of two-way baseball: he worked six innings of one run ball while cracking a monster home run of his own. The lone run he gave up shouldn't even have happened, as Nolan Arenado whiffed on a line drive right at him. His ERA dropped to 2.70.
Blackmon doubled and scored on a wild pitch. Belisle worked the most dominant inning he's had this year (side note: he walked the first batter on four pitches, and must have somehow cosmically heard my string of invective, as he struck out the next three batters in about 25 seconds). But all that gets washed away as the game counts as a big ol' L in the score book.
Whatever. Ignore this crap. It was a 4-2 road trip, still something to build off. But seriously Weiss. Do not. Bunt. Blackmon. Again.
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