Wheels...falling...off. In what I can only wish was a forgettable series, the Rockies may have ruined their 2014 season. While you can't win the pennant in June you certainly can lose it when the Giants are winning nine out of ten games and you pull a skunk against the worst team in the NL West. The road trip prior to this series was disheartening but the team could recover with a strong string of home games. Now they are spiraling out of control with multiple players leaving the team on any given day.
Juan Nicasio looked horrible in the first before settling back into his normal mode of showing promise but then giving up runs through horrible pitch choices in pitcher counts. The D-backs scored in every inning except the second against him and six different snakes had crossed the plate for a total of seven runs before the seventh inning.
The Rockies offense...went between struggling and just plain bad luck against a pitcher, Bronson Arroyo, who had very little working well in the game. The lineup had no symmetry and too many holes with Walt Weiss deciding to sit Justin Morneau in possibly the most important game so far this season. Instead, Drew Stubbs got the start as Michael Cuddyer was moved to first and Charlie Blackmon was moved to right field. Drew Stubbs is batting better this year against righties than in his career but is still close to .150 worse in OBP against righties than lefties. His first hit of the game came against a left handed reliever and was a swinging bunt that didn't travel ten feet.
This meant that even though Troy Tulowitzki hit a double and a home run in the first six innings, he only had one RBI. Hitting in the three spot, Tulo came up to bat with one out and no one on in the first, one out and no one on in the fourth, and no one on and zero out in the sixth. Not exactly a good way to take advantage of the team's RBI man and baseball's best hitter.
Charlie Culberson was also a confusing pick to start with Ryan Wheeler, yet another left handed batter, left on the bench. He was able to come threw with a double in his second at bat, but a guy batting .189 probably shouldn't be starting in a game that the team needed to avoid a sweep.
The team showed it still doesn't know how to situational hit with Wilin Rosario leaving Michael Cuddyer at third when there was less than two out by striking out in the sixth. Arroyo is not a strikeout pitcher and Wilin needs to know when contact is more important than hitting a two run home run.
To make it even worse, the team wasn't sharp in the field. A foul ball back behind first fell behind three players in the fourth. Then, the official scorer gave Charlie Blackmon a break when he didn't rule an error on a hit to right field in the sixth. The Rockies had just scored to bring themselves back to within three in the previous inning when David Peralta hit a line drive towards Charlie. He came forward two steps before having to back up one and then jumping for the ball. It hit off the side of his glove and by the time Charlie got to it, Peralta was on second. If Charlie makes that catch, Arizona very likely doesn't score two that inning and the Rockies would have been within two after Tulo's home in the bottom half of that inning. Cuddyer, having to move to third when Morneau pinch hit in the seventh because Weiss didn't start him, missed four plays, with three that should have been ruled errors, to make sure the game was out of reach.
So, goodbye bottom dwelling D-backs and welcome to town the second place Dodgers. Maybe the Rockies current slump won't effect new call-up Eddie Butler and they can find a way to succeed on Friday night to end this losing streak.
At least we had the draft to watch and get us excited for the future.
Roll Call: BubbaFan, Chrysicat, Drew Creasman, ES46NE10, Ender-25, Jordan Freemyer, Junction Rox, Kevin V. Minor, Lawrence303, Mr. Rockie, Nephelimdream, NoDo Joe, Northsider1964, Paleface Destro, PinchHitLancePainter, RhodeIslandRoxfan, RockedUp, Rockies7935, Rocktastic85, RockyMountainWay91, Roxman4ever, SDcat09, Sjamb, The Ghost of Marv Throneberry, The Lodo Magic Man, TheTulowitzkiGeneration, Tornado Warning, WanderingRoxFan, Yokel, bearpigman, butterfly2, dmoneyrox, evers44, holly96, idj2, pedroa, rockiesfan4ever, vtmn_D, wolf213