With ominous gray skies as a backdrop the game began surprisingly on time but shortly turned into the torrential-downpour-induced-splashfest many feared it would become.
Jorge de la Rosa got off to a rough start with his control and walked the first two batters, though he would not get the benefit of a few extra inches outside and/or low that Clayton Kershaw would get on two called strike outs the next inning and really throughout the game.
Admittedly, de la Rosa was all over the place and that makes it harder on the umpire but the floating and inconsistent strike zone couldn't have been easy to deal with in addition to the terrible weather.
After his two free passes, Jorge hung a pitch to Matt Kemp who lasered it into center field. What should have been a one-RBI single turned into a two-RBI triple when Drew Stubbs badly misplayed the ball and unnecessarily dove rather than taking the safe route and keeping the ball in front of him. Mayhaps the weather played a role in such tomfoolery but
Andy Scott Van Slyke didn't seem to mind, making a number of excellent plays in center on the day.
Troy Tulowitzki was the only Rockie to really get to Clayton Kershaw, hitting him hard foul twice in his first at-bat then going deep to left center field for his 17th home run of the season.
Jorge de la Rosa settled in excellently after his miserable 32 pitch first inning and was missing bats at an alarming rate, ending up with eight strikeouts in 5.1 innings.
At this point I would also like to defend Walt Weiss' decision to leave Jorge de la Rosa in the game in the sixth inning despite his high pitch count and the fact that he employed exactly the opposite strategy with last year's staff ace Jhoulys Chacin just the day before.
Chacin is still coming back from an injruy and has struggled so far this season so I get the impulse to pull him with a clean slate. Jorgy on the other hand has been on a role lately and was after the first inning in this game. On top of that, the bullpen has been...what's the word?...horriterribe? Miserawful? Craptastic?
The bullpen has not been good lately. Y'know, except Franklin Morales for some reason. Which brings me to what happened next...
With the same fervor that I will defend the decision to leave de la Rosa in the game I will question the decision to bring Matt Belisle into it in this spot.
After giving up a home run to Hanley Ramirez that hasn't landed yet (one of only two consequential hits JDLR gave up in the game) he walked Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp so at that point and with the weather growing increasingly insane, Weiss had to pull him and did. Which is awesome...
By why Matt Belisle? Why not Tommy Kahnle or Chris Matin? Why not Ottavino? He had to know by the fact that he was swimming in his clothes the game might now make it the full nine and while it was still close and with the unlikeness that Kershaw would return I would have had zero problem burning your best bullpen arm in that spot.
But I would even have preferred to see Frankie-Mo in that spot or maybe literally anyone else. WIlton Lopez isn't on this team anymore right? Okay, yeah...literally anyone else in this weather and the game on the line.
Matty B, whom I will always respect a great deal, predictably came in and threw gas on the fire. Wait, not that isn't right. Like one of those brooms in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" from Fantasia Matt Belisle came in and poured buckets of water into a flood.
Belisle proceeded to give up solid base hits on bad pitches to two guys I literally had never heard of before this game started in Jamie Romak (who still appears as a blank dark silhouette on MLB.com in his picture spot) and Miguel Rojas who I was certain was a flamenco guitar player I met once.
At least putting Rex Brothers in is essentially flipping a coin.
When the dust settled...nope mixed my metaphors again...when the underwater ass-whippin' of an inning was over the score was 6-1. The Rockies trailed by only one run (and were about 3 pounds lighter) when the inning began.
And then the skies opened up and it all came tumbling down.
Without an opportunity to respond -- which is a stupid, stupid rule -- and hour and a half rain delay concluded when the game was called and the Rockies lost in one of the most frustrating fashions imaginable.
Out of context this would normally be the kind of game you chalk up to a forgettable, random, and meaningless game because it was so outside the normal conditions in which MLB games are played. But with the Rockies on such a slide, and with these being inter-divisional games, this one really hurts.
There is still reason to believe in this team moving forward, mostly having to do with the injection of new blood either in terms of youngsters being called up (Eddie Butler, Christian Bergman) but also returning from injury (Tyler Chatwood, Brett Anderson) and returning to form (Jhoulys Chacin) but things look absolutely frightful right now.
Whatever your ritual of choice is, do it for Christian Bergman tonight. Good luck tomorrow, kid. This team could use some good karma, but you have earned your spot and congratulations.
Stupid weird MLB rules that allow games to end in the middle of innings.
Stupid, stupid Dodgers.
I need a nap.