Our fourth straight one run loss, third straight to the Padres, makes for a melancholy evening to be sure. In a moment I'm going to give the ways I keep my spirits up as I watch my team spiral further and further into oblivion, but first I want to do a little review. A positive aspect of the day was an offense that could finally keep up with the big innings allowed by the pitching staff, the negative being another big inning allowed by the pitching staff. This time it was the four run sixth Jason Jennings gave up to give the Padres a lead before Dustan Mohr tied it.
Jennings started slow in the first, giving up a leadoff homer to Dave Roberts and having to rely on two more flyouts to get through the inning, but in the second through fourth innings his sinker was working like clockwork as he induced several groundball outs, including two inning ending double plays.
Our offense, meanwhile, scrapped together four runs of support, one on a Helton homerun, the other three by timely hitting, patience and just gritting it out against one of the league's best pitchers in Jake Peavy. How can you not like that as a Rockies' fan?
The first sign of trouble defensively was the fifth, where besides Ramon Hernandez' homer all three outs were in the air to the outfield and I thought for a moment that JJ must be tired before I noticed his pitch count was still only in the sixties. At that point, I thought, no it's just a glitch, this could be a complete game.
I should learn to stick with my hunches. The sixth proved disastrous, Roberts led off with a walk and everybody knew he was going to try to steal on JD Closser, who has thrown a single runner out this season out of twelve attempts against him. Jennings kept Roberts close through four pitches, but on a three-one strike to Mark Loretta, Roberts took off and beat the throw which was once again offline. Loretta then singles, but not deep enough to score Roberts and I think the distraction of trying to keep Roberts on was enough to unnerve JJ and by the time Klesko hits his two run homerun the game seemed back in the Padres favor.
Mohr brings us back with his two run shot, Luis Gonzalez gives us the lead, and then Klesko's solo shot against Chen Hui Tsao ties it again. But who do you blame here? Tsao pitched two innings pretty well, if Klesko is a quarter of an inch off, Tsao picks up the save.
In the first two games, the Rockies were simply outcoached. In this one, maybe so again but Bochy had his share of good and bad calls as well. Dex over at Gaslamp Ball in his game commentary compared this to a long prize fight, I saw it as an intense struggle that's for sure. Going forward, I can see this game being a confidence crusher for the young Rockies if the coaching staff doesn't handle it right. How they bounce back after the offday will be very important for the next month.
I'm still encouraged by our team, they played their guts out and barely came up short. Marcos Carvajal nearly held on after getting in trouble in the bottom of the twelfth, striking out Klesko was huge. JD Closser had his best at bats of the season. Cory Sullivan struggled in the leadoff slot, but he stayed persistent in every at bat. Days like this you just shake it off, get up and move along. We'll see the Padres again this year and then, after a little more seasoning, I feel positive that the outcomes will be different.