Well, this was not at all what Rockies fans were hoping for from the first two games of this crucial three game set against the Giants. Colorado was befuddled and decidedly unclutch against the overpaid but decent Barry Zito (9-11, 3.94), who went 8.1 IP, allowing eight hits and one run while striking out seven, and then a furious ninth-inning rally fell just short. Jason Marquis, who pitched six innings and gave up five runs on nine hits, took the loss (14-9, 3.60) and Brian Wilson put out the fire for his 32nd save.
A ninth inning Brad Hawpe home run saved the Rockies from the embarrassment of a second complete game shutout, snapping a 23.1 inning scoreless streak and chasing Zito. After that Ian Stewart, Yorvit Torrealba, pinch-hitter Seth Smith (who really needs to play everyday), and Todd Helton strung singles together to pull Colorado within two, but ultimately the task was too much for Clint Barmes (who flew out) and the Rockies.
Oddly enough, every Rockies starter except Troy Tulowitzki got a hit, but Colorado only managed the three ninth inning runs on 12 hits. Of course, they were victimized by poor BABIP luck and unusual double plays, but the fact remains that the Rockies didn't get the job done in the clutch until it was a little too late.
It was the Rockies' fourth consecutive loss since pulling within two games of LA for the division lead on Tuesday. With the loss and the Dodgers' win, the Rockies fell five games behind LA in the NL West. More importantly, however, their lead in the wild card standings was reduced to just one game.
On a more positive note, the last time the Rockies lost four straight they followed it up with an eleven game winning streak. So we've got that going for us, which is nice.
72 - 58
Colorado now needs to beat Matt Cain with Jason Hammel to leave the City by the Bay with their Wild Card lead intact. It's a tall order, but hopefully with a lineup that includes Carlos Gonzalez and Seth Smith (fingers crossed), Colorado will be able to pull it off.
Not a great graph, despite the rally in the ninth.
Didn't Embarass Themselves: Garrett Atkins (.061), Helton (.038), Smith (.025)
Growing Goat Horns: Barmes (-.179), Hawpe (-.168), Tulowitzki (-.111),
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