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Giants 9, Rockies 5: Bullpen hands San Francisco share of wild card lead

Boom goes the dynamite

As bad as the Rockies were in the first two months, they had not lost five straight all year.  Until now.  They have now seen their four game wild card lead evaporate in just six days, the biggest fortune and extreme emotional correction I can recall.  After four dramatic come-from-behind wins against the Giants and DodgersColorado was finally in the limelight.  Five games later, nothing is working right.

The recipe for beating Cain in San Francisco had to be:

  1. Score first, providing confidence for Hammel and the sluggish offense.
  2. A strong start from Jason Hammel giving them a chance to scrape out enough vs. Cain.
  3. Chase Cain via either pitch count or beating him up with fists or bats.

Ironically, Colorado did all three of those, starting with scoring in the top of the first.  Carlos Gonzalez returned to the lineup and led off with a walk and stole second.  Troy Tulowitzki doubled that scored CarGo, marking the first time the Rockies have scored first in 8 days.   Initial lead: check.

Matt Cain threw 113 pitches in six innings, allowing eight hits and four runs.  Five of the eight hits went for extra bases and there were a few deep outs.  Patience and timely hitting vs. Cain:  check.

Jason Hammel appeared to be throwing his best start of the season after allowing just one run on two hits and 42 pitches the first five innings.  He left with a two run lead after allowing the first three hitters to reach in the sixth.  Good Hammel:  check.

What wasn't expected to be as critical was the Rockies typically strong bullpen against arguably the worst offense out there.  Unfortunately, the collective line of Franklin Morales, Rafael Betancourt, Juan Rincon, Joe Beimel and Matt Daley:

  • 3.0 IP, 7 R/ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 6 K
The big blow came on an Edgar Renteria grand slam off of Rafael Betancourt, who came in to relieve Morales, who was sitting on 38 pitches in his second inning of relief and had just loaded the bases.  The home run turned a 5-2 lead into a 6-5 debilitating deficit.  Despite the result of the move, I absolutely cannot fault Jim Tracy for putting Betancourt in.

I don't want to hear anyone blaming the offense for this one.  The club scored 5 runs on the road against Matt Cain with two home runs and six extra base hits out of 13 knocks overall.  That's better than anyone could expect against Cain in at AT&T Park.  Their 3-for-13 RISP hitting is not great, but frankly, that's not absolutely terrible either.  

Todd Helton hit a pop-up to the right field seats in the fifth for his 13th HR and Tulowitzki followed with his 24th home run, tying his career high.  The Rox added a sac fly from Clint Barmes and RBI single from Tulowitzki in the following innings for their fourth and fifth runs.  Tulo had 3 RBI on four hits and Ian Stewart was a HR shy of the cycle.  Todd Helton also had a three-hit day.

Box Score

72 - 59

 6 GB


 Lost 5

Pyth W-L:  73-58

2008:  60-71

2007:  67-64

Get off the ledge

Okay, so we've lost five straight games.  Winning the division wasn't really necessary to begin with, and let me check to be sure here...yep, we're still in first place in the wild card standings.  

For all of you claiming the season is over, you should absolutely be ashamed of yourselves.  Of all the fans out there, Rockies fans should know best what the meaning is of not quitting.  It's not even September, and we still control our own destiny to the postseason, and it's not such a tough road.  

There's a whole 30 games left in the season, 19 of which are at home including the next ten.  The next four opponents are New York, Arizona, Cincinnati and San Diego, four of the six worst teams in the National League.  The bullpen won't be this bad, and offense will get better, and this is the best position the team has been at this date in franchise history.  Let's rebound like San Francisco just did this week.

I'll just let SDcat09 wrap it up:

Comment of the Night

Let's just get our gear and get on home..

so we’re tied for the WC…not the worst thing ever…

by SDcat09 on Aug 30, 2009 5:21 PM MDT

Join after the jump for the  fangraph and the row call.




WPA Heroes:
Franklin Morales (.258) - 1.2 IP, 3 ER, H, BB, 4 K, 2 LOB
Troy Tulowitzki (.216) - 4-for-5, 2B, HR, 3RBI
Ian Stewart (.189) - 3-for-4, 2B, 3B, R
Todd Helton (.153) - 3-for-4, HR, R, RBI

WPA Zeroes:
Rafael Betancourt (-.567) - 0.1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 K
Clint Barmes (-.200) - 0-for-3, SAC FLY
Garrett Atkins (-.157) - 0-for-1, K
Jason Hammel (-.155) - 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 K, 1 BB

Row Call

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