Happy 4th, to those of you who enjoy holidays. We're half way through 2012. The 4th is often the time of insane baseball games, but this year, the game was fairly unremarkable.
Jeremy Guthrie was fairly effective in his return to a starting role. Though he allowed runs in each of the first two innings, he ended up lasting six total innings on eighty-four pitches, the longest outing from a Rockies starter in recent memory. Guthrie's controversial first inning walk of Jon Jay, who took several borderline strikes to reach Ball #4, was his only walk of the game, though he was punished for it as Matt Holliday doubled in Jay for the first Cardinals run. In the second inning, the Cardinals loaded the bases by putting together three singles. Jay again approached the plate, and was hit by a pitch, scoring the second run. Guthrie allowed six hits in all during his time on the mound, retiring 12 of the next 13 batters.
The Rockies scattered some hits early in the game, including doubles from the scorching Tyler Colvin and Wil Nieves, but the Rockies would not score until the fifth. After a triple from Jonathan Herrera, Guthrie came to the plate and slapped a ball over the infield to bring Herrera across.
In the seventh, the errors from Nieves and Marco Scutaro put Matt Reynolds (who has been quietly excellent lately) in danger of extending the St. Louis lead, but the lefty was able to work out of the jam. Adam Ottavino (who has been quietly terrible lately) in the eighth wasn't so lucky. After allowing several hits and an intentional walk, a David Freese single brought two more red runs around, extending the Rockies' deficit to three runs going into the ninth inning. Carlos Torres, recalled today to replace Josh Outman, recorded the final out of the inning.
Despite pinch hit singles from Jordan Pacheco and Michael Cuddyer, Cardinals closer Jason Motte sent the Rockies home with a loss, retiring Dexter Fowler with a strikeout to end the game.
With this half-way point loss, the Rockies are on pace for a 62-100 season, which would be by far the worst in their team history. Assuming at this point that not even a miracle can send this team into meaningful baseball, I'd say a good goal for the second half is to play just well enough to not set that new record.
31 - 50
Tune in tomorrow at 6:15 Mountain Time to watch Christian Friedrich try to salvage a series split against All Star Lance Lynn.