It's hard to imagine things getting worse than this.
The Miami Marlins, one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball, have just taken three of four games from an utterly lifeless Colorado team. In a game that had both water and boos rain down upon Coors Field, Juan Nicasio's fantastic start was thrown away like an empty candy wrapper.
All eight runs in the game were scored in a span of about 20 minutes. Adam Ottavino started the eighth with two quick strikeouts, but two seeing-eye singles later and there were runners on the corners. As Wilin Rosario lazily stabbed at a slider in the dirt, which let the ball squirt away, the energy in the stadium almost tangibly deflated. A 1-0 deficit? Might as well leave early and avoid the traffic. That would have been a mistake, were it not for...
Wilton Lopez followed Ottavino in the 9th and continued his bummer of a season. He allowed two doubles, a single, and a home run to Donovan Solano (who has crushed the Rockies in this series), while managing to get only one out, on a deep fly ball to center field. Walt Weiss had to pull the plug on Lopez, whose ERA now sits at a gaudy 4.96. Lopez, who exited to the most merciless invective I've ever heard at Coors Field, has repeatedly demonstrated that he cannot be relied upon.
The Rockies three run rally in the 9th was only so much box-score cosmetics, as Jonathan Herrera grounded into a 5-4-3 double play with Troy Tulowitzki on deck.
Juan Nicasio was nothing short of brilliant, pitching seven shut-out frames while striking out 9 (one shy of a career high). He only allowed three base runners on two hits and a walk. In his last 19 innings Nicasio has allowed only one run and eight hits.
Tomorrow the Braun-less Brewers come into town, and if the Rockies still hold any illusions about being contenders, they need to right the ship immediately.
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