Baseball games are decided by the digits in the "R" column, not by the totals under the "H" heading. However, those two categories are, more often than not, mutually exclusive. Usually, when a team outhits its opposition, it will find itself one higher in the "W" column.
There are a few things in the game that can upset that conventional wisdom, though, and the Colorado Rockies couldn't get away from two of those on Saturday night in a loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
Colorado pitchers issued eight walks and the team's defense failed to convert playable balls into outs during a disastrous seven-run third inning. That kind of stuff will kill you, and on Saturday, was the difference between a win and a loss.
The Boss (not Bruce Springsteen, but Jeff Aberle) likes to talk about how key scoring four runs has proven to be in terms of the Rockies' chances of winning. The offense was able to reach that magical number against Bud Norris and company, but still fell well short.
That's because Chad Bettis, who needed to take a step forward and improve upon his poor performance in road starts, faltered once again, issuing four walks and allowing eight runs. Of course, only two of those were earned, largely because of Troy Tulowitzki's miscue in the third inning on a play that should have gone a long way toward limiting the Orioles to one run in the inning and instead helped catapult them to a crooked number.
Before that, Nolan Arenado and Corey Dickerson were unable to convert on plays that, while certainly not routine, were definitely in their grasp. Both of the runners that reached on those plays came around to score.
Of course, because this is baseball we're talking about, the four-run loss didn't come without some good news. Colorado outhit Baltimore, 12-10, and got two hits apiece out of struggling stars Dexter Fowler and Troy Tulowitzki, as well as from Michael Cuddyer, Wilin Rosario and Jonathan Herrera.
Rafael Betancourt saw his first game action in several weeks and looked like his old self, notching a pair of strikeouts in a scoreless eighth inning.
Still, the sting of losing a game that was certainly winnable sucks, but whatever. It's baseball, and weird stuff happens sometimes.
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