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Pittsburgh Pirates 5, Colorado Rockies 3: Bullpen blows another one

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Sing along for the second verse! The second verse is same as the first! The Rockies get a good starting pitching performance but the bullpen inevitably blows it and the they lose on the road ... again.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For the third straight day the Rockies got a quality start from the man who took the hill in the first. Tyler Matzek wasn't quite as sharp as Brett Anderson the day before or Jorge de la Rosa the day before that, but the same fate befell them all.

The game got off to a promising shot when Josh Rutledge (who I absolutely refuse to call "Rut") hit a two-run home run, showing again that for whatever else he lacks, he can hit the baseball.

Michael McKenry added a solo shot of his own in the second inning, which is always nice to do against a former team and it showed both by his reaction and that of his teammates in the dugout afterwards. It was a nice moment is a season full of dreary ones. I hope everyone took a moment to be happy. But just one.

Trouble reared its ugly head in the bottom of that second inning when some ground ball singles by Gabby Sanchez and Neil Walker. Then Jordy Mercer singled to bring the Pirates to within one.

Then the Rockies caught a break when Chris Stewart hit what was ruled to be a ground-rule double as the ball stuck into the padding in left field. My understanding of the rule is that in order for that call to be made, the fielder has to throw his hands in the air (Brandon Barnes did not) and cannot field the ball (Brandon Barnes did.) but it was ruled as such and the tying run came off the board and returned to third base.

Tyler Matzek then struck out his counterpart Jeff Locke, and induced a groundball out from Gregory Polanco to preserve the lead.

Both pitchers pretty much cruised from that point until the sixth inning when a Jordy Mercer walk and steal of second base set Christ Stewart up for his second ground-rule double of the day, this time working in their favor.

The ground-rule double giveth, and the ground-rule double taketh away.

Matzek was able to work around any further trouble and lock-in a solid six inning, three run performance that most teams would take on the road from a rookie starter against a good offense. But most teams don't have the Rockies bullpen.

It really wasn't awful today. Matt Belisle began the sevent by walking Josh Harrison (which you can't do) who promptly stole second on a terrible throw from catchre Michael McKenry.

After getting positively squeezed against one of the best hitters in baseball, Belisle gave up a single to Andrew McCutchen on a 3-0 count that should have been a 1-2 count, and the Pirates took the lead.

After finally deciding to anticipate that other teams have caught on to the fact that McKenry doesn't throw anybody out, the Rockies finally did a smart thing and pitched out to catch McCutchen stealing which was nice because it meant he wasn't on base when Neil Walker blasted a home run to straigh-away center field.

Not a totaly bullpen implosion. Just enough on top of a lack of any sense of late-game offense. The Rockies actually played a decent series here in Pittsburgh and the best takaways are in the area they most desperately need good news (starting pitching) but of course it's tough watching these games with a sense of impending doom.

At least there's Game of Thrones tonight! Oh wait, no. No there isn't. Life hates you.


Source: FanGraphs