The scoreboard said 7-5 when all was said and done, but it really should have been much worse for the Rockies in their loss to the Pirates today. Pittsburgh had at least a runner in scoring position in eight of the nine innings in this game - and they had two men reach base in seven of the nine innings. In all, the Pirates had 16 hits, five walks, and 12 LOBsters. The only reason the Rockies weren't blown out was that Pittsburgh was 3-16 with RISP today.
That wasn't to say that the Rockies didn't have chances of their own. The team pounded out ten hits but left them loaded in the fifth inning after a double play by Brandon Barnes. Still, the offense by and large took advantage of the limited opportunities that came their way. DJ LeMahieu was 3-4, including a RBI of Wilin Rosario (2-3 with a double) that got the Rockies on the board in the second inning. Barnes whacked a two run homer (5) in the fourth inning to put the Rockies up 3-2, Charlie Blackmon was 2-4 with a RBI double to make it 4-2, and Nolan Arenado launched a solo shot (9) in the seventh that tied it at five apiece. Nope, not blaming the offense for this one.
Franklin Morales was all over the place, throwing his 99th and final pitch with nobody out in the fifth inning. In his four-plus innings, Morales allowed two runs on six hits and five walks with three strikeouts. His replacement, Chad Bettis, immediately allowed a single to load the bases with nobody out. He was able to escape the jam thanks to a nice Nolan Arenado unassisted line drive double play in which Arenado dove to beat Andrew McCutchen to the bag. Bettis was not able to escape the jam of his own creation in the sixth inning, as he allowed a single, two run pinch hit homer, single before being removed for Tommy Kahnle.
That last single scored because Rockies. To add insult to...bad pitching, Josh Harrison was gunned down by Wilin Rosario at second base on a stolen base attempt, oversliding the bag and being tagged out. Oh wait, no he wasn't, as the Rockies bungled the rundown and Harrison got to third base - getting credited for two steals on the same play. Harrison came around on a two out double and Bettis's pitching line was locked at three runs on four hits in one inning. After the Arenado homer to tie it, it didn't take long at all for Rex Brothers to give the Pirates the lead back, as Brothers allowed back-to-back homers to the first two hitters he faced in the eighth inning.
Nobody on the pitching staff is covered in glory after this one. The loss dropped the Rockies to 43-61 on the year and dipped them back below .500 at home on the year (27-28). Next up, Colorado will travel to Wrigley Field for a four game road set against the Cubs.
We Salute: Arenado (.166 WPA), Barnes (.116), Blackmon (.110), Rosario (.104)
We Are Disappointed In: Brothers (-.319 WPA), Bettis (-.132), Morales (-.109), Josh Rutledge (-.215), all the other pitchers too
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Panda Rating: Sad Panda