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Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 2: Colorado doomed by late grand slam

You can't walk eight people in a game and expect to win very often.

Norm Hall

Walks, man. They're bad. And this time, Rex Brothers was the culprit.

The embattled Rockies reliever could not muster a single out in the eighth inning, instead walking all three batters he faced before being yanked in favor of Adam Ottavino. As he's done so many times this year, Otto proceeded to get a couple of quick outs and nearly bailed Brothers and the Rockies out of a dangerous situation.

But then Jake Lamb happened.

Lamb connected on a 97 mph fastball on a 2-1 count and did not get cheated; the 23-year-old rookie's second career home run landed well over the massive wall in dead center field. And more importantly, it allowed Arizona to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 5-1 advantage.

Ottavino whiffed the next batter, but by then it didn't matter much. The good work of Christians Bergman and Friedrich had already been spoiled, and the Rockies were well on their way to their fourth loss in five games on this current seven-game road trip.

Formality became reality a half-inning later when the Rockies went down without a fight against D-Backs closer Addison Reed, who struck out two batters, including Corey Dickerson to end the game. Dickerson went hitless in four at-bats, as did fellow left-hander Justin Morneau. Arizona right-hander Josh Collmenter was tough on the pair of lefty swingers -- and everyone else in the Colorado lineup, really, striking out five and allowing only one run on two hits in 6⅓ innings.

But the combination of Bergman and Friedrich were just as effective, even if not quite as good. Bergman worked around some wildness, giving up a run on two hits in 5 ⅓ frames. Bergman took a no-hitter into the fifth but ran up a high pitch count as a result of five walks and five strikeouts, so he saw an early hook after needing 95 pitches to get 16 outs. Friedrich was solid in 1⅔ innings of relief, striking out two while not allowing a baserunner.

The Rockies capitalized on the good work from those two by getting a run in the top of the eighth to take a brief 2-1 lead. They loaded the bases on three consecutive singles before Charlie Blackmon came through with a sacrifice fly. It felt like Colorado should have gotten more, but that also should have been enough against a D-Backs squad that just couldn't come up with a big hit despite having traffic on the basepaths all night.

Of course, when you walk eight batters, you rarely escape unscathed. Teams that have walked eight or more batters in a game are 20-78 this season, and the Rockies themselves are 0-5 in those contests.

So, yeah, the lesson to be learned here is quite simple, really: don't walk eight batters in a game.

Source: FanGraphs

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