The Rockies mixed a little too much bad in with the good in their 6-3 loss to the Rangers. Good pitching through the sixth inning couldn’t be carried out, and a small ball day at the plate couldn’t offer much support.
Chad Bettis pitched four pretty-darn-good innings of baseball, giving up two runs on three hits with four strikeouts. A few minor mistakes -- Robinson Chirinos hit by pitch, a double (!?) off of Prince Fielder -- didn’t seem to phase a fast paced Bettis, but a curveball left up to Leonys Martin cleared the fence, spoiling Chad’s 0.00 spring ERA. One bad pitch shouldn’t detract much from the fact that everything else Bettis brought to the table was fantastic. His changeup looked great, his knuckle curve blew the mind (and nearly the knee) of Adrian Beltre, and he recovered well after the trouble he ran into in the third. Walks, which have been a problem for Bettis in the past, were not a factor tonight.
Nick Martinez went six innings for the Rangers, surrendering five hits and a walk without allowing a run.
Strikeouts were the achilles heel of tonight’s Rockies lineup, accounting for 13 of the team’s outs. The offense racked up a handful of long singles and a Rafael Ynoa double early on, but couldn’t translate anything to a run until the top of the ninth on a Dillon Thomas RBI double. A strikeout-wild pitch-throwing error allowed the Rockies to add two more. They would get the tying run to the batter’s box in Dustin Garneau, but yet another strikeout would shut things down for Colorado.
Brooks Brown came out looking as big time as he possibly could have, working a six up, six down two innings in relief of Chad Bettis. Of those six outs, two were on strikes. The takeaway: If it’s an eight man bullpen they’ll need, so be it, Brooks Brown should have a spot on this roster.
Adam Ottavino worked the seventh inning, running into a bit of trouble after a walk following a wonky double, but managed to finish the frame free of harm.
Rex Brothers issued his first walk of the spring, which then catalyzed three consecutive hits and a wild pitch in what would be a frenzied four run inning for the Rangers. Brothers struggled to keep his fastball in the zone, making a few bad pitches that were exacerbated by the inexperience of the young guys playing behind him.
Scott Oberg was brought in for Brothers, generating a quick ground out.
The Rockies' win streak stops at four; Nick Martinez earns the win, Chad Bettis takes the loss. The Rockies and Rangers will meet up again Wednesday for the final time this spring, before the three game set between the two in July.