The baseball gods are cruel beings. Heartless, spiteful, diabolical, cruel beings.
However, they're somewhat forgiving on one major front: No matter how bad you play, no matter how much you embarrass your fan base on any given night, and no matter how many runs you lose by in any given game, the baseball gods deem that you only get dinged with a single loss in the standings for that performance.
This is either quite generous of them, or part of a grander, evil plot designed to drag out the suffering of certain fan bases over large stretches of games instead of getting it over with all at once. You be the judge.
Normally on a night like tonight, that's what the reasonable fans point to, and they'll be right.
However, the events at Coors Field this evening were so unbelievably horrendous that without off days in sight, they're likely going to leave an overflowing mark on the rest of the home stand. You're not going to like that mark either. It's very possible the Rockies lose at least one other game this week thanks to their hideous effort in all facets of ... well, whatever this was tonight.
Let's take a brief look them now:
Hazmat Suits required beyond this point!!!
Jorge De La Rosa returned to the Rockies rotation with his worst start ever at Coors Field. Again, his WORST, START, EVER at Coors Field. His game score came in at EIGHT! EIGHT!!!
In Colorado's last 953 games dating back to May of 2009, the Rockies have had only three Game Scores lower than the one turned in by De La Rosa tonight - And that speaks volumes considering what we've seen on the mound in recent seasons. 2012 for instance did not see a single Game Score from a Rockies starter worse than what we saw tonight.
But that only begins to shed light on how stunningly dreadful this outing was for De La Rosa. This is a man who seemingly tamed the beast in recent seasons. The magician with the secret formula to escape the cauldron where most pitchers go to die. Jorge De La Rosa is quite literally the last guy I would expect to turn in this kind of an outing.
The Rockies were 48-9 as a team in De La Rosa's last 57 at Coors Field coming into tonight. Some rust was reasonable to expect, but to see De La Rosa crash and burn to the tune of nine runs (seven earned) in just two innings of work was hard to watch as a fan.
I wouldn't be too concerned about Jorge going forward yet. De La Rosa has started slow early before getting into a groove in the past - Just last year he had a 9.69 ERA after three starts (and three of his six lowest Game Scores on the year) before recovering for a solid season - But for tonight anyway, the king of Coors Field was reduced to the role of pinata.
We've seen worse from the Rockies defense - Remember when three runs scored on a wild pitch against Milwuakee last year? - But this game certainly produced its share of mishaps.
The trouble started in the second inning when the usually automatic Troy Tulowitzki let a ball slide right between his legs. This helped spark the four runs the Padres would eventually score that frame.
The play in center field also left much to be desired. No errors came from that position, but Charlie Blackmon badly misplayed a ball early on, and Drew Stubbs seemed to bail on a ball he could have caught on the track off the bat of Clint Barmes in the fifth (although I can't get too mad at a guy getting close to the outfield wall trying to play it safe in a seven run game).
Perhaps the most costly defensive play however came from Justin Morneau who dropped a popup in foul territory for the second consecutive day. This wasn't exactly an easy chance, but it's one Morneau would tell you he should have made. With a second life, Clint Barmes turned that pitch into extra bases that had far reaching effects as David Martin explains.
Rewatched the 5th inning tonight...if Morneau focuses and makes that catch, the Rockies save 5 runs, 22 pitches and a reliever.— David Martin (@RockiesReview) April 21, 2015
This is why that play by Morneau is so significant. The Rockies do not have an off Day until April 30th. Tonight was only the fourth in a stretch of 13 games without a breather. Combine this with De La Rosa's brutal outing, and the bullpen is now in serious danger of getting trashed on this home stand. Roster moves now almost certainly have to be made in the coming days to bring in reinforcements.
When it comes to how the bullpen pitched, they actually fared quite well. LaTroy Hawkins struggled, but the other five who came through that door all got the job done (Friedrich's line doesn't look pretty, but he was overextended. With better defense, he gets the Rockies through three full innings that needed to be eaten.)
What was especially annoying however was Weiss needing to use Rafael Betancourt, Adam Ottavino, and Boone Logan. These are guys you want to use in close games, not burn in mop up duty. But the Rockies allowed this fire to burn so hot and out of control that half the neighborhood went up in flames and forced the manager's hand.
This is where tonight's game could cost the Rockies later in the home stand. One of these crucial bullpen pieces may end up unavailable or overworked and ineffective if the Rockies find themselves in series of close games during the next few days. Even just one long extra innings contest could cause problems, and boy would it stink to lose a game like that at least in part because the Rockies allowed tonight to become such a fiasco.
Hard to really comment on this. It wasn't good, but it's kind of hard to be competitive when you get down by nine runs in the middle of the second inning. The Rockies have however only mustered three runs in their last 20 innings at the plate, so that's a little irksome.
One thing that I did find highly annoying however was DJ LeMahieu getting thrown out at third base to end the second inning down nine runs. It didn't make any real difference, but it's a stupid play nonetheless.
At that point, it was still early enough that maybe, maybe something crazy could have happened. The Rockies had a couple of men on, and there was a shot at a crooked number that frame. The ball got away slightly from Derek Norris, LeMahieu took a shot, and he was dead wrong trying to take a bag that meant almost nothing. If the Rockies had any shot of coming back in that game, it was coming from a couple of massive innings, not because a guy advanced from second to third on a ball that got away.
Of course, it wouldn't be a night where everything goes wrong for the Rockies if it didn't include important players getting hurt.
Before this thing even started the dreaded injury bug showed it's disgusting face and bit Nolan Arenado who tweaked his wrist in batting practice and knocked himself out of the game. Fortunately this one doesn't sound too serious and Arenado should be back soon (perhaps even as early as Tuesday's game), but the same can't be said for Corey Dickerson who had to leave this contest with plantar fasciitis.
#Rockies Corey Dickerson dealing with plantar fasciitis. Weiss called it "mild," but that could be a problematic injury.— Patrick Saunders (@psaundersdp) April 21, 2015
I can almost guarantee you this is a problem that's not going to go away very easily. There's a very good chance that this either lingers long enough to knock Dickerson out of action for some stretch of time, or just hangs around enough to gash some of Dickerson's monster production at the plate.
Technically I should be more reasonable here and hold off on judgement since I don't know the extent of the injury, but every time I've tried rationalism on a Rockies injury like this over the last few seasons the worst case scenario card tends to come out, so for now I'm going to expect the worst and hope to be pleasantly surprised. Sorry, I'm still a little scarred from last season when Troy Tulowitzki left a Pirates game listed as day-to-day, which became week-to-week, which became an even more extended DL trip, which became him needing major hip surgery.
This entire night was ghastly, but of all the terrible things that happened at 20th & Blake, this one concerns me the most going forward.