For the 10th straight game, the Colorado Rockies came up short, dropping a 5-2 decision in the series opener against the Los Angeles Angels.
To paraphrase a quote from Bull Durham, the Rockies are 11-18, how did they ever win 11?
I sincerely doubt this team is as bad as it has looked in the last few weeks, but they are doing so many little things wrong during this losing streak. Just tonight I saw failure to hold runners on base, overly aggressive base running and a whole lot of impatience at the plate.
The latter of those issues may be the worst, but the Rockies did draw a walk tonight, with DJ LeMahieu earning a free pass from Angels starter C.J. Wilson in the third. LeMahieu's walk gave the Rockies 59 in 29 games this season, barely over two per game. Contrast that with the Tigers, who entering tonight drew 114 walks in 27 games, or more than 4.2 per game.
Needless to say, walking that infrequently is not a recipe for success, though Bryan Kilpatrick discussed the Rockies' offensive woes much more in-depth here.
There was some good news for the Rockies in this one, as Kyle Kendrick put together the team's first quality start since April 27, allowing two runs on seven hits in seven innings, with no walks (no walks!) and five strikeouts.
The Rockies got on the board first in the top of third, putting two men on base thanks to a single from catcher Nick Hundley and LeMahieu's walk. Charlie Blackmon moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt before Troy Tulowitzki scored Hundley with a sacrifice fly, giving the Rockies a 1-0 lead. The Rockies doubled their lead in the fourth thanks to doubles from Justin Morneau and Corey Dickerson.
However, the offense completely shut down after the fourth, only getting a single from Dickerson in the seventh and having Nolan Arenado hit by a pitch in the sixth. No Rockies baserunner even reached second base after the fourth inning.
The Angels got two runs to tie the game in the fourth against Kendrick, but the game was tied, 2-2, when he left the game after seven innings. This time, it was the bullpen's turn to blow the game.
Rafael Betancourt entered the game in the eighth and gave up a single to Albert Pujols and walked Erick Aybar to put two on with one out. He then gave up a single to Johnny Giavotella and a two-run double to Matt Joyce, giving the Angels a 5-2 lead they would keep for good.
If the Rockies are going to snap out of this skid, they have a lot of things to clean up about their game.