While eating corn on the cob as a child, did you ever bite down on a peculiarly hard kernel, only to discover it was your own tooth?
That's the best metaphor I can come up with for what I spent 3 1/2 hours of my life watching tonight. It was akin to the Rockies, on the heels of two blowout losses in Arizona, saying "you think you've seen bad baseball? I'll show you bad baseball!" before cackling maniacally and booting a routine grounder to second.
Nothing went right. The offense continued its stagnation, mustering just three runs. Two runs came on solo homers, and the third came in the ninth inning of a twelve run game. Even the usually stout, nickname-worthy infield faltered. In a 1-0 game, the fourth inning became a horror show.
Starting pitcher Eddie Butler began the inning by plunking Justin Upton. He then put Upton in scoring position by throwing wide to the bag at first on a pickoff attempt. After an RBI single by Derek Norris and a double by Yonder Alonso, Will Middlebrooks hit a seemingly routine ground ball to Troy Tulowitzki at short. Alonso was breathing down Tulo's neck and may have bumped him before or after the ball got there. Troy bobbled the ball. Weiss argued for interference, to no avail. E6. It was only the beginning.
The next batter up, Alexi Amarista, hit another routine grounder, this time to second base, which was promptly botched by your National League batting leader, DJ LeMahieu. It was not a good night to be wearing black sleeveless jerseys (though the argument could be made that no night is a good night for that.)
Even after the three errors, the Padres had only put two runs across, and their lead was just 3-0. Butler got Ian Kennedy to strike out and Will Myers to hit an infield fly. He had two strikes on Yangervis Solarte and was nearly out of the jam when he gave up a single to center, plating Alonso and Middlebrooks. The fourth inning would be Butler's last.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss said after the game that he was happy with the way Butler threw tonight. It's definitely a challenge when you have to get five outs in an inning because your gold glove infielders decided to take the night off, but Eddie made several key mistakes himself. No matter how you look at it, it's another example of a starter not making it anywhere near six innings.
In a game where everything went wrong, it's somewhat fitting that the man for whom the season has been one giant "down" had his first "up" tonight. Drew Stubbs led off the top of the fifth with his first hit of the month-old season. As some very smart people on this blog predicted earlier, it was a home run. The Rockies' only other bright spot came the next inning, when Nolan Arenado added a home run of his own. He also made several nice defensive plays tonight, but he's, you know, Nolan Arenado and that isn't really news.
The score entering the bottom of the eighth was 6-2. Not close, but still resembling a baseball game. Enter Jorge Rondon. He faced eight batters, retired none, and allowed seven runs before he was pulled in favor of Christian Friedrich. Another run would come home under Friedrich's watch, giving Rondon an historic eighth earned run.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The last P to give up 8 runs without recording an out was Paul Wilson in 2005. In fact since 1914, Jorge Rondon is just the 7th P to do so</p>— Purple Dino Podcast (@purpledinocast) <a href="https://twitter.com/purpledinocast/status/594373540058509313">May 2, 2015</a></blockquote>
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The Rockies dragged out the game just a little longer in the top of the ninth, adding a run before it was all over to make the final score 14-3; a football score on the second night of the NFL draft.
When asked if he was going to call out his team for their performance, Weiss said that he prefers to keep such matters "in house". One can only hope that tonight is the last time that he'll have to be asked that question for the foreseeable future.
The Rockies will look to snap their three game losing streak (which must be at least seven games in Pythagorean terms) tomorrow night at 6:40PM MDT when Jorge De La Rosa takes the mound against Brandon Morrow.