This game had problem written all over it as soon as the pitching match up was announced. The Rockies don't beat the Dodgers when Clayton Kershaw starts against them (1-12 the last 13 times that's happened), and they don't tend to win very often when they send Kyle Kendrick to the hill (3-8 the 11 times that's happened).
So to get these two events to line up together and produce a Rockies win is like trying to get the celestial bodies to line up and produce a solar eclipse. It's possible, but everything needs to be perfect, and alas, that was far from the case Monday night.
Even with the lopsided score however, the game was interesting through five innings. Kendrick managed to limit the damage to two solo home runs early, and Nolan Arenado continued his home run binge by blasting a two run shot to center to tie the game in the fourth. It was Arenado's sixth long ball in his last eight games, and 13th on the season, meaning there's now just eight guys in all of baseball right now with more home runs than Arenado.
This was just about the point where you started to tell yourself that the Rockies had a real shot to win this game. They got through the first five innings even, and if they could just hold onto that for a couple more frames, they might be able to get a bounce or two and steal the game.
Instead, the bottom fell out and the Dodgers exploded for six runs in the sixth, and against Kershaw ... well, that's pretty much all she wrote in terms of this being a competitive game.
With that in mind, let's delve into some other musings from this game.
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1) In the grand scheme of things, this wasn't a terrible loss. Although it would have been nice to steal this game, the Rockies were horribly outmatched in the starting pitching department. This team does need to start playing well at Coors, but the better barometer of that will come during the rest of home stand when they're not facing Clayton Kershaw.
2) Speaking of Kershaw, the Rockies have seen way more than their fair share. They've already faced the Dodgers ten times, and have somehow drawn Kershaw in four of those games. (They actually should have beaten him the first time they faced him at Coors, But Jorge De La Rosa couldn't make the five runs they got in a very fluky inning stick.)
The good news, however, is that after Wednesday, the Rockies don't see the Dodgers again until September 14th, so that's at least 90 games of no Kershaw. And the way the schedule works, if the Rockies miss Kershaw in that series, they will also miss him in the next one at the end of September, so the Rockies could be done with Kershaw for the year.
3) One thing that shouldn't get lost in this game was Tommy Kahnle's solid return. He walked one, but didn't allow a hit or a run while striking out two and running the gun up to 97 mph. This is an important bullpen piece for the Rockies going forward as he will now begin the 2016 season with less than two years of service time thanks to his stint in Albuquerque. If the club is able to maximize his talent, Kahnle could be a mainstay in the Rockies bullpen for years to come.
4) There was another brutal base running mistake in this game. This time from Wilin Rosario in the eighth inning. Technically it didn't really matter as it occurred with the Rockies down 11-3, but boy does it look terrible when you get thrown out at second base on a ball hit off the right center field wall at Coors down eight runs.
Add it to the list.
5) The Rockies completely failed to get Adrian Gonzalez out in this game. If the Dodgers had a lineup made of Adrian Gonzalez and eight Adrian Gonzalez clones, they might still be batting in the top of the first inning. For the season, Gonzalez now has a .441 / .500 / .706 (1.206 OPS) line against the Rockies. The only way he could look any more comfortable at the plate against this pitching staff is if he pulled a recliner into the batters box.
What's especially problematic is the way he's hammering pitches on the outer half of the plate. The Rockies are really at a point where they need to start buzzing Gonzalez inside to knock him off the plate. To be clear, this does not mean they need to intentionally plunk Gonzalez in the back, and it especially does not mean they need to throw pitches inside anywhere above his shoulders, but it does mean they probably need to throw pitches far enough inside that he's jumping back to avoid them.
They need to do something, anything to make this man uncomfortable when he steps in the batters box. Ideally, if you come far enough inside a few times, he won't be as comfortable getting a fully extended swing on those outside pitches he's been driving to all fields with authority.