Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado in the top of the ninth inning on Sunday drew the first walk issued all year by Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.
Jansen entered Sunday having issued no walks while striking out 50 batters in 31 innings. His walk to Arenado to leadoff the ninth means he’s now walked one batter in 32 2⁄3 innings.
Oh, also, the Rockies blew a 5-0 lead en route to a 12-6 loss. Five of those Dodgers runs came on wild pitches served up by Adam Ottavino, who was inexplicably allowed by Colorado manager Bud Black to throw 48 pitches even though he clearly had no idea where the baseball was going.
Cody Bellinger, an actual freak, hit two homers for the Dodgers, who now have a 4 1⁄2 game lead over the Rockies in the National League West. The Rockies have lost five games in a row, haven’t had a decent start since last Tuesday, and possess a bullpen that is running on fumes.
Other than that, things are going well for the 47-31 Rockies.
Seriously, this game was awful. It was long. Brandon McCarthy had a case of the yips early, leading to the Rockies taking an early 5-0 lead. But Tyler Anderson served up a pair of two-run homers in the third inning before exiting with an injury and perhaps contributing to the inevitable conclusion of this game.
The Rockies actually led 6-4 in the seventh inning thanks to decent-to-good work from Jordan Lyles, Scott Oberg, and Jake McGee and an RBI single from Ian Desmond, but that’s when Ottavino entered the game and uncorked four wild pitches. Ottavino, who hasn’t really been right all year, also walked three batters and gave up three hits, including one of Bellinger’s aforementioned homers. The struggling righty was charged with six runs.
The 2017 Rockies are a good team — easily one of the best in franchise history, in fact. But they have real issues in the bullpen that need to be addressed, preferably via trade. And depending on how the next couple of turns through the rotation go, the club might want to consider scouring the starting pitching market, even with Jon Gray set to return.
It’s worth remembering that the Rockies entered this week with a winning record this season against the Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Both of those teams are red hot. The Rockies, uh, aren’t. Things may change by the time the Rockies face those teams again.
But they’d be wise not simply to sit on their hands until then.