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Giants 9, Rockies 5: Bullpen implosion dooms Colorado

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The Rockies’ bullpen couldn’t keep the lead Sunday afternoon

The Rockies had a 4-1 lead in the fifth, but a bullpen meltdown and unhelpful bats led to an eventual 9-5 loss. The team’s season record falls to 25-22, and they’re a half game behind the Diamondbacks for first place in the National League West.

A bullpen implosion

The loss was the result of a bullpen implosion that can partially be laid at the feet of Bud Black. Tyler Anderson pitched five strong innings, but he go into trouble in the sixth, allowing two base runners with just one out. Black removed Anderson in favor of Bryan Shaw. Shaw’s racked up a lot of strikeouts in 2018, but he’s been hittable and has also had trouble with control. And, in fact, Shaw gave up a two-run triple to Kelby Tomlinson, which gave the Rockies the lead. That was just a bad result from a fine process, but Black decided to then leave Shaw in to star the seventh inning. That’s when things totally fell apart.

Shaw recorded an out, but he also allowed a walk and a single to put two runners on. Black brought in Jake McGee to manage the traffic, but Brandon Belt took care of that himself by hitting a three-run homer. Nick Hundley followed up with a solo shot to make it a 9-5 game.

Ian Desmond, still

I know the Rockies’ offense isn’t exactly brimming with great hitters right now, but it’s downright indefensible for Ian Desmond, one of the worst hitters in baseball, to bat second. He went 0-for-4 with two flailing strikeouts and left four men on base. His season line has fallen to .175/.231/.363 in 173 plate appearances (it’s also something that Desmond has the fourth most plate appearances of all Rockies’ position players so far this season).

Desmond did work a walk and help manufacture a run, but those highlights don’t come close to overcoming the deficiencies. For instance, the Rockies had something going today in the eighth inning, with two runners on and down four runs. There were two outs, so it wasn’t quite a rally, but whatever it was a helpless Desmond strike out killed it. It’s even gotten to the point where the AT&T SportsNet broadcasters unironically co-opted a Twitter line and commended Desmond for striking out with two runners because “at least it wasn’t a double play.”

Rant over – until tomorrow, I expect.

Up next

The Rockies will head south and begin a three-game series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles tomorrow. First up, it’s Germán Márquez against Walker Buehler. First pitch is at 8:10 MT.