The Rockies came into Thursday night’s game in need of a win, not just because they’ve lost seven of ten, but also because they were facing one of the teams they’re chasing in the division in the Dodgers. What they got instead was a breathtaking bullpen collapse and an 8-5 loss.
Oh, the bullpen
The past ten games have been difficult to watch for Rockies fans. Due to bullpen ineptitude a potential 5-2 road trip became a 2-5 (and nearly a 1-6) one. The offense (more on them in a minute) just couldn’t score enough runs to give the bullpen a cushion. Tonight was no different, as the bullpen allowed seven of the Dodgers’ eight runs. First it was Scott Oberg allowing two pinch-hit solo home runs in the seventh to make it 3-1 Dodgers. Then came Seunghwan Oh, who has actually been quite good for the Rockies since being acquired for the Blue Jays, allowed a two-run home run to make it 5-5. Then Wade Davis allowed a go-ahead leadoff home run in the ninth and a two run shot two batters later. His post-All-Star break ERA now stands at 13.49. In case you’re keeping track, that was five home runs allowed over the final three innings of the game.
Key at bat
The turning point came on a 2-2 pitch from Oh to Matt Kemp. After striking out Manny Machado and Justin Turner on seven total pitches, Oh got Kemp to two strikes. But then, after Kemp fouled off a good cutter low and in, Oh gave up a ground rule double. The next pitch he threw ended up in the Dodgers bullpen and it was all downhill from there.
The offense awakens
Over the last 16 games, the Rockies have scored more than four runs in a game twice and they just so happened to win both games (though they needed 11 innings to do so in one of them). Tonight, after being stifled by Ross Stripling for six innings, the offense broke out against Pedro Baez for four runs in the seventh inning, including a three-run donger from Chris Iannetta.
Look, Chris just flipped switch pic.twitter.com/qu5Pgx55JY— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 10, 2018
That made the score 5-3 Rockies with just six outs to go. Then, Oh, the bullpen happened.
Tyler Anderson strong
The bullpen’s misdeeds also overshadowed an excellent performance from Tyler Anderson. He allowed a sac fly to Chris Taylor in the second but was otherwise dominant over six innings of work, allowing just the one run on four hits and one walk with six strikeouts. His season ERA dipped below four (3.94) after the start. But the Rockies didn’t win because, well, you know by now.
The Rockies continue their four-game set with the Dodgers tomorrow at 6:40 pm MT. Kenta Maeda faces Jon Gray, who will probably have to throw a complete game shutout if the Rockies are to have a chance.