The Rockies chances at a division title were all but extinguished Wednesday night, and their postseason hopes were similarly dimmed. The Dodgers beat the Rockies 5-2 and in the process completed the three-game sweep. With 10 games to go, the Rockies are now 2.5 games out of first place and 1.5 games behind the Cardinals for the second Wild Card.
It was a competitive and well pitched game. Tyler Anderson allowed two runs through six innings, but the offense didn’t help him out much. The Rockies scored two runs after a bases loaded and no out situation in the first inning, but that’s all they mustered. Rockies batters struck out 16 times in all, 12 of them at the hands of starter Walker Buehler.
Scott Oberg relieved Anderson in the seventh, and he allowed a walk and a double to put runners on second and third. Yasiel Puig then pinch-hit for Brian Dozier, and instead of putting him on first base to create a force out everywhere, Bud Black decided to pitch to him. The three run-home run Puig hit right after that crushed the Rockies’ spirit. They kept playing, but it was over after that.
I’m trying to think of a compelling reason Bud Black chose to pitch to Puig, but I’m coming up short. It was a flat-out bad decision. Another runner would have been put on base, but it would have created a force out everywhere and allowed the infield to play back. Also, there was the advantage of not pitching to Puig and instead taking your chances with Alex Verdugo or David Freese. Where the infield was positioned didn’t matter in the end, as Puig hit the ball about 10 rows deep. And this is not just a hindsight opinion; Drew Goodman and Ryan Spilborghs had the foresight to tell the audience that the Rockies should probably walk Puig just before he crushed that home run.
Thursday is the final off day of the regular season, and that will be followed by the final road series of the regular season. That series begins Friday in Arizona.