The numbers are ugly. Five losses in six games. Outscored 33-13. Eight errors in six games. Ten straight losses to the Giants. Fifth place in the NL West. After the latest defeat, a 7-1 beatdown on Wednesday, the Rockies have painfully ended another terrible road trip.
This road trip was so bad that not even Chad Kuhl, the Rockies best starter of 2022 who entered the day undefeated, couldn’t rescue a team that lost by a combined score of 24-8 in San Francisco. The Rockies hit .224 with zero homers on the six-game road trip, while the pitchers posted a 5.69 ERA with 29 walks and allowed opponents to hit .279.
In the words of the famous California band the Beach Boys, “I feel so broke up, I wanna go home.”
Off day for Kuhl
After five great starts to the season, Chad Kuhl had his first dud on Wednesday. Kuhl threw 101 pitches in 4 2⁄3 innings, laboring through baserunner-filled innings in every inning but the second. Entering the game, Kuhl (3-1) had only given up six runs in 29 2⁄3 innings. On Wednesday, he gave up five runs in less than five innings. He escaped a jam in the first after giving up a single to LaMonte Wade Jr. and walking Brandon Belt. Kuhl then retired the next seven batters with three strikeouts and four grounders.
Wade Jr. and Belt each hit singles in the third, but Kuhl again got out of the inning again without letting San Francisco score. Kuhl’s luck ran out in the fourth when he walked Mike Yastrzemski, had a throwing error trying to pick him that allowed him to move to second, and then gave up a single to Thairo Estrada. Crawford then hit an RBI fielder’s choice grounder, Joey Bart added an RBI single, and Belt hit a sac fly to put the Giants up 3-0.
In the fifth, after starting the inning with two strikeouts, Estrada hit a single and Crawford followed with a homer, his third of the year.
Despite eight strikeouts, that was the end of the line for Kuhl and he dropped his first loss of the season.
Rox get Cobbed
It all started so nicely when Connor Joe led the game off with a single. It was all downhill from there.
José Iglesias then struck out on a splitter that was on the low and inside corner of the strike zone. Charlie Blackmon followed by lining out to shallow center field and Joe was doubled up at second. In the second, C.J. Cron watched three strikes go by and was sent back to the dugout after not offering on the third sinker. This pitch went on to strike out Ryan McMahon in the second and then Joe and Cron again in the fourth with horizontal movement that made good hitters look lost at the plate. Cobb got McMahon again with a splitter in the fifth. Through five innings, the Rockies had two singles (Joe and Yonathan Daza) and one walk (Blackmon).
In the sixth, Dom Nuñez led off with a single and Joe followed with a walk. Iglesias then hit what should have been a double play, but Evan Longoria couldn’t find the handle. A base runner getting to third was enough to make Giants manager Gabe Kapler pull Cobb in a move the Rockies pitching and coaching staff would never dream of. Jose Alvárez entered in relief and couldn’t scope a soft grounder from Blackmon, which allowed Nuñez to score. With two runners on and the power of the order up, Cron lined out and McMahon grounded out. Cobb finished with one run on three hits in 5 1⁄3 innings with two walks and six strikeouts — four looking.
Bad defense, bad base running
The Rockies should be good at defense. Ryan McMahon should have won the Gold Glove in 2021 due to his phenomenal range, arm, and the fact that he only made seven errors. This year, he’s made six errors in 30 games. He dropped a routine grounder in the eighth that could have led to a double play and ended the inning, but instead, loaded the bases and gave Daniel Bard the chance to walk in a run to put the Giants up 7-1. In the fourth, a throwing error by Kuhl eventually led to the first run of the game.
The Rockies also made mistakes on the basepaths. Maybe Joe thought there were two outs when he was doubled up in the first. In the seventh, Garrett Hampson hit a two-out single, but was then thrown out trying to steal with his team down 5-1.
Joey: "bruh you seriously running rn?" pic.twitter.com/0pFsHzFsxF— SFGiants (@SFGiants) May 11, 2022
Maybe the Rockies are demoralized. Maybe they aren’t focused. Whatever the reason, the Rockies are making mistakes that winning teams don’t make.
Thankfully, the Rockies are getting a break. They can’t lose on Thursday because they don’t play. Then they return to the friendly confines of Coors Field and have a short respite from NL West foes as they will host the Kansas City Royals Friday through Sunday before hosting the Giants for a three-game series starting Monday.