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Rockies woes vs. Giants tell a bigger story

Colorado Rockies news and links for Friday, June 9, 2023

Another blown lead. Another sweep. Another losing streak at the hands of the Giants.

For the Rockies, it’s déjà vu all over again.

In 30-plus years of matchups, the Rockies are 282-221 against San Francisco, which translates to a .439 winning percentage. San Francisco has won the season series against Colorado 21 times in 30 seasons.

It’s been worse in the last few seasons. Since 2019, the Rockies are 22-48 (.314) against the Giants. The Rockies are 9-22 against the Giants since 2021. The Giants have swept the Rockies seven times since 2021 and hold an 11-game winning streak against Colorado dating back to 2022. Last season, the Rockies beat the Giants on May 18 to snap San Francisco’s 12-game winning streak against them. The current streak then started Aug. 21.

The Giants just have the Rockies number.

In a lot of ways, it makes sense. The Giants are a storied franchise with 21 NL Pennants and eight World Series championships. In the 30 years the Rockies have existed, they have earned five playoff berths and one NL Pennant with zero NL West or World Series wins; meanwhile, the Giants have won three World Series, four NL Pennants, six division titles, and earned nine playoff berths. There are many reasons the Rockies have never won the NL West. Many are Dodger-related, but the Giants are often a larger barrier.

The Giants usually have better pitching and a stronger roster. But the gut punch comes in how they play better small ball and make better pinch-hitting and lineup adjustments to edge the Rockies. Sometimes the Rockies just beat themselves, like they did when they walked 11 Giants in Monday’s 10-4 loss.

Or it’s a combination of both like when the Giants successfully execute a squeeze bunt or pinch hit Brandon Crawford at just the right moment. On the other side, the Rockies gave up five runs from the sixth inning on in two games in a row to blow leads. At the plate, the Rockies failed to increase early leads by going 6-for-22 with runners in scoring position and left 17 men on base.

In the midst of their fifth straight losing season, the Rockies are just being dominated by the Giants. It’s not always like this though.

In the five years the Rockies earned playoff berths, they have a 50-37 record against the Giants. It makes sense that when the Rockies have a winning record, they can do the same against San Francisco. In other words, the Rockies success can often be measured in how they play against the Giants.

The Rockies are so far from contention right now. How far might best be judged by how long their losing streaks are against the Giants or the distance between wins and losses in the season series. San Francisco last made it to the postseason in 2021 and, thanks to the latest sweep of the Rockies, was boosted over the .500 mark to 32-30 this season.

The Giants may or may not be able to stay in the Wild Card hunt, but the Rockies — with a piecemeal rotation, an overworked bullpen, and a lackluster offense — aren’t even on the fringe. As long as the Rockies are putting up double-digit losing streaks to the Giants, they need to focus on letting young players get experience and work on trading their overcrowded infield and outfield to build pitching depth because they aren’t contenders.

At least the Rockies don’t have to play the Giants 19 times anymore, thanks to the balanced-schedule world. But they still have 10 more games against them — six in San Francisco and four more at Coors Field. Up first, a three-game series starting July 7.

Will the Rockies be able to break the skid or will they add on and challenge the franchise record of 16 straight losses against one team (the Braves in 1993-94)? Judging by the fact that the Rockies are 88-163 in San Francisco, including 2-7 last year, it could be more likely that the streak will go on and the playoffs will remain out of the picture.

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5 Quick Questions: C.J. Cron and Daniel Bard | Mile High Sports

This is an interesting one where C.J. Cron and Daniel Bard answer questions ranging from their favorite players as kids, the job they would have if they weren’t baseball players, favorite games of their careers, and more. Fun read.

Rockies’ bullpen shows strain of heavy workload |

The Rockies are struggling in many parts of the game, but with the injuries and struggles of the starting rotation, the bullpen is taking on a lot and it’s starting to show. The Rockies have blown two straight games late. The Colorado bullpen has pitched the third most innings in the MLB this season. While many pitchers have not helped the Rockies hold leads, Pierce Johnson blew the save on Thursday. After stepping up to be the closer when Daniel Bard started the season on the IL, Johnson has earned 11 saves. His splits show his decline as In he had a 4.82 ERA in April, then posted a 7.94 in May, and in three appearances in June, he has a 19.29 ERA (four walks really hurt). His ERA on the season is now at 7.50. After the game, manager Bud Black said the Rockies have some decisions to make. “We’re going to have to get together here as a staff and readdress what we’re going to do later in the game,” as’s Manny Randhawa reports.

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On the Farm

Triple-A: Sugar Land Space Cowboys 6, Albuquerque Isotopes 3

Yonathan Daza singled and Jimmy Herron hit a two-run homer in the first inning to put Albuquerque up early, but the Isotopes only managed two more hits in the rest of the game on Thursday. Herron hit an RBI double in the eighth for Albuquerque’s third run and Daniel Cope added a single in the fifth to round out the offense. Jeff Criswell took the loss after giving up five runs on five hits, notably a three-run homer in the third, in four innings.

Double-A: Somerset Patriots 7, Hartford Yard Goats 5

With help from Hunter Goodman’s 17th home run, the Yard Goats battled back from a 5-0 deficit to tie the game, but couldn’t rally again in Thursday’s loss. Goodman’s three-run blast was part of a four-run third inning, along with a Grant Lavigne RBI single. Eddy Diaz hit an RBI double in the fourth to tie the game at five. Hartford then loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth with two outs when Bladimir Restituyo singled, Diaz walked, and Goodman was hit by a pitch. Zac Veen then came to the plate, but grounded out to end the game. Lavigne, Restituyo, Diaz, and Drew Romo all had two hits in the game.

High-A: Spokane Indians 10, Hillsboro Hops 4

Yanquiel Fernandez hit a three-run homer and added a single and scored another run to lead the Indians offense — one that was out-hit 9-8 by the Hops, but drew seven walks to help them win on Thursday. Spokane jumped out to a 7-0 lead after four innings. Sterling Thompson hit an RBI single in the first and the Indians got help from a wild pitch to go up 2-0 in the first inning. Nic Kent hit a two-run single and Braiden Ward hit a two-run double and a throwing error allowed Ward to come around and score to cap off a five-run fourth inning. Hillsboro cut Spokane’s lead to 7-4 after six innings before Fernandez’s homer sealed the victory. Jarrod Cande improved to 4-1 on the season after giving up four runs on four hits with one walk and five strikeouts in six innings.

Low-A: Fresno Grizzlies 1, Lake Elsinore Storm 0

Michael Prosecky threw six scoreless innings, only giving up two hits and two walks, while striking out nine, and Felix Ramires and Zach Agnos combined for three more scoreless innings with five more strikeouts to help the Grizzlies win the pitching duel on Thursday. Fresno scored the game’s lone run in the third inning when Parker Kelly led off with a triple and came around to score on a Ryan Ritter single. Each team only managed four hits and there were only three walks in the game, which only took two hours and two minutes. Jamari Baylor went 2-for-2 and drew a walk for Fresno.

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