Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rockies Burned By Tejada and Astros; Execution Still Non-Existent


The Colorado Rockies won their first two games after manager Clint Hurdle was replaced by Jim Tracy. Since then, they have dropped three in a row, including Tuesday nights game which the Rockies lost in heartbreaking fashion, 3-2 on a walk off home run by Miguel Tejada in the 12th inning.

The loss underscored the Rockies season in many ways.

While Ubaldo Jimenez pitched well and was able to battle out of several jams. In the third inning he battled out of a jam in which he had runners on first and third with no one out. Jimenez made quick work of Hunter Pence, getting him to strike out before inducing Carlos Lee into a 5-4-3 double play.

In all, Jimenez went six innings, scattering seven hits and four walks, while striking out four and giving up only one run.

A turning point in the game was in the seventh when Clint Barmes came up with two outs and runners on second and third base. Instead of looking for a pitch to drive, Barmes swung at two pitches outside of the strike zone, popping the second one up in foul territory, allowing the Astros to get out of the jam.

Later, Manny Corpas, who had his good slider working, was able to get two quick outs before giving up two base hits to the Geoff Blum and Edwin Maysonet. Corpas was able to get out of the inning unscathed, but the damage had been done.

While Corpas pitched a perfect inning, he also get the lineup turned over so that Huston Street had to face the top of the order. Instead of facing the bottom three for the Astros, Street had to face Ivan Rodriguez and then Michael Bourn and Miguel Tejada. Street gave up a quick hit and then an error, which lead to runners on first and third with no outs. Street minimized the damage, but it extended the game long enough for the Astros to win it. All in all, Tejada went 4-for-6 with the walk off home run.

The loss symbolized the season for the Rockies in many ways. The offense has failed to show up when the game is on the line. While Barmes has been the hottest Rockies hitter over the last week, his chance to shine came with a one run lead and two runners in scoring position. He failed to even work a good at bat.

Corpas had a good inning in the box score, but turning over the lineup was exactly what it took for the Astros to get the run that they needed in the ninth inning.

Good teams find ways to win games like this. In 2007, the Colorado Rockies found themselves on the winning side of games like these. For the last two seasons, this Rockies club has struggled remarkably in clutch situations.

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