A day after Troy Tulowitzki and Jorge De La Rosa inspired Colorado Rockies fans everywhere to want to jump back on the bandwagon, the team failed to show up to the ball park to play the lowly Pirates.
After an impressive weekend series against the Cubs in which the Rockies took 3-out of-4, the second worst team in the league, the Pirates came to town, and made the Rockies look like a junior varsity team, awkward and wondering whose mom was in charge of bringing the juice and snacks for after the game.
The loss looked like the Cubs, who played incredibly sloppy defense all weekend long, had decided to stay an extra day and suit up for the Rockies.
Colorado committed three errors on Tuesday night.
The poor defense did not help Jhoulys Chacin, making his first start in a big league uniform. It was clear very early that the nerves were there for the youngster. Chacin did not make it out of the third inning, giving up just one hit, but walking six batters. His pitches were consistently up and out of the strike zone. When he made pitches he was able to get outs, but the free passes killed him on Tuesday.
The defense was poor, the pitching was suspect, and to top it off, the offense was lackluster all night long. Besides home runs off the bat of white-hot shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and center fielder Carlos Gonzalez, plus two hits off the bat of Todd Helton to extend his hitting streak to 16 games, the Rockies struggled to produce anything at the plate.
It was a night that needs to be taken at face value. Although the middle of August is quickly approaching and the Dodgers and Giants are duking it out this week in San Francisco, the Rockies need to shower this loss off and move forward.
Fans should quickly forget an ugly game and wait for the real Rockies to show up, the team that man-handled the Cubs and produced runs like the humidor at Coors Field never existed.
Tuesday night simply gets chalked up to "one of those games." The Rockies had a very young starter on the mound who had only thrown in relief since his call to the big leagues. He has never thrown a pitch at the Major League level and he is thrown right into a late season playoff race.
The nerves that Chacin was feeling had to far out weigh the nervousness of either Ubaldo Jimenez and Franklin Morales, who came up and were a part of a playoff race in 2007, but not to the magnitude that the Rockies are in the midst of right now. When Jimenez was called up in 07 the Rockies were long shots to make the playoffs, giving him time to settle into the role.
On top of the fact that the Rockies had a rookie making his first Major League start, they are also coming off a very tough series against the Cubs in which the crowds were fired up each and every game. Those types of games are exciting and fun to be a part of for a baseball team, but when the atmosphere goes back to normal, it is easy for a team to have a hangover of sorts.
The Rockies will bounce back from a difficult game on Tuesday night. They will find their winning ways again. While they had an opportunity to take their lead over the Giants to two games after San Francisco lost to the Dodgers, the Rockies can take comfort in the fact that even after a poor performance they are still in the driver's seat in the Wild Card race.