Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rockies Lose To Dodgers 6-1

Sometimes you have to lose a battle to win the war.

That phrase describes the Rockies night on Wednesday. The Rockies had just completed two extremely dramatic nights at Coors Field in which the team had come back and won in extra innings. On top of that they were dealing with the fact that the bullpen had been in desperate need for relief of their own due to overuse in the last week and a half.

The Rockies were due for a hangover. While nights like Monday and Tuesday are fun, they do not come without a price. Games in late August in which a team is playing teams that are neck and neck with each other are full of emotion. Then throw in the fact that the two previous games featured amazing extra inning victories and left to be found is a team in desperate need of a break.

That break was nowhere to be found, with another tough game against the Dodgers was slated. From the get go the Rockies seemed to be in a hole. The Dodgers had Randy Wolf on the mound, a pitcher who has re-discovered his form, and despite the fact that he has a rather pedestrian 9-6 record, Wolf sports a 3.25 ERA. He showed why opposing teams are not happy to face him on Wednesday. He went 7-1/3 innings giving up just one run on five hits while striking out five and walking just two.

Wolf kept the Rockies off balance all night in a game that where the offensive performance was simply lackluster.

There may have been an offensive letdown due to the fact that Rockies starter Josh Fogg, starting a game for the Rockies for the first time since game three of the 2007 World Series, clearly did not have his best stuff early on. Fogg is not the type of pitcher who can survive without his best stuff simply because even his best stuff is barely mediocre.

In the first inning Andre Eithier launched a two run home run to right field, then in the fourth Eithier launched his second bomb of the night, this time a solo shot, to nearly the same spot. That came immediately after Ryan Spilborghs hit a home run to left field that injected some life into the Rockies.

It was not meant to be as Fogg gave up four runs in the inning without recording an out, before handing the ball to Jim Tracy in favor of the newly recalled Juan Rincon. Rincon settled the game down, giving up no runs in four innings.

Losing is never fun, but the game gave the Rockies an opportunity to rest closer Huston Street for one more night and also give a day off to Franklin Morales, Rafael Betancourt, Matt Daley and Joe Beimel. All of those relievers had been over used in the last few days, whether in the game or having to get up and get loose in the bullpen.

In order for the Rockies to make a serious run at October baseball they are going to need good starting pitching, but beyond that they are going to need a fresh bullpen. While Fogg's outing definitely raises questions as to how where the Rockies need to go to get some pitching help, it still helped this team out. Between Fogg and Rincon, they pitched enough to save those arms for a night and perhaps give Street and his bullpen buddies a chance at hitting that second wind before the real push for the playoffs start.

The Rockies go for the series victory on Thursday afternoon at Coors Field. The Dodgers will be sending their newly acquired starter, Vincente Padilla to the hill to face Jorge De La Rosa.

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