Jason Hammel probably remembers it well. That is when the Padres scored four runs off of the right hander. The only four runs the Padres scored in the first nine frames, the only blip on the radar for an otherwise outstanding Hammel.
The whole inning could have been avoided.
With two outs and two men on base, Hammel had former Rockies farmhand Everth Cabrera at the plate. Cabrera is a slick-fielding, light-hitting shortstop who made the jump from A-ball to the big leagues when the Padres picked him in the Rule 5 draft.
Cabrera hits 8th in the Padres lineup, so with two outs and an open base, Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta headed to the mound to make what seemed to be a simple decision. Walk Cabrera to load the bases and face the pitcher. Easy call, right?
Cabrera headed to the plate and instead of getting four wide ones, or even four pitches that he might chase, Hammel grooved a fastball on the inside half of the plate that Cabrera launched into the right-center gap, scoring two runs and giving the Padres a 4-2 advantage.
Mat Latos, the Padres pitcher, then took his turn at bat and weakly grounded out for the third out.
It was a decision that should not have impacted the game, but due to a lack of execution by the Rockies, something that still haunts them, ended up costing them the game.
Brad Hawpe homered twice, both times to left field, something Hawpe rarely does, to keep the Rockies in it. Chris Iannetta started the scoring for the Rockies with a solo home run into the bullpen in right field. Ian Stewart continued swinging a hot bat for the Rockies, picking up three hits. However, that was essentially it for the Rockies, the rest of the lineup struggled all night.
The first four spots in the lineup combined to go 1-for-24, including three strikeouts by Dexter Fowler, all from his non-natural left side. Troy Tulowitzki struggled at the plate, swinging at the first pitch three out of his six chances. Tulowitzki's April struggles are a secret to no one and have been well documented. It seems that he would be fine if he could simply calm his anxiousness at the plate he would be fine.
Despite his solo home run early, Iannetta struggled at the plate. He struck out twice in big situations, leaving five men on base.
The Rockies look to rebound on Sunday at Coors Field with their ace, Ubaldo Jimenez taking the mound against the Padres. Game time is 1:10 in the afternoon.
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