Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sloppy Rockies Blow Three Run Lead, Lose To Brewers

When this Colorado Rockies team was put together, it was heralded as a young club with veteran leadership. The two would combine to produce fundamentally sound defense and clutch hitting on offense.

That could not have been further from the truth on Wednesday as the Rockies dropped the rubber match of a three game series with the Brewers 5-4.

Even in the first inning, which entailed a 41 pitch effort from Brewers starter Doug Davis, the Rockies struggled to get clutch hits. After plating two runs, Ian Stewart was up to bat with the bases loaded and no one out. The slugger had gone deep in each of the first two games of the season, and had been enjoying a much tighter swing. Instead of hitting something to the outfield that would at least guarantee a sacrifice fly, the third baseman struck out, fooled by an 86 MPH fastball.

The Rockies also failed in the fifth inning. With a runner on third and no one out, the Rockies played right into the Brewers hands. Troy Tulowitzki struck out followed by an intentional walk to Jason Giambi, which put Miguel Olivo, who had homered in his last at-bat, to have a chance to drive in the run with a sacrifice fly. Instead, Olivo hit into a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play, ending the threat.

The Rockies missed on several occasions. Jason Giambi missed a routine groundball which led to the Brewers first run.

While the Rockies offense failed time and time again to get the job done, pitcher Aaron Cook could not seem to put his foot down on the Brewers. After sailing through the first three innings, with just the unearned run, Cook began to unravel in the fourth. He gave up single runs in the fourth and fifth innings before being lifted for Randy Flores who gave up a double down the line to score the final Brewers run.

This loss, even more so than Tuesday night's loss, will be sure to bring out the nay sayers. The truth is, there are Rockies fans out there who are simply waiting for the Rockies to struggle in April so that they can once again complain that this club gets out of the box slowly.

To be fair, April is an important month. Much of the Rockies problem in the playoffs in 2009 was that they had sprinted the final half of a marathon. By the time the playoffs came, there was nothing left in the tank. So getting off to a quick start is important.

However, the fact is, the Rockies and their fans do not need to panic. The Rockies are not trying to avoid having a bad April, they are trying to avoid having a disastrous April. If the Rockies finish April three games under .500 it is not panic time.

So despite an ugly game, and a disappointing series to begin the season in Milwaukee, 27 innings is hardly enough of a sample size to determine that this team is starting out slow. Especially when nine of those innings resulted in a win.

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