Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rockies squander chances, lose series to Marlins

The Rockies were in a good spot. They had chased Josh Johnson from the game and had runners on first and third with only one out in the 7th inning.

As has been the case far too often in 2010, the Rockies failed to tie the game, despite a Seth Smith bullet up the middle with the bases loaded that was snagged by Marlins reliever Jose Veras.

The Rockies did get the tying run home in the 8th inning when Jason Giambi plated Jonathan Herrera on a single to center field. The Rockies then got the next two batters on base. With no one out, Ian Stewart, who had homered earlier in the game, hit into a rally-killing double play.

The situation screamed bunt. But with Stewart swinging a hot bat, bunting seemed like telling John Elway to hand the ball off in the fourth quarter.

It could have been a good end to an otherwise disappointing four-game set in Florida, but Jhoulys Chacin, flailing in his bullpen role, gave up a quick triple to Emilio Bonifacio. After walking the next two hitters to load the bases, Chacin gave up a quick base hit to Ronnie Paulino to give the Marlins their second walk-off victory of the series.

The Rockies road does not get any easier. They head to Philadelphia to play the two-time defending NL Champions, who will begin the series with Roy Halladay on the mound. The Rockies fared as well as could be expected against Josh Johnson, but that does not mean they will light up the scoreboard against the Colorado native.

The Rockies are in desperate need of at least a series split in Philadelphia. Losing three of four, or worse, getting swept could be devastating to a team that has just started to show its true potential.

On the flip side, if the Rockies can find a way to squeak out a win on Friday night, it would put them in a good position to try and win the series. After all the struggles, if the Rockies take three-of-four in Philadelphia, they will come home from the longest road trip of the season with a 5-6 record, something that cannot be complained about considering the pitching that the club faced.

For more on the Rockies visit RockiesReview.com

This article is also featured on INDenverTimes.com

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