Thursday, May 5, 2011

Colorado Rockies blow lead, game

Huston Street blew his first save of the season on Thursday night. With a 2-0 lead, Street gave up two solo home runs, allowing the Diamondbacks back into the game.

In the 11th inning, Justin Upton hit a high bloop single just inside the right field line, scoring Chris Young from second base, ending the game.

Blame will fall on the shoulders of Street, who has been perfect in converting saves, but not perfect in keeping runners off of the bases. Playing with fire usually ends in one result, eventually he was going to be burned.

Make no mistake, Street has been phenomenal on the season. He has dealt with runners, but he has attacked the strike zone. He has pitched with confidence, and he has been the same Huston Street who led the Rockies to the postseason in 2009. However, he was due for a blown save.

The focus will be on Street, but the lackluster offense is the real reason for the loss.

The Rockies had one hit after the fourth inning. They stranded runners all over the bases, including failing to score a runner at third base with no outs, a cardinal sin in baseball. In the top of the 11th inning, with a chance to win, the Rockies had Carlos Gonzalez at second base and Troy Tulowitzki at first base with no one out. Both of those runners stayed at their respective base as the Rockies fouled out, struck out, and struck out in order to end the threat.

Is losing a series in Arizona the end of the world? No. The Rockies still have a long season ahead of them. However, the last two series' have exposed a problem that was masked by winning in the early going. The problem is that the offense can't get going. In the season's first month, the Rockies were getting good situational hitting, but they weren't hitting well overall. They are letting pitchers off the hook when they get themselves into trouble, and they are relying too heavily on their bullpen to hold small leads.

Eventually, that house of cards had to come down. The Rockies had to pay the price for their lack of production at some point, and the last six days.

The next problem for the Rockies is that the schedule doesn't get any easier for them. They struggled to get hits and score runs off of Joe Saunders and Ian Kennedy, and now they have the pleasure of facing Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner, the latter of which is struggling in a big way, but has the talent to suggest that he could get back on track at any point.

Lost in the anger of a blown save is the performance from Jason Hammel. After working through traffic in the first two innings, Hammel settled in and showed how much depth the Rockies have in their rotation. In seven innings, he gave up just four hits, no runs and struck out four Diamondbacks, while walking three. He has given up only two runs in his last 19-2/3 innings. His performance deserved a win, but the offense's inability to score runs, and the bullpen's inability to bring the game home.

The Rockies will need to find a way to win two of the three games in San Francisco, a place where they historically struggle, in order to salvage the road trip.

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  1. deep thoughts, by Jack Handy...

    It's a shame to see Hammel's best start of the year blown by Street, what a stinker. As well as another great outing by Dex. Bench Tulo for a couple of games, please. Why did beer prices go up at Coors Field? Carney Lansford doesn't seem to be the answer, so far. When does the Stewart death watch begin? D-Bax got some timely hitting, eh? Let's hire thier hitting coach!!! I don't recall his name right now...

  2. blame the loss on Street...NONSENSE.

  3. Rocky-
    Thanks for the comment. Im not worried about Carney Lansford not being the answer yet...these issues that the Rockies have are deep rooted. It is going to take more than spring training, plus one month of the season to get them over their habits.

    Clearly, you didn't read the article. Try again.

  4. love the rox. Ian Stewart needs to go back to the springs thogh. His strikeouts are insulting. even the peanut vendor knows to pitch him inside. crowd the plate dummy its really working for ya. Ian knows best. who is in charge? He is killing us. tell me again why he is an upgrade over Atkins. The rest of the offense just slumping.