Sunday, April 29, 2012

Colorado Rockies fall to New York Mets despite late rally

Guillermo Moscoso gave the Rockies what they should have expected.
The Colorado Rockies learned the lesson the hard way on Saturday night that add-on runs can really add up.

Immediately following a three run 4th inning, Rockies starter Guillerrmo Moscoso gave up three runs of his own in the top of the 5th inning. The three runs came with two outs.

In the 9th inning, with two outs recorded, reliever Edgmer Escolona gave up a double to Mike Baxter. The out should have been recorded by right fielder Michael Cuddyer, but Cuddyer took three huge steps back after the ball was hit before breaking in on the sinking blooper. The ball rattled out of his glove and Baxter cruised into second base. He later scored from third on a wild pitch from Escolona, giving the Mets a three-run cushion.

The extra runs allowed the Mets breathing room, but barely enough to survive. After Dexter Fowler drilled a solo shot into the Mets bullpen with two outs in the 9th, then Tyler Colvin hit a pinch hit triple to center field, the Rockies were within two and had Jason Giambi at the plate. Giambi ripped a 1-2 pitch to center, but Denver Christian High School graduate, and Mets center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis grabbed it before it hit the ground, securing the Mets victory.

For the Rockies, it was a win that would have been nice to have. Instead of going into Sunday knowing that they will need a victory to secure a series win, they could have been looking for a sweep, helping them establish their home dominance once again.

Instead, they face one-time superstar Johan Santana in a game that won't be easy to walk away with a win.

For Moscoso, the outing was as good as could be expected. The righty was filling in for Jeremy Guthrie, who was injured riding his bike to the park on Friday. The freak accident caused the Rockies to call on Moscoso, who struggled early in Triple-A, but had been better of late.

Typical of Triple-A callups, the outing was the definition of so-so. Moscoso looked good at times, and looked completely overmatched other times. He was able to get two outs, but the Mets did most of their damage after the first two outs were recorded.

That isn't uncommon for a guy in Moscoso's shoes. The reason a guy like him doesn't make the 25-man roster out of spring training is because, while the talent is obvious, there are a few missing pieces that need to be worked on. Getting outs in the big leagues isn't easy, and getting the third out sometimes requires slightly more focus.

The weekend could still prove to be a positive one if the Rockies can win on Sunday. What that will take, however, is a lineup full of guys who have the greatest chance to hit a pitcher of Santana's ability. If Jim Tracy decides that the majority of the regulars need to sit because it is a day game after a night game, then the team won't be in a position to succeed.

However, the Rockies might have the right guy on the mound to get them the series victory. Jamie Moyer, who has frankly been the best starting pitcher in a Rockies uniform through the first month of the season, will take the mound looking to increase his win total.

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