Saturday, August 18, 2012

Colorado Rockies winning streak ends against Marlins

Josh Roenicke has shouldered a huge load for the Rockies.
As Giancarlo Stanton's home run rocketed into the center field bleachers, the Colorado Rockies lead was gone. Three batter's later the Marlins took the lead for good on John Buck's RBI double.

The Rockies still had a chance to take the lead back in the 8th inning, but ultimately the rally fell short and the  Rockies lost 6-5, ending their five game winning streak.

The Rockies lost. They didn't complete the comeback. However, they continue to look like a different team than they were in May, June and July. Suddenly, even in a loss, the Rockies are fun to watch.

For three months the team looked lost. As soon as the starting pitcher gave up the early lead, the game was as good as over. There was no heart in this team. Suddenly, with the emergence of Eric Young, Jr. and Josh Rutledge, Colorado has turned into a team with passion and heart.

Young continues to hit at a torrid pace. His 2-for-5 performance at the plate makes him the easy choice for National League player of the week honors. Whether it is the Rockies finally figuring out that he can play at the big league level, or Young reaching a level of play that has allowed him to force his way into the lineup, he has arrived. He has shown that he deserves to be in the lineup on a daily basis.

Rutledge, despite playing with a slight quad strain, has shown no signs of slowing down since his call-up in July. He went 2-for-5 on the night, creating several scoring chances for the Rockies.

The downside of the Rockies loss came from the bullpen. Throughout the Rockies 4-man rotation, 75-pitch limit experience, the team has been carried by the relief pitchers who have magically held together despite their incredible work load.

With six weeks to go in the season, it seems as if reality is setting in. Josh Roenicke made it through just 1/3 of an inning on Friday night, giving up two runs on three hits, including the mammoth home run to Stanton in the 6th inning.

Roenicke has now given up runs in five of his past eight appearances. He had given up just one run over his prior eight appearances before that. The reality is, Roenicke, Matt Belisle, Matt Reynolds and Adam Ottavino have been bearing the majority of the load for this team. They haven't received the credit that they deserve. They are the main reason that the 4-man rotation has any argument for sticking around.

The Rockies are back at it on Saturday night against the Marlins at Coors Field. They look to start another streak and continue their inspired play.

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