Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Colorado Rockies can't build on walk-off momentum in quiet loss to Giants

Wednesday wasn't a great night for the Rockies.
If this series is supposed to be statement, the Colorado Rockies might want to take a mulligan for Wednesday night.

The Rockies slept their way through the first seven innings before finally loading the bases with no outs. However, a very nice play by Brandon Crawford on Michael Cuddyer's ground ball up the middle turned what would have been a two-run single into a run-scoring double play. When Troy Tulowitzki missed a belt high fastball, getting under it and popping out to left field to end the threat.

The Rockies won in impressive fashion on Tuesday night. It was their second straight walk-off win. Then, on Wednesday, it looked like they forgot that they had a game to play.

Jhoulys Chacin looked good, but the occasional rust shined through. He gave up a solo home run to Hunter Pence to lead off the 3rd inning, then left the game with two outs in the 5th inning after giving up back-to-back doubles that ended up giving the Giants a lead they wouldn't give back.

Chacin was good overall, but he seems to have moments where his judgement lapses and he spirals. The next step for Chacin to be a very good pitcher is for him to be able to focus for his entire outing.

The game was weird. Matt Cain started for the Giants and was flawless through three innings. He was hitting his spots and painting the corners of the plate. Suddenly, he left the game with a hamstring injury. The Rockies had a chance as Yusmeiro Petit came into the game. Instead, Petit picked up right where Cain left off.

Wednesday night highlights why it is so important for the Rockies to take every game against the Giants that they possibly can. This is a team that pitches extremely well. Even when Cain went down with injury, the Giants can go to guys like Petit, who can remain dominant.

Every season, every expert wants to write off the Giants. At some point, the lesson needs to be learned that this team will always be fighters. Every year they find a way to play team baseball and combine it with really good pitching. That generally equals a tough team to beat.

The letdown the Rockies experienced on Wednesday night shouldn't be too much of a concern. They lost to a very good team. However, this series is a very big one, as the club heads out on a nine-game road trip through three cities. Those types of road trips have traditionally been a disaster for the Rockies. A win in Thursday's rubber match could be huge for the Rockies. It could be the chance for them to hit the road on a high note.

The major concern that did arise from Wednesday night's game was when Carlos Gonzalez left due to injury in the 7th inning. The Rockies superstar had a swollen pinky flare up. He is almost certainly going to miss Thursday afternoon's game and any extended injury to CarGo will certainly present a problem for the Rockies as they hit the road.

The Rockies have shown that they are a much better team than they were last year. Now is the time to prove it. They need to continue to win baseball games that they would have lost in the past three seasons. They need to scratch out wins in close games, they need to pitch well and they need to take good at-bats. If they don't, the solid play that they established in April and May will be for naught.

The good news for the Rockies is that they have Jorge De La Rosa on the mound for Thursday's series finale. The lefty has been very good in the last five weeks and took a no-hitter into the 7th inning on Friday night. It won't be an easy task for the Rockies ace, as the Giants have Tim Hudson on the mound.

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  1. Coupled with the way the team played at Cincinnati, then KC, barely winning 2 against San Diego at home, then the absolutely disgusting and lackadaisical showing last night, I'd say we are about to witness the usual slide into oblivion! I did not keep actual statistics but I'll bet half the Rockies' at-bats consisted of whaling away at the first pitch, the best and most disappointing example being Cuddyer's double play grounder late in the game when they had a chance to make their move. I'd say today's game and the coming road trip will tell us for sure.

  2. I agree that missing CarGo for an extended period would be problematic, but in the short term, we ARE carrying 6 outfielders and Barnes, Stubbs and Dickerson have proved that they are more than just capable. I will continue to let things play out before I rush to any judgements.