The Rockies lost 12-10 on Sunday afternoon it what was the wildest game of the season. I don’t mean wild in an exciting way either, but rather wild in a gut-wrenching, poorly played, and rather disappointing game.
After being down 7-1 in the third inning, this game looked to be over, but anyone who frequently watches games at Coors knew this game was far from that, especially based on how the runs were being scored. The Rockies fought their way back into the game through determination, timely hits, and a lot of sloppy play on the Dodgers end and luck. They came back to score 9 unanswered runs and were ahead in this game going into the ninth 10-7.
The five run eighth the Rockies put up looked like the knife in the gut they needed to put the Dodgers away, and normally surefire closer Jake McGee was certainly going to put the Dodgers away. But as the story of this game unfolded and with the wildness of the eighth that let the Rockies take the lead, the ninth inning had to follow suit.
Jake McGee, who entered the game with a .080 ERA, had his first hiccup of the year and forfeited a terrible loss for the Rockies. The inning started harmlessly enough with an Adrian Gonzalez single. That was followed by what appeared to be a spectacular catch by Cargo where he jumped into the stands for a foul ball, but after review it was apparent he actually missed the catch. It didn’t matter too much as the batter, Yasmani Grandal, ended up grounding out anyways, but Howie Kendrick followed that up with a single and Kike Hernandez walked to load the bases.
At this point, my heart was pounding and I wasn’t feeling too confident in the Rockies ability to pull out the win. With the bases loaded and one out, Trayce Thompson walked to the plate. On a 1-0 count, Thompson grounded a harmless ground ball to Trevor Story for what looked like a sure thing double play that would end the game. Story bobbled the ball and was only able to get one out on the play and a run scored. That out proved to be the difference between a win and from there the Dodgers took that gift and ran with it. They would go on to score four more runs and take a 12-10 lead before finally the inning ended.
Kenley Jansen came on in the bottom of the ninth and finished the Rockies off for the game and series win. It was a game where the Rockies trailed by six to come all the way back and take a two run lead, to fall again in the end by two runs. It was a typical Coors Field game with both teams scoring in double digits and both teams piling on 11 hits.
The Rockies had six pitchers in the game, but only two of those pitchers gave up runs. Starter Jordan Lyles had a terrible start going only 2.2 innings and giving up 7 runs (5 earned). McGee would give up the other five runs on five hits.
The game was indeed a wild one, filled with bad defense, untimely and timely pitching performances, many ups and downs, and a wild final inning and a half. It is a game that will stick with Rockies fans for much of the season and has instilled the early season pessimism that always comes as a Rockies fan.
However, I take this game as a gut check. It isn’t a game to get down about or to say “oh typical Rockies, blowing the game and blah blah blah.” This is a game to look at and see the positives. The Rockies were down by six runs, they came back to take the lead. The Rockies pitcher was gone after two and two thirds, their bullpen pitched well enough for the offense to get back in it. The closer who has been lights out so far had his first hiccup, mistakes happen and he can come back and show us that he really is a quality closer.
The Rockies start a four game series with the Pittsburg Pirates on Monday. Both teams are 9-9 and looking to see how they will play for the rest of the season. The Pirates, unlike the Rockies, had fairly high expectations entering the season so if the Rockies can come out and win at least two of the four games, they should take it as a series win and confidence booster going forward.