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After six losing series in a row, the Rockies finally won a series with a 1-0 win on Wednesday against the Dodgers. Chris Rusin was terrific as he managed to keep the Dodgers off the board and only allowed 3 hits and a walk.
Kenta Maeda was also pitching really well, but one key run was all the Rockies needed to win the game. In the seventh inning and with one out, Gerrardo Parra doubled to left. Then the always reliable Daniel Descalso (who would ever guess that?!) singled him in for the only run of the game. Since coming off of the DL, Descalso is hitting .400 with a .988 OPS. He has been a key piece for the Rockies with his ability to relieve any of the infielders with a day off, and while he isn’t the everyday player that will come in and hit for consistent power, this year he has been reliable thus far and is a good super utility player.
This game saw only 10 hits total between each team and was a pitchers game from the get go. The Rockies struck out 9 times total against Maeda and the Dodgers only reached base eight total times throughout the game, three of those coming when they loaded the bases in the fifth.
With two men on and only one out, Maeda came up for the sac bunt. The bunt coverage got muffed by the Rockies as two men tried to cover first base and the one not on the bag (DJ LeMahieu) caught the ball allowing Maeda to be safe. A strike out and ground out kept the Dodgers off the board and showed some series pitching by Rusin as he picked up the Rockies defense and escaped the jam.
A sign to watch for the Rockies going forward are their strikeout numbers. Through the last two games, they have struck out 25 times, including a season high 15 times on Tuesday. Between Cargo and Story, they account for 12 strikeouts, and Story didn’t even play on Wednesday. Cargo has the gotten the golden sombrero (four strikeouts in a game) two times in a row. The Rockies as a team are likely fatigued form this long stretch of no off days and this is clearly degrading their approach at the plate. They are often getting behind in the count and that is making it easier for pitchers to make their pitch. The Rockies need to get to attacking pitchers early and laying off bad pitches late in the count.
A mid-afternoon game on Thursday against the Pirates will cap what was a four game home set against the Pirates earlier this year when they lost three games in a row. Chad Bettis will face Jeff Locke and the Rockies will look to build off the momentum of winning a series on the road against the Dodgers.