Rockies lose third straight in ninth

542901130.jpgSeth McConnell, The Denver Post

In what was the longest nine inning NL game in history at four hours and thirty minutes, the Rockies and Dbacks rode a rollercoaster going back in forth in which either team probably didn’t deserve the win. The final score was 10-9 for Arizona in a game that saw 16 runs scored in the final four innings.

There’s no way around this one, the Rockies had plenty of chances to win this one, but their pitching let them down big time. After Tyler Anderson left the game, who was terrific by the way allowing two runs over 5.2 innings while striking out 8, the Rockies bullpen allowed 8 runs. Near every bullpen pitcher struggled in this one, for both teams, but ultimately it was the closers that had the final say in who won this game.

The story of this game really starts in the seventh inning. With the Rockies ahead 3-2, Miguel Castro came on to pitch. Castro has been struggling a lot this year after his injury and needs to right the ship and quickly for both the Rockies sake and his own. Two men reached and Castro recorded an out before being replaced by Boone Logan. Logan has been effective this year for the most part, but Friday night saw the Diamondbacks getting to him and quickly. A triple, an intentional walk, and a single allowed three runs to score and the Rockies lead was gone just like that. But the Dbacks weren’t done in the inning. Logan was removed and Jason Motte came on to try and salvage the inning. He did anything but that as the first batter, Yosmany Tomas, crushed a three-run home run.

The Rockies appeared to be too far out of this game and too late into it to make a comeback, but as the Goonies saying goes “Never say die!”The Rockies would score two runs in the bottom of the inning to put the game at 8-5, one coming off the bat of pinch hitter Trevor Story, who was sitting with a scheduled night off. The Rockies got through the eighth inning unscathed and it was their turn to tear into the Dbacks bullpen.

Daniel Hudson came on in the eight to face the heart of the Rockies order and they made him pay. DJ LeMahieu led off the inning with a ground rule double and Arenado followed that with a double of his own to score DJ. Three batters later, Cristhian Adames came to the plate with two outs and runners on first and third. Adames singled in a run to keep the inning going and put the score at 8-7. Wild pitch by Randal Delgado gifted the Rockies a run and then an error by Jake Lamb allowed Brandon Barnes to reach to keep the inning going. Cargo then came to the plate in a pivotal moment for the Rockies. Gonzalez was sitting with an injured wrist and he was marked as day-to-day, but they needed him in this game and Cargo came through big. With two out and two on, Cargo laced a double to center and Adames scored the leading run at the time. The Rockies went to the ninth with a 9-8 lead and they were primed and ready to win this game, or give up another ninth inning lead and take a crushing loss.

Carlos Estevez came on in a game that probably should’ve been a rest day, but the Rockies really didn’t have any other option. Estevez earned an out before allowing a game tying home run to Tomas, his second of the game. He then got a strikeout before allowing a double and single that gave the Diamondbacks the lead at 10-9. The Rockies had the chance to win this game, multiple times they did, but each time the bullpen erased those chances.

The ninth inning didn’t end without some more drama, as it was just one of those games. Arenado led the inning off with a double and was bunted over by Wolters, who was able to also reach on an error by the catcher. With nobody out and runners on the corners, the Rockies had all the chances they need to tie this game up by some mistakes by the Rockies and great defense ended this game. Reynolds grounded to short and Nolan, moving on contact, was thrown out at home. Wolters should’ve moved to third while Nolan was in the rundown but he made the mistake of not advancing. The next batter could’ve tied the game had he advanced, but instead it meant the Rockies wouldn’t keep it going. Hundley came to the plate with an out and runners on second and first and lifted a ball to left field. Rickie Weeks Jr. made a spectacular play at the wall to rob Hundley of a possible home run, but a for sure game tying hit. Adames then grounded out and the game ended without any further threats.

For the third game in a row, the Rockies took a gut check loss. These last three games are season defining losses and without some major shift in the way the bullpen is pitching, the Rockies will quickly fade into obscurity like they do most years. Jake McGee is close to a rehab assignment and Adam Ottavino is nearing a return, so there is a chance for salvation, but that also means the team needs to start clicking on all cylinders and players need to perform.

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