Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG
Neither team played this one well, with the Dodgers playing ugly baseball early and then trading it off to the Rockies late. And as the old saying goes, it isn’t how you start, it’s how you finish. With a collective eight wild pitches, thirteen walks, and two errors between the teams, this was an ugly and strange game from the very beginning. Unfortunately for the Rockies, they choked away a lead in what was probably Adam Ottavino’s worst performance of his career, and one of the worst relief performances in the majors thus far.
It’s hard to put so much blame on Ottavino, but this loss is on him. With the Rockies ahead by a score of 6-4 in the seventh, Ottavino forget how to pitch and choked away a lead to a team that has the best closer in baseball.
With two men on, Jake McGee was removed for Ottavino, who is normally pretty good in high stress appearances. Today was just not his day and the two run lead was gone in a flash. With two outs in the inning, Yasmani Grandal came to the plate with the bases loaded. Ottavino then through a wild pitch, which advanced all the runners and scored a run. If that was not bad enough, Ottavino then threw a pitch so bad that it scored both Dodgers’ runners to make a one run lead turn into a one run deficit. The pitch did take a bad ricochet off of Wolters glove, but with runners already advancing on a wild pitch and a batter walking in the inning, Ottavino was clearly all over the place.
The train wreck of an inning was bad enough, but it was only the start of the disaster as Ottavino collapsed even more in the eighth. Ottavino would allow a double and walk a batter to put two on, but he would then throw another wild pitch to score a run. He would then compound all of the terribleness into a final culmination of awful pitching by allowing Cody Bellinger to hit his second two-run home run of the game. This came after walking another batter and was also followed by a single to end Ottavino’s day.
Now really, this was a game that was poorly played and saw struggles from everyone, but the Rockies, in their recent struggles, found a way to throw this game away, and Ottavino is really the person to blame. Tyler Anderson did exit with an injury, which almost guarantees his return to the DL as he only threw 55 pitches and made only two appearances since his last stint.
The Rockies play the Giants in a week they hope to do a 180 in as any amount of continued struggles will continue to reduce confidence and may send the team into a downward spiral. For many fans, this is the late June swoon that is a recurrent thing for the Colorado Rockies, but you have to believe with a young staff, experienced manager, and team leaders like Greg Holland, Nolan Arenado, and veterans like Desmond and Reynolds that this team will be able to turn things around.