One night after snapping the Reds six game winning streak and handing one of the best pitchers in the game this year a loss, the Colorado Rockies were back to the basics of losing: poor pitching and foul fielding.
Friday nights win was an impressive collection of excellent pitching (Friedrich 5 ip, 7h, 3r, 1bb, 6so) , relentless hitting (six runs on 13 hits, 7-12 RISP) and perfect fielding (no errors).
Saturday night was almost the antithesis, with pitching anything but excellent as Guthrie struggled to put hitters away after getting ahead in several counts. He only gave up two earned runs, but the 10 hits against him were squared up and hit hard. Guthrie allowed two to leave the yard, a three-run shot in the first with two outs and a solo shot to Mesoraco in the fourth. Rogers and Reynolds also looked pretty bad with Esmil Rogers giving up two runs and two walks in one inning of work and Matt Reynolds giving up a three run shot in the sixth.
While the hitting wasn’t as bad as it has been this season, the team put up 10 hits, it was the key at bats that failed. The team was 3-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight stranded.
Errors once again reared their ugly head and Jordan Pacheco was again the man without the plan. Pacheco made a throw even Todd couldn’t reach in the first that made the four runs scored unearned.
Todd had his share of poor play, although not seen in the E column, his base running in the third was completely suspect, verging on the unbelievable. With two outs Helton walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Cuddyer hit a ball sharply at Cairo and, doing his best Pacheco impression, Cairo airmailed it to Votto at first. The ball didn’t travel too far, because Cuddyer didn’t turn for second, but Todd tried to score from second on the error and was gunned out at home, the throw beating Helton by a good 10 feet.
The base-running blunders by this team must be addressed if they are to have any shot at all of salvaging their season. Errors in the field allow runs, errors on the base-paths subtract runs, plain and simple. There have been many an ugly inning of running from just about every player on the team, save EYj, and he even makes some questionable moves in the paths, but he is so fast he can outrun the ensuing tragedy.
Whether it is Jim Tracy’s call, the base coaches or the players themselves, somebody must be held accountable for the terrible terrible base-running that kills momentum and, as was the case Saturday night, innings.
While the evening wasn’t all bad, Colvin went 2-4 with 2 RBI’s and Pacheco went 3-4, the feeling that the team took two steps backwards after a big step forward Friday night, wasn’t easy to shake after the game ended with the Reds celebrating their win.