The “feel-good” first game of Josh Rutledge overshadowed a masterful start by Christian Friedrich on Friday night. Friedrich went six while only giving up one earned run and striking out seven. Sure, Rutledge did come through with two RBI’s, but the fact that Friedrich held the Phil’s to only one run through six, and the ‘pen held them to just one more earned, was the true reason the Rockies won on Friday.
But rookie makes good on first day sells papers, pitching doesn’t.
Unless it is bad pitching that is.
While Drew Pomeranz didn’t pitch poorly during his whole 80 pitch count, five innings, he did melt down when it counted the most. In the top of the fifth, with two outs and nobody on, it seemed like he was in control and ready to turn the ball over to the ‘pen with only two earned. Not bad, considering the first run came in the top of the first before Pomeranz even had a chance to settle in.
But crazy swingin’ Hunter Pence would have none of it.
Perhaps Pomeranz was upset at himself for allowing Rollins a free ticket to second on a wild pick-off attempt, error earned. Or maybe it was the walk of Victorino. Whatever it was, he couldn’t get that third strike on Hunter Pence and instead, served him up a perfect wall-clearing three-run home run hanging curve.
If I could go back again, I probably would have thrown something different…My pitch location wasn’t as good as it was the last two [starts]. I wasn’t as sharp today.
All of the blame shouldn’t be hung on Drew’s locker door. Call it a “Sunday Curse”. Call it “Bad Hitting”. Or, call it “Hamels Owning”. But the Phil’s walked away with the win on six hits producing five runs. While the Rockies, who also had six hits, only left with one run. An RBI triple from Carlos Gonzalez in the bottom of the sixth.
And it wasn’t like the opportunity to score wasn’t there.
The Rockies started five of the first eight innings with a lead-off single. In fact, five of their six hits were lead-off singles. But another boneheaded base-running move killed the momentum in the third as Dexter Fowler got caught stealing second. Not quite as bad as the Colvin brain-cramp the night before, but still inexcusable.
Another missed opportunity was found in the sixth with CarGo standing on third with one out. Ramon Hernandez struck out and Cuddyer grounded out and CarGo never crossed home plate.
So Pomeranz can’t take all of the credit for the loss, but that doesn’t help the fans feel better. If anything it is worse, knowing that five runs in Coors is like one run in PetCo, not impossible to overcome with good hitting and better baserunning.