Rockies Blow Lead of 7, Salvage Split in 11

Bryce Harper drove Rafael Betancourt’s third pitch on a line off the back wall of the Colorado Rockies’ bullpen, pulling the Washington Nationals into a 10-10 tie with Colorado and cuing Rockies bullpen coach Jim Wright to get Adam Ottavino up and ready to face the Nats in the 10th inning.  After Betancourt retired Washington without further incident and Colorado failed to win the game in regulation, Ottavino came on and surrendered a lead-off double to Ian Desmond to open the 10th, then proceeded to retire the next six hitters he faced.  Rockies second baseman Marco Scutaro delivered a two-out walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th, scoring shortstop Jonathan Herrera, who had doubled with one out and moved to third on a Dexter Fowler fly ball, and giving Colorado an 11-10 victory and a split of the four game series with the National League East leading Nationals.

The Rockies teed-off against Washington starter Edwin Jackson, who did his best imitation of a Rockies starter, allowing 8 runs in three innings and raising his ERA at Coors Field to 17.40.  Fowler singled leading off the game, moved to third on Scutaro’s single and scored on a third consecutive hit by Carlos Gonzalez.  After Todd Helton walked, Chris Nelson, hitting fifth for the first time in 2012, singled off the glove of Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, driving in Scutaro.  Zimmerman knocked Nelson’s ground-ball down, recovered, then hesitated over whether to race Gonzalez to third for the force-out. He instead faked a throw to first allowing Gonzalez to arrive safely.  But Cargo, in homage to the just-plated Scutaro, rounded the bag by several feet with his back to Zimmerman, who dashed to the bag and tagged-out the Colorado left-fielder for the inning’s first out.  Three pitches later Tyler Colvin, 4 for 6 with 5 RBI, blasted a rocket over the center-field wall, missing a Grand Slam because of the miscue.  An observer behind the third-base camera-well remarked to his neighbor, “Watch us lose by one.”

Such considerations seemed a bit rash as the Rockies added 2 runs in the second to move ahead 7-0. Colorado starter Josh Outman had retired the first six Nationals batters in order, and things were looking exceptionally positive for the hapless Rockies, but Outman proceeded to walk Tyler Moore leading-off the third, then after one-out singles by Jackson and second-baseman Danny Espinoza, Zimmerman drove-in Moore and Jackson with a ground single to center-field, then scored along with Espinosa on a Michael Morse home run as Washington moved to within 7-5.

Outman was relieved by Josh Roenicke in the fourth, and the Rockies got two back in the bottom of the inning, then Roenicke responded to the news he is a starter in BIB Dan O’Dowd’s recently clarified seven-man rotation by giving-up 4 (1 earned) in the fifth as the Nationals tied the score.  Colorado moved ahead in the bottom of the inning as Roenicke, hit by a pitch leading-off, scored on a double-play grounder by Gonzalez, and Roenicke, Rex Brothers, and Matt Belisle held Washington in-check until Harper took Betancourt deep in the ninth.

It was an entertaining afternoon at the old ballpark, with plenty of humidor-defying offense to keep the paid crowd of 33,957 alternatively horrified and amused.  In addition to Colvin’s performance Gonzalez was 3 for 5, Fowler, Scutaro and Nelson were 3 for 6, and Herrera went 2 for 5.  Espinoza, Harper, Morse and Desmond each had two hits for the Nationals.  Cloud-cover moved into the stadium an hour or so prior to the first pitch, knocking-down the 90 degree heat, and cooling sprinkles of rain refreshed the spectators throughout the afternoon.

Washington heads back east to Atlanta to face the Braves, who trail the Nationals by 3 games in the standings.  The Rockies welcome their West Division rival San Diego Padres, who by some cruel fate continue to trail 4th place Colorado by 2 1/2 games.  Jeff Francis (0-1, 7.23) will face former teammate Jason Marquis (3-7, 5.67) in a lefty-righty match-up.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 MDT.

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Wyorox
Wyorox
8 years ago

Nice write-up. Much clearer than the article on mlb.com.

Cisco Kid
Cisco Kid
8 years ago

For those on this site that couldn’t wait for Franklin Morales to be shown the door, here is his stat line last night: 7 IP, 3H, 7Ks, 0 ER That’s his second consecutive quality start for the Bosox. I realize the guy drove you nuts when he was with the team, but for an organization constantly looking for quality arms, I just don’t understand why there isn’t some creativity in finding a way to keep guys like Morales and Rogers… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago
Reply to  Cisco Kid

I’m on the record for saying they should never have made him a reliever to begin with. My point was that he was all the way on or all the way off. When he’s off, he will fuck up so bad that it will be impossible to repair the damage that game. Especially when you plug him in late in the game and you have at most 2 innings to repair his mess. And you stick him into 4 games… Read more »

Alex Colfax
Alex Colfax
8 years ago
Reply to  ProgMatinee

Completely agree. He came up as a starter and was quite effective in 2007. Had some ups and downs in succeeding seasons but always had a terrific arm. Despite some key saves during one of Street’s DL stints, he was miscast as a closer. His lack of composure on the mound was obviously a huge liability in tight, ninth-inning situations. Just as with Felipe Paulino, the braintrust (?) that converted both men from starters to relievers made a major error.… Read more »

GARY
GARY
8 years ago
Reply to  ProgMatinee

Agree completely.

Bob K.
Bob K.
8 years ago
Reply to  Cisco Kid

Franklin Morales came up as a starter and he wanted to be a starter and was effective as a starter. When he got hurt JT proclaimed him to be a future closer and put him in the bullpen. It was obvious that he wasn’t happy as a reliever and the results showed it. I suspect that if someone went backed and checked his stats as a starter that they would find that he was effective much more than 50% of… Read more »

GARY
GARY
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob K.

The same was true with Paulino,and way back Chacon!

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
8 years ago

WOW all the Franklin Morales supporters. Nice to see. I think back to ITR and all the times I supported him and was told I was crazy. You know who you are.

I agree whole heartily he was just not used correctly. I gave very specific names on who I blamed starting with player development. The guy has a phenominal arm. Huge potential to be great. I wish him nothing but the best and hope he comes into his own.

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago

Good comment, Cisco. It was fantastic while it lasted, but sometimes I think the worst thing that happened to this franchise was the incredible 21 out of 22 streak in September 2007. Why? Well it tricked ownership and O’Dowd into thinking they could do it again some day. Last year this club looked done early, but O’Dowd tried to salvage a competitive season by dumping Morales and Paulino (both out of options) for nothing. Sure it was early, De La… Read more »

jaredean
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

While i really liked Esmil and wanted him to stay a starter becuase I thought he would finally “get it”, you have to remember that he would have several outings of amazing ball and then meltdown (Frankie syndrom)…he started the year with an even better line: 7.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 9K’s Only the BB’s weren’t quite there (3) and that might be the key… Lets wait to see how he does over the next 10 or so games… Same with… Read more »

GARY
GARY
8 years ago
Reply to  jaredean

Corpas has been doing quite well for the Cubbies.ERA under 2.00,I believe.Mortensen has been just about as good with Boston[I liked him-know others didn’t].I think the ball park may have to start taking some blame,if only for getting in our pitchers heads.

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago

What, no love for the Sparkplug lead-off double in the 11th??? 🙂

Pooter
Pooter
8 years ago

I still don’t like Hammel, Morales, Seth Smith, Cook, or Chris Iannetta. Glad to see most of them doing well, just don’t miss watching them.

This current team is much more fun to watch!!!!! Ha!

OrangeRocks
OrangeRocks
8 years ago
Reply to  Pooter

Pooter, you lost me at … Hammel” I also would have kept Morales and Smith. Cook and Iannetta I guess that I can agree with your coment for those two guys. BTW do you think the club will move EY2 before the trade deadline?

Pooter
Pooter
8 years ago
Reply to  OrangeRocks

Im still a fan of eyj but I have lost hope in him being a mlb starter. I have finally come to the conclusion that he is what he is. I do wish they would give him a shot at 2nd base but like everything else rockies I have given up hope

Agbayani
Agbayani
8 years ago
Reply to  Pooter

Pooter, even you have lost your faith in EY2. There’s got to be a way some club can make use of him. I was all for trying him at 2B, but now the play of Chris Nelson makes that unlikely (not that they were going to do it anyway). Maybe we’ll trade him and then he’ll take off like so many other guys.

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

EYJ could take the Giambi roll next year.. select usage late and DH in inter-league.

Julian
Julian
8 years ago

Wow, I can’t believe the numbers for Rogers for the Indians. We definitely need better pitching coaches and a better player development program. Pitchers leave here and pitch so much better elsewhere. Of course, they’re happy to be away from Coors Field, but Coors Field alone can’t fully explain the difference in the numbers. It’s so frustrating.

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