Rockies fall to Arizona 5-4 snapping 8-game win streak

The Rockies let Arizona make a late rally with three runs over the last two innings.  They jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning when Juan Nicasio, Eric Young Jr, Jordan Pacheco, and Carlos Gonzalez strung together four consecutive singles.

Nicasio struggled with command of the strike zone throwing 85-plus pitches after four innings issuing three walks but zero hits.  Everyone could see it coming that Arizona would begin their rally in the fifth inning.  After giving up a solo shot to Didi Gregorius, a single, strikeout (bunt foul), and a double to Gerrardo Parra , Nicasio handed the ball to Adam Ottavino who inherited runners on 2nd and 3rd with only one out.  Ottavino almost got out of the inning unscathed with a comebacker to the mound to get the second out.  But Paul Goldschmidt added a run with an RBI single to make the score 3-2 in favor of the Rockies.

The Blake Street Bullies suddenly went quiet except for a solo homer by Troy Tulowitzki increasing the Rox lead by another run to lead 4-2.  Matt Belisle took the ball in the eighth inning and gave up a run scoring double with the runner scoring all the way from first because Micheal Cuddyer did not play the no-double defense with a lead late in the game allowing the ball to bounce off the out-of-town scoreboard several feet past him.  Had he just let the ball bounce back to him, the ball would be back into the infield well before the runner can think about going home.

In the ninth inning, the defense was a little bit loose.  Wilton Lopez, a ground ball pitcher, came in to close out the game.  Gregorius hit a grounder but it fortunately had seeing eyes.  A.J. Pollock followed with a potential double play grounder when he chopped the ball over third baseman Jonathon Herrera’s head.  The problem was that Herrera played in on the grass to prevent a sacrifice bunt which was not necessary with a lead in the 9th.  Instead the ball rolled down the line for a double which put runners on second and third base with no outs.  Lopez induced another grounder off pinch hitter Alfredo Marte right at Herrera.  Television replays showed that Gregorius was not even halfway home when Herrera grabbed the ball.  Instead of being aggressive and preventing runs, he optioned to throw across the diamond for the first out while allowing Pollock to move to third base.  That set the stage for Parra’s sacrifice fly to put Arizona over the top 5-4.

The Rox had one final chance in the bottom of the ninth with Dexter Fowler (walk) on third and Josh Rutledge (single) on first with two outs and bobblehead character Eric Young up at the dish.  He hit a comebacker to end the game.

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Agbayani
Agbayani
7 years ago

Totally agree with you on Herrera, RMH. Not sure about the playing in to prevent a bunt thing (I guess some managers will play for a tie on the road, but it doesn’t seem like Kirk Gibson’s style), but the failure of Herrera to come home to cut off the tying run just strikes me as a brain fart. You gotta go home in that situation — Herrera grabbed the ball well inside the bag, making it a short throw… Read more »

GARY
GARY
7 years ago
Reply to  Agbayani

Ag,looked to me that all Herrera’s momentum was hard towards first,so a twist and accurate throw might have been difficult-similar to tough throw for a QB.Also looked like he double clutched or had trouble with ball exchange so first may have been the prudent play.Iguess my Vegas bet of 158 and 4 is toast.So is my opening day 0-162 wager.Guess that’s why they play the games.

Bob in Indy
Bob in Indy
7 years ago

I for one cannot fault Lopez on this one. He induced three straight ground balls and the sac fly He got the ground ball he needed with two runners in scoring position and the throw should have gone home, as Ag points out above. The play before with the bounding double over Sparkplug was just bad luck. He could have played back and then had a bunt dropped down in front of him. Easy to second guess after the fact,… Read more »

Cameo
Cameo
7 years ago

The ball that bounced over Herrera’s head was bad luck, but I still feel Lopez pitched poorly. A lot of hard hit balls, the leadoff single, the sac fly to the wall in the deepest part of the ball park and then the next single were all well hit. Really worried right now that he just isn’t going to cut it here in Denver, plenty of time to turn it around but he isn’t looking good here at the moment.… Read more »

Miketober
Miketober
7 years ago

I found it interesting that Herrera went to first considering how many times the Rockies have been cut down at the plate on just that sort of play. I think his first inclination was to go home, but maybe his body angle spooked him into thinking he didn’t have enough time to adjust and make a good throw. As far as Lopez goes, I agree with Cameo. Two very deep fly balls are not what you want out of your… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
7 years ago

It looks like we need to figure out a better bullpen rotation. Not rely so much on a few guys. I don’t like Lopez in the 8th or 9th at all. Keep him as the 7th inning guy. Try not to give both Brothers and Betancourt the same day off. Maybe reduce the number of IF and keep an extra bullpen arm.

Mike Raysfan
Mike Raysfan
7 years ago
Reply to  ProgMatinee

I totally get why Walt went to Lopez in this case. His win/loss was ok at 6-3 but he did get 10 saves with a 2.17 era in 64 games last season.

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike Raysfan

I won’t question the decision for yesterday, but I think this is now 3? blown leads for Lopez (bad luck or no). I wouldn’t do it again until he’s much more improved this year.

sdcarp
sdcarp
7 years ago

I was away for the weekend – in San Francisco Giant land – and missed yesterday’s game. Looking through the box score, I can see how it is easy the blame Belisle and Lopez. But this comes back to one of my fundamental Coors philosophies – if we score less than 6, it’s the offense’s fault as much as the pitchers. On a side note, in the extremely deep and competitive fantasy league that I play, I picked up Didi… Read more »

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
7 years ago
Reply to  sdcarp

Gregorious will be LEGIT…the guy had amazing at-bats the whole series…if he can start to make ESPN Top 10 types of plays the Yankess will stop looking at Tulo and start looking at him i’d think…What i loved was how many balls the kid fouled off before getting his hits…

Doctor_Christopher
Doctor_Christopher
7 years ago

Hi all. sorry not more involved right now – post concussion issues and laptop virus. Sent a couple of items to Jaredean though (he is very busy and hope you all have made a contribution to the new site) Yesterday was a yuck game. We have to remember that the other guys are big league as well. The DBacks had a similiar game against the Yanks (they gave up the lead in that one) but you knew they were going… Read more »

Cameo
Cameo
7 years ago

Leaving Arenado down until May 1st(or there abouts) gives the Rockies an extra year of club control. So imo it is a no brainer to leave him down for another 10 days to get a whole other year of services. I think Arenado will be up sooner rather than later though, just a matter of time there.

Looks like Chatwood is going to get called up as his scheduled start got scratched according to coloradorockies.com

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