Here’s a pop quiz, please keep your eyes on your paper. What are you unlikely to see in a Rockies seventh inning:
A) Juan Nicasio on the mound with the Rockies ahead.
B) Juan Nicasio on the mound with no traffic.
C) Juan Nicasio on the mound.
D) All of the above.
Ok, pencils down. How did you do? Wow, it looks like everyone got this one right. Oh wait, that would be everyone who isn’t part of the Rox management team. What did you have down Mr. Weiss? F? Is that your guess or your grade?
Per usual Juan Nicasio came into Friday nights game pitching pretty well. First inning was a three up/three down affair, two by the K. Even the second inning, which started off with a walk and HBP, turned out to be a good example of effective pitching with the next two batters being struck out and the third hitting a pop-up fly. The third inning? More of the same: two groundouts and a flyout with a double sandwiched inbetween.
When Nicasio entered the fourth he Rockies were up 3-1 and it seemed like Juan was a little too comfortable with that much of a lead, so he gave up a couple singles and a double to cut the lead to 1. The Rockies came back in the bottom of the fourth and dropped three more runs into the good-guys column and it really did seem like Nicasio’s “one bad inning” would be relegated to the fourth, because he came out and shut the Philies down in the bottom of the fith (groundout, lineout, flyout).
So, here is where any casual baseball observer would say the worst is behind him. Nicasio looks like he is ready to go the distance, possibly get the game to the setup guy and earn his pat on the butt. Especially with the Rox up 7-2. Sure, any casual observer (apparently Weiss included) would wonder what in the world could go wrong at this point.
But the RWO faithful, and pretty much any Rockies fan worth their salt, would know what was coming. Good ol’ Juan and his one-trick pony of a fastball took the mound and a walk, single, triple, single later Juan is finally taken from the game. He was picked up by Outman, who didn’t allow his last duck on the pond to score, but the 5.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 BB and 4 K’s were just another example why Nicasio should either come out of the pen or get out of Denver.
It wouldn’t be so frustrating if it wasn’t for the seven spot the team put up that should be safe in a normal, well pitched game. But, with Nicasio and Wilton Lopez doing their best to be the 10th man for the Phils, no lead was safe. Outman did give up a run, but it was Lopez that gave up the other two and earned the loss in the 8-7 final score.
Pretty much the only highlight of the night, besides the team scoring in four different innings as opposed to their one and done scoring habit, was a beat-up CarGo (leg and foot) putting on a hitting clinic with a 4-4 night (2 RBI’s and an HR). Rutledge also hit the longball and Torrealba was 2-3, but made a critical running error rounding second and getting fooled on a “fake” throw home and was tagged out pretty much killing a rally in the fourth.