I think if the Rockies weren’t on an 11-game slide, tonight’s 2-1 loss in Anaheim at the hands of the Angels doesn’t look as bad. It really came down to a couple of Mike Trout takeaways, and the Angels finally dinking and dunking their way home in the 11th.
The deck was stacked against the Rockies before the game started. Walt Weiss was carted away for X-rays revealing appendicitis – fortunately caught soon enough, and whisked into surgery. He handed the club over to Tom Runnells. All those who had called for Weiss to be fired earlier in the day on social media probably felt really bad.
Then in the 1st, Jordan Lyles took a scorching line drive off the bat of Albert Pujols on his pitching hand, and it swelled like a balloon and got as purple as the Rox’ logo. Reports say X-rays are negative, but Lyles is almost certainly out of commission near term – he says he can start, however.
The Rox actually worked out a lead in the 4th off Hector Santiago. Rosario, Morneau, and Stubbs did something we haven’t seen much of lately – string three singles together, with two outs at that, barely scoring Rosario who was almost thrown out at the plate by Mike Trout.
Christian Bergman, of UC Irvine fame just down the street from The Big A, was pressed into long duty and delivered 5.1 solid innings, saving the pen and keeping the Rox in the game. Oberg came in mid-7th and allowed an inherited Mike Trout to score, but Stubbs gunned down Pujols just behind him, leaving the game tied 1-1.
Neither team was putting on a hitting clinic. Joe Smith used a very wide outside corner to his advantage to keep the Rox quiet in the 8th, and Huston Street did his thing in the 9th. Runnells’ decision to use Axford for the heart of the Angels order in the bottom of the 9th sent us to free baseball. Then, Mike Trout took over.
In the 10th, Tulo launched a ball to left center off Fernando Salas. Trout ranged back, jumped extending a glove over the wall, and snatched the ball before it found the fake Disney rocks – not spectacular, but still petty larceny. That would have been the game winner, as Friedrich yielded a single and nothing else in the 10th.
In the 11th with Cesar Ramos on the bump, CarGo singled, and moved up to 2nd on a wild pitch. Rosario failed to advance him, but with Descalso batting another wild pitch sent CarGo to 3rd. Descalso looped a ball to shallow center, caught by a charging Mike Trout. CarGo took a chance, broke for home, and was initially called safe ahead of Trout’s strong throw – quickly overturned on replay review, and I have to say he was out.
The bottom of the 11th saw Angels smallball kick in. Cron singled, Calhoun ripped a long single off the base of the wall in right sending PR Featherston to 3rd, and Trout was intentionally walked. Pujols came up with the bases loaded and nearly jacked one, just foul. He then dinked a short fly into LF, where Corey Dickerson displayed an arm unsuitable for Williamsport much less Anaheim (it’s minus-minus, incredibly bad), and Featherston scored uncontested.
Really unfortunate. Bergman stepped up big tonight under dire circumstances. The Rox did strike out 14 times and did not walk, but managed 10 hits and produced some sequences of team offense. Less Mike Trout and they score twice more.
In other news, Morneau also came up dizzy after diving on a ground ball, and was removed as a precaution. Worse, Matzek walked 7 and hit one batter in a 1 inning start (not a misprint, 1 inning) in Albuquerque. We may be looking at our own full-blown case of Rick Ankiel yips. which would be tragic. That prompted this attempt at humor:
@PurpleRow man, I hope Bettis was vaccinated for BB before getting on the plane for LA
— Don Dingee (@DonnyDinger) May 14, 2015
We are now down one and a half starters. Bettis takes the mound tomorrow in LA, and likely Bergman gets a turn in the next week unless Lyles makes a miraculous recovery. That would leave a long hole in the pen. There will be roster moves tomorrow to bring Bettis in, and maybe another long arm – I’m betting Rosario heads back to Los Pollos Hermanos now that a DH isn’t needed.
Breakfast at Tulowitzki’s tomorrow.