It was a grim start to the week as the Rockies faced the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Field in a 4- game series. The last time these two teams met the Brewers swept the Rockies in the NLDS playoffs. In Monday’s opener, the Rockies fell 5-1 as struggling starter, Kyle Freeland allowed 5 runs in 6 innings of work. Tuesday, the Rockies fell 4-3 with their 3 runs scored in a brief ninth inning flurry. At that point with a string of six straight losses dating back to last year’s playoffs, it looked as if the Rockies were no match for the Brewers. But wait! Wasn’t this the team that repeatedly bounced back last season to finally face the Dodgers in a one game playoff for the Western Division title? You bet. These are the same “never say die” guys and they proved it by taking it to the Brewers in an 11-4 win on Wednesday and a 11-6 win on Thursday to end up with a split in the series.
On Friday, May 3, the Rockies opened their first extended home stand (9 games) of the season with a disappointing 10-9 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. A 3 run ninth inning surge fizzled with the winning runs on base. Underlying the loss however was the flawed performance by starter Tyler Anderson who allowed 6 runs in 4 innings of work. As a result, Anderson was finally optioned to Albuquerque to work out his continuing control problems.
Unfortunately, Kyle Freeland continued the string of pitching woes in Saturday night’s game as he gave up a shocking 8 runs in 6 innings as the Rockies fell 9-2.
German Marquez was the starter in Sunday’s finale. With Kyle Freeland, Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson struggling, Marquez was the one starter who had consistently given the team quality starts. But even Marquez was victimized by the hot Diamondbacks lineup allowing 5 runs in 6 innings. It looked as if the 40,000 Rockies fans were in for another disappointment as the Diamondbacks drove in 2 runs in the top of the eighth inning to give them a 7-3 lead. But in the bottom of the eighth inning, the comeback kids did it again scoring 5 runs highlighted by Raimel Tapia’s triple with the bases loaded to tie the game. Tapia scored on a Ryan McMahon single to give the Rockies an 8-7 lead which closer Wade Davis clinched in the ninth inning.
The major concern that arises from the past week is the string of erratic performances by the Rockies once vaunted rotation. There were 45 runs scored against the Rockies in these 7 games with 12 home runs allowed. Even a hot offense won’t be able to salvage many wins from that level of performance.
On the bright side, some kudos are due. The Rockies defense has been outstanding as the team is tied for third place in the major leagues with a fielding percentage of .990. At the plate, there a several players to be spot lighted. A veteran but new to the Rockies, first baseman Daniel Murphy has proved to be a solid presence in the third spot in the lineup. Murphy has been on base in all nine games since his return from the injured list on April 24. Catcher Tony Wolters has become a contributor at the plate with a .292 batting average including 7 doubles. And finally, the speedy left fielder, Raimel Tapia has delivered some real power numbers with 15 RBI including 5 doubles, 4 triples and 4 home runs.
This week the Rockies are at home facing Division rivals: the San Francisco Giants for three games beginning Tuesday and the San Diego Padres on the weekend.
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