The Rockies have been less disappointing than usual in the past week. That’s not really enough for me long-term, but in this disaster of a season, I will take it. It has, however, made this series with the Marlins that much more frustrating. Two games in a row lost by one run? Fantastic pitching performances but always not quite enough? And what’s the deal with Giancarlo Stanton, anyway?
Things did not start well for Tyler Chatwood. The Fish were eyeing every single one of his pitches, none of which he threw with very much authority. He seemed especially afraid to pitch to Stanton, who took one fastball and then crushed another over the stands in left. There were 2 men on base.
It didn’t get a whole lot better for Chatwood in the 2nd, when he allowed a 1-out single to Marlins pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. Hits by pitchers always feel like bad omens to me, and more often than not they come back to haunt. In this case, a Bryan Petersen single was followed by a groundout and a Jose Reyes 2-run triple. If Chatwood gets Eovaldi, that groundout ends the inning and Reyes never come to the plate. The runs don’t score, and the Rockies win. Hits by pitchers. Haunting.
In the meantime, Eovaldi was no slouch on the mound either. The Rockies didn’t record a hit or plate a run until the 4th. Tyler Colvin drove in that run. It was the first of 3 hits for Colvin, a good day for him as he’s recently been streaky. He also drove in half the Rockies’ runs.
It was a pitcher’s duel after that, 3 scoreless innings pitched by both sides. The bullpen scattered some hits here and there, but among them Carlos Torres, Will Harris, Matt Reynolds, and Guillermo Moscoso held Miami off for the final 5 innings. It created the perfect opportunity for an offensive comeback, which began to brew in the 8th. With Chad Gaudin working in relief, the Rockies put the first two men of the inning on and then Jordan Pacheco hit an RBI single. Heath Bell, such a formidable foe when of San Diego, allowed another run to score on a sacrifice fly. The Rockies were within 3.
The bottom of the 9th rolled around and Steve Cishek took the ball. He required 24 pitches to get through the inning, and in the process he gave up 2 runs on a single by Colvin. There were 2 runners in scoring position, and one of them was there thanks to defensive indifference. Defensive indifference is dangerous, people. In any case, Pacheco came to the plate with 2 outs and the chance to walk off with a long ball, and he grounded out instead.
It’s good, at least, to see the offense refusing to lay down and die. Whenever we go through these long stretches of difficulty, my feeling is always that people are giving up right and left. So I will take a game that did not appear to feature giving up.