When you consider the way in which the Rockies struggled, stayed within striking distance in the game, but ultimately could not come through in their 1-0 loss to the Braves, you see a young team that was on the brink of an impressive road victory. Whether or not they find the ability to get over that kind of hump will dictate if they can climb out of the basement of the powerful NL West anytime soon.
What would have made the win impressive, besides the fact it was on the road in Atlanta, was the fact that the Rockies created problems for themselves. Alex White walked 4 in 4 innings, though he still managed to only give up 1 unearned run. Adam Ottavino entered the game next, and he walked 3 in 2.1 innings. Dexter Fowler and Josh Rutledge both committed errors in the field. If the team had been able to overcome those issues and steal a tough win on the road, they would have seemed more like a playoff team full of savvy veterans than the group of kids that they are.
The reason the Rockies came up short was simple: they only had 2 hits. Mike Minor was tough in his 7 innings, striking out 7 and overcoming 4 walks of his own. The nasty duo of Eric O’Flaherty and Craig Kimbrel put the game away late, including the key moment of the game in the 8th inning. With 2 outs and 2 on base, Jordan Pacheco faced Kimbrel. With his wonderfully compact swing, Pacheco was able to stay tough and grind out a solid at-bat, but in the end Kimbrel was too much and struck him out.
In this case there is no need to read anything into that moment or make a larger claim about Pacheco’s ability in the clutch; Kimbrel is just flat-out nasty.