If there’s one thing the 2012 Colorado Rockies have not been, it’s consistent. You can’t even really say they’ve been consistently awful, because they’ve had a series or two in which real brilliance has been displayed. And certain players, players who sort of came out of nowhere for me, have had something like a breakout season. In case you weren’t aware, Jordan Pacheco leads all NL rookies in average, and Wilin Rosario leads them in home runs. The Rockies are the only team that owns 2 of the big 3 offensive stats among rookies. That’s really something.
But while we’re talking consistency, let’s point out something unfortunate about these most recent series: we’ve dropped four games in a row by ONE run. Fortunately, the two losses against the Phillies didn’t come as the result of bad defense and only bad defense, but the fact remains that the Rockies simply haven’t done enough over the past several days.
Today’s loss came at the hands of a pretty dominant performance by Cole Hamels and the Rockies’ inability to do anything with it. Hamels went 7 innings and only allowed 5 hits; when that happens, your starting pitcher has to be genius. When your starting pitcher is Tyler Chatwood, that’s really asking too much. Chatwood was just fine, allowing only 3 hits of his own over the course of 5 innings (as well as 4 walks), but fine was never going to cut it with Hamels in beast mode. Josh Rutledge, who has been our best hitter since his call-up with a .324 average, struck out 3 times today. Hamels.
Chatwood didn’t deviate much from his normal routine; he threw mostly fastballs, especially early in the game, and didn’t miss too badly on any of them. He did throw quite a lot of balls, but I’ll take a pitch outside the strike zone over a meat pitch with the bases loaded any day. Both runs he allowed scored when he walked Hamels (ouch) and then gave up a single to Chase Utley, followed by a double to Ryan Howard. Howard will always be an RBI threat, especially with a righty on the mound, and there wasn’t anything especially alarming about the pitch he connected with. It was a good outing for Chatwood, unfortunately diminished by the fact that his opponent’s was better.
Matt Belisle, looking overworked more than anything lately, took the loss by giving the Phillies their second straight walk-off victory in the 9th. It was tied at 2 when Belisle entered the game. He intentionally walked two batters to load the bases for John Mayberry. When Jim Tracy does things like call for back-to-back intentional walks in the 9th inning of a tie game, well, that is when I grind my teeth, and that makes my dentist yell at me, which makes me want to send Jim Tracy my dental bills. Why would you do that? Don’t play the match-ups in a situation like that. Give your pitcher the ball and your trust, and send him out there to do his job, which is to record outs, not put runners on. All Mayberry had to do was single and a run would score, and that is what he did.
Also, another win for Jonathan Papelbon. Grind.