Saturday night’s game was quite the opposite of Friday’s 10-9 Rockies clutch Nolan Arenado show. The third game of the four-game series against the Padres and the third game of a ten-game home stand featured veteran Jeff Francis (1-4) against Eric Stults (4-5). Francis was activated off the disabled list before the game and replaced Jon Garland who was designated for assignment.
Francis looked like he was still injured; we will hope it was just rust. In four innings Francis gave up four runs, including a two-run home run to Padres’ first baseman Kyle Blanks. That alone is not horrible or unexpected from the former Rockies’ 1st round draft choice. The poor performance was compounded by the fact that it took him 93 pitches to get out of the fourth, which put even more strain on a Rockies’ bullpen that had pitched 10.2 innings in the two prior games.
The bullpen, which no doubt will get some help on the long home stand, delivered with five shutout innings. That included two a piece from both Adam Ottavino and Manny Corpas. It was the offense that failed to come through Saturday night.
Don’t give credit to Padres starter, and former Rockie, Eric Stults, who pitched seven innings and only gave up one earned run. When you have two players flirting with the triple crown in the heart of your lineup they need to come through. Even if you are a fan of sabermetrics, odds are one of those two will do something to help the team win. The only Rockies player to collect an RBI in the 4-2 loss was Tyler Colvin; unfortunately it was on a groundout to first.
Combined the Rockies were 0-15 with runners in scoring position, and as for that heart of the order, both Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez were each 0-3 w/RISP. On four occasions Rockies’ batters lined out hard to a San Diego infielder, including in the bottom of the ninth when Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko saved at least one run, maybe two, when Colvin hit a ball as hard as it can be hit to him.
The Rockies poor performance on this night was topped only by the New York Mets going 0-19 w/RISP in a 20-inning loss to Miami. But saying “at least they aren’t the Mets” is not very comforting. If the Rockies are a playoff team like the lineup on paper suggests then they need to win Sunday, split the Padres series, and have a good run the remainder of the home stand. Hopefully that will propel them to keep pace with the Diamondbacks.
Ten games in a row at home. Ten games at Coors Field, TEN! If the Rockies need to turn off the humidor for a week they need to do it.