Colorado Rockies: 3 Things That Went Wrong on Monday

Only Daniel Descalso was able to make much offensive noise for the Rockies today. Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Only Daniel Descalso was able to make much offensive noise for the Rockies today. Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Rockies may finally be showing their true colors as the 2016 season heads into summer.

Memorial Day is supposed to be a great day for Americans. We honor those who have fought for our freedom, many people have the day off work, and it’s the official start of summer. But if you’re a Colorado Rockies fan who was hoping for more than some cool stars and stripes socks, then this Memorial Day was not for you.

Here’s a look at three things that went wrong for the Rox on Monday in an 11-8 loss.

1. Home Runs

This will make you cringe: Four of five Rockies’ pitchers who took the mound today surrendered a home run to the first batter faced. Chad Bettis, Jason Motte, Miguel Castro, and Jake McGee each managed this, and I would wager that has never happened before. The only pitcher who came into the game looking as if he was ready to play ball was Gonzalez Germen, who entered in the fourth when Bettis blew three chances to get out number three after the Reds ran into a silly out on the basepaths. Germen went 2.1 innings and allowed only one hit, which was not a home run. For everybody else, this game was a fail.

2. Runners Left on Base

The Rockies did a truly appalling job of driving in runs today. None of the Reds’ pitchers looked especially sharp. Only Ross Ohlendorf pitched a clean inning. And the Rockies did take advantage in some cases; they scored eight runs. But they also stranded at least one runner in every inning but the fifth and eighth … and in the seventh they had two runners in scoring position with no outs and didn’t push a run across. That’s unacceptable. You have to do something productive in that situation.

Not only did they not do that, but Gerardo Parra turned in one of the most pathetic at-bats during that critical seventh inning I have ever seen by a professional baseball player: three weak swings and a walk back to the dugout.

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**I must pause here briefly to give props to the one man who did not have a nightmare LOB day: Daniel Descalso. In the third inning, with 2 outs and the bases loaded, he worked a 2-2 count and then laced a single right through the defensive shift that cleared the bases. He also came up in the ninth when the Rockies had one out left and hit an RBI double. Descalso was responsible for half the Rockies’ RBI today.

3. Bad Luck

In all fairness, the fielders dealt with some difficulties today; rain in the middle innings made for a slick ball, and any infield that doesn’t have Nolan Arenado in it is weaker than one that does. Unfortunately, luck was against them in just about every case.

In the second inning, the speedy Billy Hamilton broke for second and Dustin Garneau‘s throw skipped wide of the bag. DJ LeMahieu provided brilliant backup coverage behind second, but the failure to get Hamilton allowed another runner into scoring position. In the fourth, with two outs, Brandon Phillips hit a ground ball to Story, who got his glove on it but couldn’t follow through. A run scored on the play.

Then in the eighth, Zack Cozart popped up behind third base, too shallow for Parra and too deep for Descalso. The ball landed just a few inches fair, and a run scored on that too.

On the other side of the ball, the Rockies ran into some bad BABIP luck as their line drives found many a well-placed infielder or speedy Billy Hamilton.

Next: The Amazing Defense of Mark Reynolds at First Base

Given how bad the Reds are this year, it might be time to accept that the Rockies we saw today might be closer to the real Colorado Rockies of 2016. They started off more strongly than we were expecting early in the season, but the pieces are not coming together in the way that they need to for this team to contend. I think we’re back to where we were in December or so, looking to the future for success.