Rockies Beaten in Baltimore: 4 Takeaways From Monday
By Nolan Lees
The Colorado Rockies started a seven-game East Coast road trip on Monday night with a 3-2 loss in 10 innings to the Baltimore Orioles. Here are the four biggest storylines from the series opener.
1) The MLB debut of David Dahl
News of Dahl’s promotion to the big leagues broke last night, and the hype grew quickly around the former 10th overall pick. Rockies fans didn’t have to wait long to see him, as he started in left field and hit sixth in his first game with Colorado. Dahl’s debut started out rough, as he struck out in each of his first two at-bats.
But in his third chance against Orioles starter Yovani Gallardo, Dahl knocked a single back up the middle and eventually came around to score his first big league run, giving Colorado a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning. You’d like to see a player with Dahl’s speed put the ball in play a bit more often, but overall, it was a solid debut for the rookie.
2) An up and down night from Nolan Arenado
Arenado had made one error in 836.1 innings this season coming into Monday’s game. So naturally, he had a pair of errors in the first two innings against Baltimore. The second error was a wild throw that led to an early 1-0 Orioles lead.
Arenado made up for it in the fourth inning though, blasting a solo home run to tie the game at 1-1. This should go without saying, but there’s nothing to worry about here. It’s just a reminder that even the best players go through ups and downs.
3) A solid start with no reward for Jorge De La Rosa
DLR was a mess in his last start (nine runs on 11 hits in just four innings), so it was encouraging to see him rebound Monday in Baltimore. As previously mentioned, Baltimore’s first run could have been avoided with better defense, and even the double that knocked DLR out of the game came on a good pitch down out of the zone.
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Jorge will have to try to notch career win #100 in his next start, but if he continues to pitch like he did tonight, it shouldn’t take much longer.
4) Extra innings not kind to Colorado
It had been 69 games since the Rockies’ last extra-innings game, and just like they did in that one, they came out on the losing end on Monday. In fact, Colorado hasn’t won a game in extra innings all season (they’re now 0-3).
It’s tempting to hold this stat (and the Rockies’ poor record in one-run games) up as evidence that Colorado “needs to learn how to win” or some other vague sports term, but it’s closer to the truth to say that this team has had below-average luck in tight situations this year.
As much as people love cliches about “wanting it more” and “refusing to lose,” there’s no secret formula to being good in close games; it takes a combination of skill and luck. If the Rockies do better in extra innings next season, most will attribute it to an increase in the former, but the latter is equally important.
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The Rockies will look to even the series against the Orioles tomorrow night at 5:05 p.m. MT. Chad Bettis will be looking for his fourth consecutive quality start, but a win may be hard to come by with Baltimore ace Chris Tillman on the hill. Tillman is 14-2 on the season and has won 13 of his last 14 decisions.