Colorado Rockies Wins Game 2 In Baltimore – 4 Takes from Tuesday
By Nolan Lees
After a rough loss in extra innings to start the series, the Colorado Rockies bounced back with a 6-3 win in game two of their series against the Baltimore Orioles. Here are the four biggest stories from Tuesday night.
1) Colorado tees off on Chris Tillman
The Orioles ace had been rolling in the month of July, going seven innings and allowing only one run in each of his last four starts. The Colorado Rockies lineup was unimpressed with the right-hander though, as they knocked him out of the game with nine hits and six runs over the first five innings. The bats were quiet against Baltimore’s excellent bullpen, but the hot start against Tillman was more than enough to carry Colorado to the win.
2) Chad Bettis keeps his run of solid starts going
Bettis extended his quality start streak to four with another effective outing Tuesday. The 27-year-old allowed two runs and four hits over six innings. The lone blemish was a two-run homer from Adam Jones in the fifth, but otherwise Bettis was in control against a lineup full of dangerous hitters. His lack of strikeout stuff (averaging under 7 K/9 this season) means Bettis will always have a smaller margin for error, but as he showed Tuesday night, that doesn’t mean he can’t have success.
3) Jordan Lyles is not a late-inning reliever
When evaluating the decision to use a certain reliever in a certain situation, it’s important to evaluate the process, not just the outcome. It’s possible to make a good decision and get a bad result, and vice versa.
But whether you judge based on the process or the outcome, bringing Lyles into the eighth inning of a game that was still somewhat in doubt was a questionable decision. A four-run lead may look like a sure thing, but things got dicey quickly when Lyles entered the ball game, and the Rockies were forced to turn to Boone Logan to escape the jam.
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Lyles is still young (just 25 years old), but his results have steadily gone downhill since his first year in Colorado. The guy that came to Colorado with Lyles (Brandon Barnes) was designated for assignment yesterday to open a spot for someone new. If things don’t turn around soon, Lyles could be heading for the same fate.
4) On the road again
If we’re being brutally honest, the Rockies playoff hopes for 2016 are slim. The front office and the players, however, still insist it’s the goal they’re shooting for. If they’re going to get there, they’ll have to start scoring more runs when they leave Coors Field.
Despite playing two more games on the road versus at home, Colorado has scored 92 fewer runs as the visitors this season (303 runs at home, 211 on the road). Six runs Tuesday was a step in the right direction, but it won’t mean much if the Rockies get shut out tomorrow night.
Next: David Dahl and the Future of the Colorado Rockies
Even if the Rockies don’t contend for the Wild Card this season, it will help a mostly young team build confidence if they can beat good teams like the Orioles in their own ballpark.