The Colorado Rockies do not have a super bullpen

DENVER, CO - JUNE 02: Bud Black #10 of the Colorado Rockies looks over the lineup card during an 8-run inning by the Los Angeles Dodgers during a game at Coors Field on June 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JUNE 02: Bud Black #10 of the Colorado Rockies looks over the lineup card during an 8-run inning by the Los Angeles Dodgers during a game at Coors Field on June 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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For the Colorado Rockies, there is something about letting a close game get away late that makes losing sting a little bit more.

But when it happens three games in a row, at home, against the Los Angeles Dodgers … that’s a real punch in the gut.

With the Dodgers coming into town four games behind Colorado, we knew this was going to be an important series for the Colorado Rockies. Luckily, the offense showed up. The Rockies scored 22 runs over the three-game series. The starting pitching — though not great — did its job. Both Tyler Anderson and Chad Bettis left the game with the lead, and German Marquez left with the game tied at 4.

So how exactly did the Rockies wind up getting swept and outscored by 11 runs in the series?

Three miserable outings by Colorado’s $46 million bullpen sank the ship for the Rox.

There’s no way around it. This weekend, the bullpen cost the Rockies the series with the Dodgers and cost them first place in the National League West.

The difficult truth is that while the Rockies may have the most expensive bullpen in history, they do not by any means have a “super bullpen.”

I’m not sure what the direct antonym of “super” is, but whatever it is, it would be a much more fitting moniker.

And the problems in the ‘pen didn’t just show up in the Dodgers series. They’ve been a common theme for most of the season.

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At 5.05, the Rockies’ bullpen ERA is 27th in the Majors and 14th in the National League.

The relief corps has struggled to varying degrees throughout the first half, but this weekend took the awfulness to a new level.

Something needs to change — and change quickly — because right now, manager Bud Black doesn’t really have anyone to turn to down there who he can trust.

We discussed in a recent podcast the possibility of calling up some younger arms with some relief experience to alleviate the ineffectiveness. Whether they go that route, or make a trade, or shuffle some of the roles, one thing is clear — they can’t just sit on their hands and do nothing.

Currently on the disabled list, Adam Ottavino (0.95 ERA, 0.635 WHIP, 14.3 K/9) is about as good as any reliever in the game right now. Unfortunately, he also seems to be the only guy the Rockies have in the ‘pen capable of getting anyone out.

Wade Davis has been pretty solid but his performance in Sunday’s 10-7 loss to the Dodgers where he gave up three runs in a game that was tied 7-7 in the ninth only added to a weekend where the bullpen looked like it was pitching at the wrong level of professional baseball.

Rockies relievers posted a 15.09 ERA in the series … and that includes 2.2 innings of one-run ball from Harrison Musgrave, who came into Saturday’s game after Bryan Shaw and Mike Dunn combined to allow a stomach-turning seven runs while recording just a single out.

It goes without saying, the Rockies cannot continue like this if they want to contend this season.

They need the bullpen to get its act together as they head out for three games on the road (where, oddly, they’ve played better this season) in Cincinnati before a crucial three-game set at home against the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks.

Next: The latest injury update on Adam Ottavino

They need the young arms to work out their inconsistencies. They need the veterans to return to form. And they need Adam Ottavino back as soon as possible.

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