With the game tied 4-4 in the 6th inning Friday night, the Colorado Rockies bullpen preceded to surrender 6 more runs leading to a San Diego Padres’ blow out victory.
If Friday night’s 10-4 loss taught us anything about the Colorado Rockies, it is that they are in desperate need of reliable left-handed arm in the bullpen.
In the 6th inning, after Jeff Hoffman in relief of starter Kyle Freeland allowed the go-ahead run to score and runners on first and second, manager Bud Black turned to southpaw Phillip Diehl to face the left-handed-hitting Jake Cronenworth to stop the bleeding and keep the Rockies within striking distance. It turned out to be the wrong decision.
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Diehl would end up walking the rookie Cronenworth and then give up a bases-clearing double to Ty France, who is a career .252 hitter in 234 total at-bats. The four runs were more than enough for the Padres to win but they would add 2 more in the 8th off Ashton Goudeau to finish off the route.
The 6 runs given up by the bullpen exposed the Rockies’ biggest weakness: they don’t have a left-handed arm that they can trust to shut down an opposing team’s rally.
Earlier this week, I spelled out the four biggest needs on the Rockies’ wishlist for the trade deadline. Number one on that list was a left-handed reliever and after Friday night, it is number one with a bullet.
When the only two lefties in the bullpen (Diehl and James Pazos) have given up a combined 12 earned runs in 9.1 innings and have only appeared in 27 total games in the last two seasons, something is seriously wrong.
This essential need for an experienced lefty in the bullpen must be addressed for the Rockies to have any hope of hanging on to one of the final two playoff spots. There will be a lot more buyers than sellers at the August 31 trade deadline, which means available relievers will be a luxury and the Rockies will have to give up more than they will want.
However, that is the price GM Jeff Bridich is going to have to pay for a Rocktober run.