Colorado Rockies morning after: The seventh-inning stench

There have been some bad moments for the Colorado Rockies in the 2020 season, but the seventh inning of their 6-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night could represent rock bottom in the team’s plummet from playoff contention.

With the Colorado Rockies trailing 3-1 entering the seventh, trade deadline acquisition Mychal Givens was brought in to throw for the first time since September 11. On the second pitch of the inning, he gave up a home run to AJ Pollock and the Dodgers increased their lead to 4-1.

Givens retired the next two batters, Edwin Rios and Gavin Lux, and looked like he might escape the inning with just one mistake. Unfortunately for the Rockies, that’s not how it turned out.

Austin Barnes was hit with a 3-1 pitch and then stole second. Mookie Betts hit a “squibber” as it was called by manager Bud Black after the game that went in between Givens and first baseman Josh Fuentes for a base hit.

First and third, two outs. Then it got weird.

Givens uncorked a wild pitch that bounced back to catcher Drew Butera, who arrived at home plate with the ball at the same time as Barnes and Givens. Givens, however, got in before the tag, pushing the lead to 5-1.

While that was going on at home, Betts advanced to second. Seeing an opportunity to perhaps catch Betts off-guard, Givens stepped off the rubber and threw to second. Unfortunately for the Rockies, Trevor Story wasn’t in the area of the throw. It sailed into center field and Betts used his speed to motor home all the way from second.

With two outs, the Dodgers scored two runs without ever hitting the ball out of the infield. A demoralizing set of events secured L.A.’s third consecutive convincing win at 20th and Blake.

“Mychal Givens’ error had a little impact on the game,” Black told Rox Pile and other media members on Zoom after the game. “Betts scoring from second base on that errant throw, probably not a good move to step off and throw. Trev wasn’t breaking to the bag so we’ll catch up with Michael on that one.

“The throw to second base on the attempted pickoff was not wise.”

It wasn’t wise and it wasn’t what a Rockies team looking for any amount of hope in what has become a very bleak season needed.

Did it cost Colorado the game? No, the Rockies managed just one run against Clayton Kershaw and an effective bullpen. However, it was just another example of a Rockies team that has fallen apart in some area over and over again since starting the season with an 11-3 mark.

There will be better days ahead for the Rockies and Givens. However, Saturday night was just another nail in the postseason coffin. Entering the game with a 3.3 percent chance to make the playoffs, not many more nails are needed. And not many more plays like we saw in the seventh are needed either as the 2020 season limps along for Colorado.