The Colorado Rockies‘ 8-4 start has been a welcomed surprise to begin the 2022 season. A large part of that success can be credited to the play of the bullpen.
The Rockies’ bullpen has been able to avoid the big innings that plagued them in past seasons but that wasn’t the case on Wednesday. The Phillies’ five-run 7th inning exposed a weakness that the Rockies are going to need to address.
The Colorado Rockies need a proven lefty in the bullpen
With the game tied in the 7th inning and the bases loaded and one out, it was definitely not the ideal situation for Colorado Rockies left-handed reliever Lucas Gilbreath to make his season debut after coming off the COVID-19 IL but that’s what Bud Black was stuck with.
He needed a lefty to face off against left-handed hitting Kyle Schwarber, who earlier in the game hit a bomb into the third deck, to try to limit the damage.
The result was not good. With a hit-by-pitch, a sacrifice fly, and a three-run homer by Johan Camargo, five runs were scored and the Rockies were on their way to a 9-6 loss to the Phillies who were able to avoid the three-game sweep.
The situation finally exposed the Rockies bullpen that was past due for an implosion after an unbelievably successful first 11 games. The Rockies need a proven lefty late in ballgames.
Gilbreath is not a bad pitcher, though. In 2021, he went 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 47 appearances over 42 1/3 innings but it was his first season in the Majors and he just doesn’t have the track record just yet. The Rockies also have fellow lefty Ty Blach, but he is in a long-relief role and he was also unavailable after pitching the night before.
Either the Rockies need to find another lefty in high leverage situations or Black will have to go with a right-on-left match-up with a reliever who has earned his trust.