It has taken a complete month of baseball until I finally snapped. Through their first 25 games, the Colorado Rockies had played solid baseball. Yes, there was the four-game rough patch in Philadelphia … but they played so poorly that series that there wasn’t just one thing I could really complain about.
That all changed on Friday night after one simple decision … or lack thereof. So here is the first edition of the 2022 season of Colorado Rockies Runners on 1st … and 2nd Guesses.
The Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks were deadlocked in a heated pitcher’s duel. Chad Kuhl had given up a lone run on three hits before giving it over to the bullpen in the seventh inning. After giving up one run in the first, Arizona starter Merrill Kelly was in total cruise control, allowing only four total hits entering the top of the eighth inning.
With the game tied at 1, Jose Iglesias stepped up to the plate and laced a leadoff double into left field. With Conner Joe and the rest of the top of the order up, one would think that it might be time to play small ball and bunt Iglesias over to third.
Instead, Rockies manager Bud Black let Joe swing away. Three straight groundouts by Joe, Charlie Blackmon, and Randal Grichuk and Iglesias was left stranded at second. The rest is history.
Carlos Estevez gave up three runs on two home runs in the bottom of the frame and, after giving the Diamondbacks a scare in the ninth by loading the bases, Iglesias grounded out to the pitcher, handing the Rockies a 4-1 defeat in the first game of a six-game road trip.
Now I am not saying that had Joe bunted Iglesias to third the outcome of the game would have been any different. Kelly had been so dominant that maybe Blackmon and Grichuk would still have failed to drive in the go-ahead run. However, at that point in the game, the Rockies must get that run across the plate by any means necessary, especially on the road where they have historically struggled.
Even if they did score, the Diamondbacks may have still put up a three-spot in the bottom of the eighth. But, with a lead, does Estévez still get the nod or does Alex Colomé come in to set up the stage for Daniel Bard or someone else to close it out?
We will never know … and that’s why it’s called second guessing.