Epic meltdown from Rockies bullpen spoils excellent start from Ryan Feltner

Another epic collapse that spoils a great Rockies night
Colorado Rockies v Miami Marlins
Colorado Rockies v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Rockies fans were treated to one of the best games the team has played all year, well, at least for eight innings that is. The Rockies offense jumped all over the opener, Sixto Sanchez, who was all over the plate and the young Rockies team made him pay early on.

A leadoff double by Ezequiel Tovar was followed by hits from Ryan McMahon, Charlie Blackmon and Brendon Rodgers. The Rockies were up 2-0 and seemed like they had a solid lead early on, something they haven't done a lot of. Then, Elehuris Montero broke things wide open with a massive three-run bomb. This offense afforded starter, Ryan Feltner, something that Rockies pitchers just haven't had this year, and that is a comfortable early lead.

This allowed Feltner to be super aggressive, and not just early. Feltner filled up the strike zone (67% strike rate on the night), getting consistent weak contact. Feltner only struck out three batters, but that played a huge part in him just going after hitters and being aggressive. This isn't really anything that we have seen from a Rockies starting pitcher; maybe there is something to having run support early on? The Rockies should definitely try and do that more often.

Feltner was just dominant all night, heading into the ninth inning, Feltner had three strikeouts, no walks and had faced just one more than the minimum, thanks to a pair of double plays. The most impressive part was that Feltner (even with his struggles in the ninth) only threw 89 pitches on the night. He was uber efficient and deserved a win in a game like this. This seemed like it was a change in the Rockies season that could also contribute to Feltner's breakout season. Unfortunately, the Rockies bullpen continues to cost this team games.

After Feltner surrendered a leadoff single, he hit Christian Bethancourt. A Luis Arraez double would score the Marlins first run of the night and chase Feltner from completing the best start of his career, but there was still an opportunity for Feltner to get the win, and finish with a one-run, eight inning dominant performance, but the Rockies bullpen just couldn't get it done.

Bud Black turned to his most dependable arm from 2023, Justin Lawrence, but he walked his first batter, bringing the tying run to the plate, something you never want to see after a five-run lead entering the inning. Back-to-back singles made it a two-run game and after hitting Jesus Sanchez, the lead was down to one. A deep sacrifice fly for this first out, would ty the game. Lawrence was subsequently replaced with Jalen Beeks, who would strike out Nick Gordan and get a fly out to left field sending it to extra innings.

After Ryan McMahon doubled in a run, the Rockies bullpen would need to protect the one-run lead. Do we feel confident in that lead? Well, you should absolutely not feel comfortable with any lead, considering the performances we have seen out this bullpen. A Bryan De La Cruz double would ty the game, and a Dane Myers single would end the Rockies night.

It was just a huge disappointment for the Rockies. The Rockies got two of the things that have caused them to lose the most: early run support and great pitching. Yet, amidst a great night of Rockies baseball, it boiled down to just two, late innings and a struggling Rockies bullpen. This bullpen has cost this team a lot, even if it is early on. There needs to be some changes and they need to happen soon. They need to give young, high upside relievers like Riley Pint or Jaden Hill, a chance to prove themselves. They can't perform any worse than what this bullpen has given us thus far. Who knows? Maybe they find a high-leverage reliever in there somewhere and the Rockies can avoid another 100-loss season.... though that might be wishful thinking. Go Rockies!

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