The Colorado Rockies suffered perhaps one of the most heartbreaking losses all season last night to the Philadelphia Phillies. Colorado entered the bottom half of the ninth inning leading 3-2 and here’s where they completely lost their focus. After closer LaTroy Hawkins recorded the first out of the inning, he would get a ground ball off the bat of Tony Gwynn Jr, as second baseman Josh Rutledge‘s throw was high and out of the reach of Justin Morneau.
With a runner at first, Ben Revere would single to right, putting some extreme speed on first and second with one out. Rockies All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki would have the opportunity to record out number two in the inning, but he would drop the ball in foul territory, giving Jimmy Rollins another opportunity. Rollins would end up flying out to left, bringing up Chase Utley with two outs.
Here’s where manager Walt Weiss “over-managed” if you will, but in my opinion it was a good move. He brought in the lefty Boone Logan to face Utley, who was 1-for-6 against him with three strikeouts. After falling behind Utley, he would single to right, scoring Gwynn Jr as Philly tied the game at three, bringing up Ryan Howard who ended it with a walk-off three-run homer.
Forget the two errors in the ninth inning and Weiss pulling Hawkins for Logan, let’s look back at the game as a whole. Colorado was terrible, and I repeat terrible with runners in scoring position. We can jump back to the top half of the seventh inning where Colorado loaded the bases with no outs. They chose to pinch-hit All-Stars Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki in that order.
Gonzalez ended up getting jammed, grounding into a 1-2-3 double-play, not even scratching a run. Troy Tulowitzki had a chance to extend the inning with runners on second and third with two outs, but the shortstop would strike out to end the frame. You know things aren’t going your way on the road when your two premier players can at least give you one run that inning.
Colorado as a team was 0-for-13 in the game with runners in scoring position; that’s not going to win you games period. The team stranded 15 players on base — DJ LeMahieu and Wilin Rosario leading the way with four LOB.
Baseball is a team sport and the Rockies failed to play as a team Wednesday night. You can’t point the finger at anyone in this one as if you have to point the finger at the team as a whole. They need to forget about this one and bounce back strong in a three-game set beginning Friday night against the Cleveland Indians.