The Colorado Rockies had to feel pretty good going into last night’s game against the Washington Nationals. Though the Nationals were once a hot team, at the beginning of the year, they’d fallen on hard times in a big way. They’d lost six games in a row, and things looked pretty bleak.
The Rockies had to see it as an opportunity. After all, they’d been dropping games to talented teams—like the four in a row to the New York Mets—and they’d just beaten the Padres by a score of 5-0. They’d turned the corner and started to get things going in the right direction. The Nationals were a lesser competitor, a chance to pile on another win.
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So, did they do it? Did they put out a great effort and take advantage of a weak team?
No. Instead, the Rockies got blasted, losing 15 to 6. The Nationals broke their losing streak and the Rockies opened up the door to start a new one of their own.
It was a frustrating game, because they actually looked good up front. They were up 3-2 in the first and then added another run in the second. While they were trailing going into the 8th, it was only 7-6, and one run didn’t seem like too much to make up.
But then the Nationals put up four runs in both the 8th and the 9th, sprinting ahead while the Rockies didn’t score again. And that was all she wrote.
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The Rockies have struggled with their bullpen before. Just a few games ago, Jon Gray got off to a nice start and then the bullpen let things slip away. It’s clearly still an issue, as the Nationals rallied late and there was nothing the Rockies could do to get out of it.
If there’s a positive side to the whole thing, it’s that the team is at least consistent. They’re suffering similar losses and showing similar issues in most games. That makes it pretty easy to pinpoint the problems—pitching, and especially the bullpen—that can be fixed for next year.
They know they can hit. For most teams, six runs would be plenty and they’d get the win. It’s not enough in Colorado, but it still means they have a strong point. They can drive in runs. If they can just shore up the pitching and defensive play, they could see a drastic turnaround when it comes to wins and losses, and that could come in a hurry.
The Rockies have a chance to get revenge, facing the Nationals again tonight, at 6:40. It’s also the Bark at the Park this evening, so you can bring your dog!