The Los Angeles Dodgers rode adequate pitching from Clayton Kershaw and a big error from Nolan Arenado to victory over the Colorado Rockies,
4-2 at Coors Field.
The Rockies division lead was trimmed to a half-game with the loss, in the grand scheme, none of this is a tragedy but there are aspects that raise concerns. Foremost is the recent performance of Nolan Arenado.
As counter-productive as criticism of the Rockies star and MVP candidate may be, we have to wonder how a guy that just a few months ago was firing shots over the Rockies bow about being disgruntled, wanting to win, displeasure with the organization.
The organization has forged their way to a division lead largely without Arenado’s help. His current slump shows dismal offensive numbers. The bacon bits on Arenado’s slide was his errant throw last night with two-out in the fifth. The wide throw allowed Max Muncy to score and extended the inning and put Enrique Hernandez on third. Yasiel Puig would score Hernandez and the Dodgers had all the runs Kershaw and the Dodgers ‘pen would need.
I need to be on record with regards to Arenado. He remains a favorite, he’s among the all-time greats at third but a star who disappears in late-August/September has little credibility when making demands of the organization.
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We’ve seen it all so many times, Troy Tulowitzki, Ubaldo Jiminez, Matt Holliday, the Rockies develop talented players and then ship them off, disgruntled after losing seasons. It’s a rite of passage for a Rockies fan. Put that jersey in the back of the closet, maybe the next guy will stick.
This one is different, though. Nolan Arenado doesn’t know losing like those that came before him. Though Colorado has just four playoff appearances in their 25 years, they’ve stayed a competitive team since their 2007 World Series appearance.
The tight division race is going to fall to the Dodgers if Arenado can’t regain at least some semblance of his form. This is precisely the time Colorado needs it’s stars to be stars and Nolan has fallen short. It’s time for him to be part of making this winning team a winning playoff team. Seven hits in his last 10 and crucial errors aren’t getting it done. He said he wants to win. after all.
Jon Gray only lasted four innings, surrendering the Rockies customary first inning run on a two-out walk and double. A Yasiel Puig monster shot to center in the second set the tone for Gray’s evening.
In the above mentioned, disastrous fifth inning, Gray’s relief, Chris Rusin immediately walked Manny Machado and Max Muncy. A balk call that got manager Bud Black ejected set up the Dodgers two unearned runs. In all, it was a subpar outing for the Rockies staff, allowing 8 hits, 4 runs (2 earned) but most damaging, surrendering 9 walks on the night.
Trevor Story, fresh off of Wednesday night’s heroics went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts and stranded four.
The lone bright spot for Colorado on this night was a 2-for-2 performance from Matt Holliday, including a home run in the second.
The Rockies hope to get right on Saturday with Kyle Freeland (13-7, 2.96 ERA) taking the mound. Freeland’s spot couldn’t come at a more crucial time for Colorado, Saturday’s game is critical to their postseason chances.