The Colorado Rockies, purveyors of the walk-off win, got walked off themselves on Tuesday, dropping the all-important matchup with the Dodgers 3-2.
It’s just what the Colorado Rockies couldn’t do. Waste another quality start from Kyle Freeland. For a team teetering on the brink of either playoff glory or offseason ruin, Tuesday night’s game was, inconclusive.
It’s bad form in the sports world to blame the outcome of a game on officiating. Sometimes, though, it is the officiating. Not intentionally, not systemically, just a good old-fashioned mistake here-or-there by an umpire can matter greatly.
Consider that in game 151 of the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies had virtually identical records and went into extra-innings in Tuesday’s game. Margins don’t get much thinner than that, so when Nolan Arenado tried to scoop-toss the ball to Garrett Hampson for a sure out at third base and the umpire interfered with Hampson’s ability to field the ball, it mattered.
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When the run-starved Rockies took the lead on Charlie Blackmon‘s monster blast in the top of the fifth and with Freeland in-control from the mound, the gaffe was inexcusable.
The Rockies’ D.J. LeMahieu, Nolan Arenado, Chris Ianetta and Matt Holliday all went hitless for the game. Despite some signs of recovery from Arenado, his slump continues.
The absence of Colorado shortstop Trevor Story was felt sharply both at the plate an in the clubhouse. Story has risen to the occasion in the absence of Arenado and with Story injured and Nelson struggling, the Rockies seem unable to produce offense.
The pathway for the Rockies to the playoffs gets more and more difficult to navigate, Tyler Anderson takes the mound Wednesday night, manager Bud Black has shortened the rotation, presumably to have German Marquez or Kyle Freeland available for a playoff start.
The Rockies have to make the playoffs first and while Wednesday night’s game is not quite the marquee matchup that Tuesday was, the importance remains.
11 to go Rockies, you’ve got this.