Astros come from behind, take advantage of Rockies’ oft-battered bullpen

Jul 2, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) sits on the ground ahead of Houston Astros catcher Robinson Chirinos (28) after dodging an inside pitch in the fifth inning at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Like a brutal nightmare, the Colorado Rockies are stuck in a reoccurring rut. Seemingly every time the bullpen is counted on, the results go awry.

Once again Tuesday night, the Rockies’ bullpen imploded, allowing four runs and residing as the deciding factor in the club’s 9-8 loss.

Ahead are takeaways from the latest iteration of the Rockies’ wayward ‘pen.

Bullpen, outside of Oberg, falters once again 

First, it was Bryan Shaw. Tasked with taking over for starter, German Marquez, the veteran fell apart.

Without tallying a single out, Shaw allowed three straight doubles, cutting the club’s lead to a single run. Jake McGee, the second reliever of the seventh frame fared similarly.

After getting Michael Brantley to ground out, Yuli Gurriel made McGee pay for a lackluster 0-1 offering:

The homer was the first against a left-handed pitcher of the year for Gurriel. On the night, he went 3-for-5 with a pair of deep shots and four RBIs.

All the while, the club’s most reliable reliever, Scott Oberg, was warming up. Down 9-8, he was responsible for the eighth and ninth innings instead, frames in which he failed to yield a run.

Though Oberg can only be used so much, the trivial time of his entrances has continued to plague the club’s chances at late-inning wins. Once again, the decision-making cost the Rockies, a club clawing to stay in the postseason hunt.

Marquez of old is still missing

German Marquez’ second half was a thing of legends last year. A 2.61 earned run average and .215 opponent batting average had him excelling to newfound heights.

In recent weeks, that magic has gone awry.

Across his last six starts, including Marquez’ latest blunder, his ERA has skyrocketed to 6.50. In turn, his season ERA has ballooned to 4.38.

Against the hot-swinging Astros, the results were murky. After allowing a run in both of the first two frames, the hurler saw things crumble further in the third.

George Springer and Jose Altuve each tallied a single to lead off the inning, setting the table for a Michael Brantley two-run double. A subsequent two-bag effort from Yuli Gurriel brought the Astros lead to 5-2.

The three runs allowed in the third stanza were just a portion of the four earned runs allowed by Marquez in the loss. Across six innings, he struck out seven and allowed eight hits.

A saving grace for Marquez’ up-and-down outing was a streak of three scoreless innings to conclude his start.

In four of his last six starts, Marquez has allowed four-or-more earned runs. In last season’s entirety, he did it nine times. Across his illustrious second half, he allowed four-or-more runs only once.

Expecting Marquez to replicate his Cy Young-level second half of yesteryear is foolhardy. However, the dreary performances on a near-regular basis are a dent the Rockies are unlikely to overcome.

Desmond continues his spree of brilliance

Ian Desmond has been sizzling hot at the plate for over a month now. Opposing scouting reports have yet to adjust.

Since the beginning of May, the shortstop-turned-outfielder has hit .342. Intertwined in his high-rising batting average are 25 extra-base hits and 31 runs driven in. That total increased with the bases loaded in the loss after a Desmond double to right tied the game at 5-5.

The two-run double was merely a sample of Desmond’s 3-for-5 night.

Towards the bottom of the order on a nightly basis, Desmond’s production, paired with that of Tony Wolters, has been a driving force of the Rockies’ offense.

Boos have turned to cheers for the much-maligned slugger, and the results have often been a catalyst to the club’s search for wins.

Dahl refuses to stop hitting

Ask any San Diego Padres fan and they’ll tell you Fernando Tatis Jr. deserved an All-Star bid. The man taking his place continues to refute that argument.

David Dahl, fresh of his first All-Star nomination, once again sliced his way to a big night.

The first of Dahl’s hits – a double – was also the least likely. At an expected batting average of only .040 according to Statcast, his two-bag effort was due to the ever-shifting Astros infield. Expecting him to pull, Bregman moved over, with Straw shifting as well.

With the line unoccupied, Dahl nubbed a ball past third base, racing to second before the Astros’ infield could react.

In all, he went 3-for-5 on the night to raise his season average to .322.

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