Major League Baseball provides each of its 30 teams with an opportunity to prove their worth over an expansive 162-game slate. Amassing 65 losses in a season, no matter the severity, puts a team directly in playoff contention.

Some losses are different though.

“What happened today is something we shouldn’t have to deal with. We’re a better group than that,” Nolan Arenado said. “Today was unacceptable. Just a really bad loss.”

Cruising through the eighth inning of the second leg of the Rockies’ four-game set with the Padres, a win was nearly certain. Leading 11-4, ESPN had the host’s win probability at a substantial 99.9 percent with only the final three outs remaining.

In franchise history, a six-or-more run lead in the ninth was an assured margin. Per Elias, the Rockies had never given up such a substantial lead in the final inning. To make matters worse, their eventual 16-12 loss in 12 innings was the first time since 1975 that a team lost by at least four runs after leading by at least six in the final frame.

The offense did their job. Led by Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story and Ian Desmond among others, the Rockies jumped out to a 9-3 lead in just the first six innings. The three combined to go 9-for-16, with Desmond’s inside-the-park home run serving as the ignition for the outburst.

Not only did the Rockies have a monumental lead, but the momentum of Coors Field’s populous behind them.

The problem was the bullpen. After allowing 11 earned runs in the entire month of June prior to the gut-wrenching loss, they allowed 15. An explosion was due.

Bullpens are fickle beasts. Relievers from year to year, appearance to appearance, carry volatility. Even the Aroldis Chapman and Josh Haders of the world suffer blemished outings.

The odds of Mike Dunn, Wade Davis and Jairo Diaz all suffering their lousy spell at once was miniscule. Diaz alone had allowed only three earned runs in 12.1 innings since his promotion, quickly proving to be a reliable cog of the club’s bullpen.

“There (are) no excuses,” Dunn said.

Chad Bettis – who had allowed four earned runs in his last 24.2 innings – also imploded. The bevy of unlikely circumstances that led to a historic loss created something more than just one game out of 162. A fork was placed in the road.

The Rockies want to compete. They’ve expressed as much in each of their sentiments throughout the year.

A rotation that has gone, at times, a mere two pitchers deep is not a winning formula. Fielding a bullpen with Dunn, Jake McGee and a struggling Davis, all tasked with handling high-leverage situations, counters the club’s desire to win even more.

Moves are the first answer from anyone looking to improve. Staying put has created positive chemistry in the clubhouse, with losing likely serving as a swift way for those feelings to evaporate.

The cure for it all is winning. Pundits have put forth a wide range of possible moves that could be made.

Trade for Marcus Stroman or Mike Minor. Sign Dallas Keuchel or Craig Kimbrel. With a farm system full of blockages from young talent already at the big league level, the suggestions are only natural.

A message is clear inside the prodding for answers. Action is necessary.

Arenado was signed to the largest deal in franchise history. His eight-year, $260 million deal is far from what it seems though. After just the third year, he can opt out. The window for having one of the league’s best players leading their efforts is small.

The club’s pillar has made it clear that he wants to win. With the path the Rockies appear to be on, winning is no longer a surprise, but an expectation. The hunger for extending seasons has been established.

With the roster, as it’s currently constructed, making the postseason is going to be a difficult, but realistic proposition. Trudging their way through the National League Division Series – the round of their exit at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers last year – is a summit they’re highly unlikely to complete.

Middling success, with a possible trip and quick exit in the postseason lies to the left. Making changes and shuffling the deck, all in hopes of reaching a new peak is to the right. Jeff Bridich and company are the deciding factors in the route the Rockies take.

An atrocious loss was merely an early warning sign along the road.