Determining where the cellar of the Colorado Rockies’ season will end up is hard. After an 8-5 loss Saturday, that valley dropped even further.
In the loss, the Rockies once again extended their streak of allowing six-or-more runs to the Padres – a spree that’s now up to franchise-record eight games. Dating back to June 21, the club from 20th and Blake fell to 12-31. Their record in that span is the worst in the National League.
The cause of the loss was multiple, with the bullpen once again being the final barrier that was broken.
Ahead are takeaways from the loss.
Final innings seel the fate of the visitors
Mix a cup of Jairo Diaz with a hint of Manuel Margot and the result is the fifth loss in a row for the Rockies.
In his first inning of work, the reliever had one of his most dominant innings of the year, striking out the side with the heart of the Padres’ order up. The bottom of the eighth inning was a completely different story.
The culprit once again was a leadoff walk – the epitome of Bud Black’s most-hated aspect of pitching. With a runner on, Margot nailed a no-doubt, game-altering homer:
— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) August 11, 2019
The gut-wrenching loss was merely one of many for a Rockies’ club that’s been stuck in a losing trance for much of the last two months. It was also the seventh home run of the year allowed by Diaz and his first since July 13.
Wil Myers later added insurance with a solo home run off of Jake McGee, putting the game out of reach for the Rockies in their final attempt at a comeback win.
Rockies’ inability to hold momentum reigns true once again
Momentum is a huge factor in baseball. Game by game, it can decide the fate of a team in nearly every instance.
In multiple moments in their loss, the Rockies had a chance to sink the Padres in a landslide. Instead, they made small chinks in the armor of the hosts, with the retaliation coming each time in just the next frame.
When Yonathan Daza tallied a run-scoring double to create a 1-0 lead for the Rockies, he was answered with a run-scoring groundout from the Padres’ Luis Urias. Two innings later, after a Nolan Arenado home run, Hunter Renfroe answered with one of his own.
Later in the contest, the club’s lack of ability to break through and extend their lead came back with a vengeance. A three-run fifth inning from the Padres broke not only the will of the Rockies, but also a 2-2 tie.
Winning teams often make winning plays, while losing clubs do the opposite. The Rockies have dealt with the latter more than any other team in the National League in recent weeks.
Miscues fail to produce a lead switch
There are multiple words for it. Blunder, error and mistake are all words that go hand-in-hand when explaining the Padres’ sixth inning in the field.
A misplayed pop fly and a throwing error both opened the door for the Rockies. The pair of two-out mistakes allowed the club to load the bases for Daza.
After tallying his first career RBI in the second frame, the young outfielder was unable to come through in his second chance at padding his career stats.
Chris Paddack, a rookie pitcher, was the perfect target for a comeback inning in the midst of turmoil. Without the experience of a veteran, the Rockies were in prime position to end their losing ways.
Alas, the damage remained at only a single run.
Alonso makes up for lost opportunity
Yonder Alonso, with family in attendance, made sure the Rockies didn’t simply waste their opportunities.
On the fifth pitch of the at-bat against Craig Stammen, Alonso finally made the Padres pay:
Yonder over where? Yonder over there! 👋 pic.twitter.com/OclAnHzLln
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 11, 2019
The home run was the second of Alonso’s short-lived career with the Rockies after taking the place of Mark Reynolds as a veteran bench bat for the club.
After changing his swing path before the 2017 season, Alonso has now gone deep 60 times in just his last two-plus seasons. In seven seasons before the switch, he’d hit a mere 39.
The long ball comes in the midst of a 2-for-19 slump for Daniel Murphy with six strikeouts. A day off for the veteran makes sense in the near future, with Alonso’s most recent homer providing more ammo for the short-term swap.