Rockies mowed down by Flaherty, fall to Cardinals once again

Aug 23, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty (22) pitches during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies during an MLB Players' Weekend game at Busch Stadium. FlahertyÕs jersey nickname and cleats honored his friend Tyler Skaggs who passed away earlier this season. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

An all-black uniform for the Colorado Rockies brought the flair that their offense failed to Tuesday evening.

Led by a dominant outing from Jack Flaherty, the St. Louis Cardinals once again raced to an 8-3 victory – the 11th in their last 14 games. Subsequently, the Rockies tumbled for the 31st time since the onset of July.

The loss was also the 23rd of the year for the Rockies by five-or-more runs.

Ahead are takeaways from the mistake-laden loss.

Flaherty shuts it down in honor of Skaggs

Jack Flaherty – similar to the last two months – was nearly untouchable Friday. Fittingly, he did the damage in the jersey of his departed friend, Tyler Skaggs.

Adorned with the nickname “Love You Ty,” Flaherty was aggressive the entire game. Having five pitches at his disposal – fastball, curveball, slider, changeup and a sinker – made matters even worse for the Rockies’ lineup.

Through the first four innings, he didn’t yield a single hit. In that span, he racked up six strikeouts and induced 12 swings and misses. The blemish to prevent history came off the bat of Yonathan Daza in the fifth frame on a leadoff single.

In all, the third-year hurler sliced his way through six innings and allowed only three hits. Flaherty also struck out nine, tied for his second-highest total of the year.

Facing the Rockies on the road is a distinct advantage for starting pitchers. Doing so on the heels of a 0.35 earned run average in the month is downright unfair.

That figure fell to a historic 0.28 mark in the Cardinals’ win.

Newest lineup configuration fails to produce 

The Rockies have begun to switch it up. With the postseason out of sight and younger players coming onto the active roster, Bud Black has shuffled the lineup in recent days.

For the skipper’s latest battery, he placed Raimel Tapia atop the lineup, with Charlie Blackmon at second. The outfielder was followed by both Nolan Arenado and Daniel Murphy.

The results from the newest lineup were muted.

From the leadoff spot down to the fifth hitter in the lineup – Ryan McMahon – they went a combined 4-for-17. The entire lineup only conjured up five hits.

The effort from the Rockies’ slew of talented sluggers was a far different result than past contests. Coming into the loss, they were able to put up seven-or-more runs in four of the last seven games.

It’s likely the last time the club chooses to go with a lineup that places Blackmon anywhere but the leadoff or third spot.

Walks bite Lambert in another rough outing 

If you ask Bud Black his least favorite thing, he’d probably say walks. Peter Lambert’s start was simply one to forget for both himself and his manager.

In just 4.1 innings of work, Lambert amassed four walks, including a hit batter in Kolten Wong to load the bases in the fourth inning. Ironically, he walked only four hitters in his first five starts combined.

Luckily for the club’s hopes of a comeback, Lambert was able to work around many of his miscues. He held the Cardinals to a 0-for-5 mark with runners in scoring position.

The clutch work notwithstanding, Lambert’s four runs allowed (two earned) brought his August ERA to an unsightly 7.77. In 14 total starts in the majors, he now sports a 6.40 mark after starting his career with a pair of dominant outings against the Cubs.

Working through his issues at the highest level is the only option left for Lambert. Thus far, it appears the franchise may have called him up too soon. The risk that remains is ruining the youngster’s confidence for the future.

Hampson’s rocky stretch continues in rough rookie year

Seeing a successful future for Garrett Hampson is easy. With league-leading speed and an ability to play multiple positions, the youngster offers the Rockies a proverbial Swiss Army knife off the bench.

That speed is being wasted in many aspects so far.

In the last nine games, Hampson has only three hits in 21 tries. The total includes a 0-for-3 mark in the loss. The more alarming part, outside of a hitless day, is the manner in which he went down.

Across three at-bats, Hampson only took one pitch for a ball. In both of his first two chances, he struck out on an 0-2 count.

On the year, Hampson has struck out in over 30 percent of his at-bats. As a player that relies on speed to make a difference, failing to get on base could put him in the Billy Hamilton mold.

The Rockies hope that doesn’t happen, but have yet to see the results that contradict the aforementioned path.

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