The Colorado Rockies are fighting hard but falling short

Colorado Rockies
Apr 20, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Colorado Rockies catcher Dustin Garneau (left) slides into home past Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart (right) during the seventh inning at Great American Ball Park. Garneau was later called out for not touching third base on an attempted score. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The second inning of this series came back to haunt the Rockies. What is going to hurt the team even more, though, is the rate they are currently striking out — they struck out 26 times in this series. With numbers like that, it’s difficult for the team to rally after getting off to a bad start, something the Rockies couldn’t overcome in the series.

And that’s too bad, because they played well on this road trip overall and should have come home with two series victories.

Still, the club could do a whole lot worse than go .500 on a six-game road stand.

Here’s how the series broke down:

Game 1 – Jordan Lyles vs. Dan Straily

Lyles finally provided a consistent start and nearly cut his ERA in half during the process. Story got his eighth home run after being robbed at home to break open the game. This was the most complete win of the series, but unfortunately it wasn’t a precursor for what was to come.

Game 2 – Jorge De La Rosa vs. Robert Stephenson

If the Rockies could have just skipped over the second inning, they would have been fine, but that’s not how baseball is played, and it doomed Colorado.

After Jorge De La Rosa struck out the side in the first, he fell apart in the second, giving up four runs and five stolen bases (the most stolen basis in a single inning since 2010).

Tony Wolters, who has filled in nicely for Nick Hundley, really had no shot to throw any of the would-be base stealers out; they were reading De La Rosa from a mile away.

Mark Reynolds closed the gap in the ninth with a two-run bomb, but the Rockies were never able to overcome the four second-inning runs, finishing in a 3-4 defeat.

Game 3 – Chad Bettis vs. Raisel Iglesias

What a truly heartbreaking game. It never felt that the Rockies were meant to win this one, even though they displayed such a resilient effort. After the tying run was called off because Dustin Garneau didn’t touch third base, it seemed all but over, especially after the Reds extended their lead to three.

The Rockies were able to tie the game up in the eighth with a three-run inning, but the Reds finished the deal in the ninth with a walk-off single from Tucker Barnhart.

Bettis has really come into his own as a starter. His pace is much different than it was as a reliever, and the composure he displayed Wednesday after getting beat up early has shown he can compete for a top spot in this rotation. Jay Bruce is going to get his home runs, but the one over the plate to Adam Duvall was his only bad pitch of the game.

These games are must wins on the road, but even in defeat, their resiliency shows the team is headed in the right direction. Being more consistent offensively should be their biggest concern; the team struck out nine times in this game alone.

On a brighter note, Carlos Gonzalez picked up his 1,000 career hit, putting him sixth all-time in Rockies history. By the end of the season he can be in the top five. It is already time to think of Cargo is one of the greatest Rockies ever.

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