Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rock Solid Recrap: Rockies Killer B's Kill Rockies

Pirates 5, Rockies 4 (boxscores)

This one stings... probably more than an April game in Pittsburgh should sting, but the Rockies had this one in their grasp for 90% of the evening and just couldn't finish it off. And coming in front of tomorrow's doubleheader, the sting only intensifies. As I said earlier today, it's difficult to sweep those things, so a series win just became increasingly less likely.

Not impossible, mind you, but less likely.

What Went Wrong:  Whenever there's a devastating late inning loss, you know the bullpen played a part in it somehow. It's unavoidable, and tonight's unfortunate goats were the recently struggling Rex Brothers (0 outs recorded, 2 runs, 1 smoked double, 1 blooped double and 1 walk in the 7th) and the usually reliable Matt Belisle (2/3 IP, 1 Clint Barmes home run, 1 painful error of his own leading to 1 unearned game-winning run in the 8th).

Each man was working with a one-run lead thanks to a Carlos Gonzalez two-run homer, so their margin for error was little. And as you can tell, neither had anything resembling their best stuff tonight, so both leads quickly vanished.

Thankfully, not a lot gets to Matt Belisle, so you can count on him to bounce back in his next outing. As for Brothers, it's been a struggle for the past 3-4 outings, so his immediate outlook is a little shakier.

Maybe a lesser role is in order until he can locate his filthy stuff again and gain back some confidence he's surely lost in his two most recent outings. The Rockies are absolutely going to need him, so he's not going anywhere. It doesn't matter how down on him fans are right now, he's the most talented arm they have in the bullpen and the most important. They need to get him on track.

Lineup Card: Rockies @ Pirates 4-24-12


Colorado Rockies (8-7)
  1. Marco Scutaro (2B)
  2. Dexter Fowler (CF)
  3. Carlos Gonzalez (RF)
  4. Troy Tulowitzki (SS)
  5. Todd Helton (1B)
  6. Michael Cuddyer (RF)
  7. Ramon Hernandez (C)
  8. Chris Nelson (3B)
  9. Jamie Moyer (P)
The Opening Day lineup is back in play with everybody's bumps, bruises, sore throats, yips and damaged toenails — Warning: Nasty Photo Here — close to being 100%. 

Pittsburgh Pirates (6-9)
  1. Alex Pressley (LF)
  2. Jose Tabata (RF)
  3. Andrew McCuthen (CF)
  4. Casey McGehee (1B)
  5. Neil Walker (2B)
  6. Yamaico Navarro (3B)
  7. Rod Barajas (C)
  8. Clint Barmes (SS)
  9. Kevin Correia (P)
Meanwhile, this is Pittsburgh's lineup. And it's not good.

The Rockies need to jump on these guys with some early offense, get a solid outing from Moyer, and take this first game ahead of tomorrow's doubleheader. Because as we know, unless you're playing at Citi Field against the Mets, it's tough to sweep those things.

So yes, that makes this an oddly important April game in Pittsburgh.


More Rockies thoughts await you if you follow me on Twitter: @Townie813 & @HeavenHelton