The Rockies just lost their third one-run game in four tries tonight. This one didn't happen in 14 innings or in spite of a personal-best pitching performance. No, this was just a regular one-run loss in which the Rox were dominated by the opposing pitcher and gave up one too many extra base hits to stay in it.
Our offense struck first, which is always a positive sign. Carlos Gonzalez hit a home run to right in the 1st inning with nobody on base. It was one of those low and away pitches that get thrown at him so often because he tends to whiff at them. Somehow, he managed to kick this one off the end of his bat and rope it over the fence. Nobody was on base, though, and the Rockies wouldn't score again until the 9th. The Brewers' Shaun Marcum got unlucky with that Cargo pitch, but otherwise he had the Rockies' number. They threatened briefly in the 3rd when a Jonathan Herrera single and a Troy Tulowitzki double put 2 runners in scoring position with 2 outs, but Seth Smith couldn't get them home. In the 5th, Dexter Fowler caught got stealing for what felt like the thirtieth time this week. It was actually only the fifth time this season, but that's more than anybody else in the National League. And it's certainly no good for a lead-off hitter. Altogether, the Rockies only managed 4 hits off Marcum, and he rang them up 8 times.
Clayton Mortensen, making a silent but powerful argument for a spot in the starting rotation, looked about the same as he did against the Giants earlier this week, which is to say, not lights out, but definitely in control. He had a tough 1st when 2 doubles and Jose Lopez pulling a Billy Buckner at 3rd resulted in 2 runs scoring. But he didn't allow a runner past 1st base through the next 3 innings. Then he gave up a lead-off home run to Jonathan Lucroy in the 5th that gave the Brewers a 2-run lead. Still, he didn't let it rattle him, and that was the last run he would allow. In the 6th, the Brewers had runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out, and Mortensen shut the door on them. One of the outs he made was a spectacular pick-off of Ryan Braun off 2nd base. You don't see that very often. I feel that Mortensen's head game is very very promising. He deals exceptionally well with traffic on the bases, and gets creative outs like that to cut the opposing team off at the knees. If the Rockies hadn't been so confused by Marcum, this might have been an easy win for them.
The final 1 1/3 innings were pitched by Matt Daley and Matt Reynolds, perfectly so. Daley struck out all 3 of the batters he faced, and the only thing I don't understand is why it took so long to bring him up. Felipe Paulino has finally been designated for assignment, so there's room to bring up Rex Brothers at some point and really make this bullpen strong.
The Rockies did briefly rally in the 9th, and that was encouraging. Tulo hit a 1-out triple and then scored on a Smith groundout. Jason Giambi, now on a 3-game hitting streak for the first time since probably 2006, came through with a clutch single, but Ty Wigginton struck out to put an end to that opportunity. It's a bittersweet feeling, because on the one hand, I love to see the offense sticking with it till the very end. But on the other hand, it's so painful to see them start to come back and then fail to finish the job. They are 6-10 in 1-run games, which isn't horrendous, but it needs to be better. I'm really hopeful that they'll have a walk-off or extra-inning win some time really soon, just to show themselves they can do it.
Tweet of the Game belongs to @therealtuxy. Rockies fans the world over were irate that Fox's exclusivity agreement with MLB meant that the only game available to us, in any form, during this time slot was Mets-Yankees. He captured this frustration particularly well: