HomeTeamsRockiesCan’t Call It a Come Back If They Don’t Win

Can’t Call It a Come Back If They Don’t Win

Top of the 8th on Wednesday, and the Colorado Rockies were down 1 – 7 against the Philadelphia Phillies. The fans in Philly were counting the win already, and Phillies manager, Rob Thomson, put in LHP Gregory Soto to finish off the Rockies’ lineup. However, Colorado rallied to bring the game back to 6 – 7 with the bases loaded. It was a great rally in the 8th that added to the possibility of preventing another skunked series, but fans did not hail it as a great comeback because the Rockies did not win.

This one did not end in victory, but it still offers an interesting look at a trend worth noting; Colorado can consistently rally for five runs late in game three on the road. On March 30th, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Rockies scored five runs in the 5th inning of the third game in that away series. On April 3rd, the Rockies rallied for five runs in the 8th against the Chicago Cubs in the third game of that away series. Adding to the trend, the Rockies gained five runs against the Phillies to try to grab a win in the third game of this away series. It is some back-against-the-wall baseball, but there is a lesson in those efforts that could inform future wins. The Rockies can be relied on to string together runs in the latter half of the game, but it ends up being disregarded effort because it fails to climb them out of the hole their slow start puts them in.

Wednesday’s top of the 8th inning started with Brenton Doyle’s single toward third on a fifth pitch. Then Ryan McMahon hit a grounder to the shortstop hard enough to get Doyle to second and McMahon on even without a fielding error. Elias Diaz follows with a line-drive single to right to load the bases with no outs. This is the kind of basic steady offense that the Rockies are continuously showing they can play; hitting singles that get runners on and load the bases. It is the needed follow up offense to bring the runners home that frequently alludes Colorado.

Elehuris Montero knocked a high center floater out to right field for a sacrifice fly to bring Doyle home. Then Sean Bouchard and Michael Toglia both showed plate discipline by taking walks on full counts. With the tying run at the plate, Bud Black put Charlie Blackmon in to pinch-hit, but the Phillies sensed the impending possibility and replaced Soto with Jeff Hoffman. Blackmon gets around on the first pitch and sends it to the Phillies first baseman for the second out, but Diaz scores.  Next Jacob Stallings takes a walk on another full count to fill the bases again.

The Rockies go back to the start of the line up and Ezequiel Tovar steps to the plate. Tovar sends a single through the five six hole and brings Bouchard in, but Toglia shows some unexpected wheels and gets himself home before the slow throw from right field. Then on the tenth at-bat for the Rockies in the 8th inning, Doyle returns to the plate and chases the first low-inside pitch for a line drive to right field and the third out.

None of that rally was comprised of a showy homer or spectacular hitting. Those five runs were earned through solid singles, good eyes for walks on full counts, and a little extra basepath hustle when the opportunity presented itself. That is fundamental offense, and it is the kind of baseball this Colorado Rockies roster can play. The challenge is to figure out how to stop letting the opposing teams get so far ahead early in the games, which then makes this kind of respectable offensive playing get discarded to the category of not good enough.    


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