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Rockies Back to Old Ways

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The Colorado Rockies have endured some embarrassing losses this season. From day one and their 16-1 loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 12-4 loss to Houston Astros on April 27th and then a 14-4 loss against the San Francisco Giants on May 18th, the Rockies have had bigger losses this season with greater score splits than this one against the Minesota Twins. However, it is the symptoms of old habits in the box score from Wednesday’s game that are most concerning.

Big run counts in the first inning are always concerning, but Austin Gomber seemed to have moved passed that problem in May. Now in June, the starting lefty seems to be struggling with keeping his pitches down by the knees. Right from the beginning, Gomber was sailing balls with little movement that were crossing the plate around thigh height. Those kinds of options can work if there is a lot of movement on the changeup or knuckleball, but it seemed like the Twins did their homework and were well prepared to connect easily with Gomber’s pitches.Five of the eight runs Gomber gave up happened in the bottom of the first, and it set the unfortunately familiar tone for the game.

The Twins came into Wednesday’s game with a 35-32 record, so nobody in the Rockies’ dugout expected this to be an easy matchup, but Colorado seemed unable to start any kind of positive momentum throughout the game. Elements of their May successes were visible in the field like when Brenton Doyle rocketed a throw from right-center field to rob Kyle Farmer of the double at second base and at the plate when Ryan McMahon homered at the top of the fourth to begin the march to closing the 3-run deficit, but the Twins kept shutting it down. Answered homers and consistent bats rendered the Rockies’ efforts null.  

Then in the bottom of the eight, the Rockies showed signs of old habits again when Nick Mears came to the mound and began hemorrhaging hits. That combined with Adael Amador at second, while Brendan Rodgers sits out on the injured list, to give some opportunities for the Twins to capitalize on. By the time Josh Rogers replaced Mears, the hitting frenzy had already begun resulting in a 7-run inning for the Twins that gave them a 9-run advantage going into the top of the eighth inning. 

Rockies’ fans have not seen these symptoms of things not working since April, but it seems to be a growing concern of possible things to come in June. The bullpen is going to need some greater options, and the sporadic successes at the plate by McMahon need to combine with more regularity with the consistent hitting of Charlie Blackmon and Ezequiel Tovar to stem this performance downturn in June.

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