Rockies Magic Number

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Late surge still leaves Rockies short

Date: 6/17/2006
Position: 4th NL West
Games Back: 2
Elimination Number: 93

Congrats to Jeff Suppan on his 100th win of his career.

Jeff Francis was lit up for his 2nd time this season. Francis pitched 6 innings, allowing 6 runs while walking 1 and striking out 2. And besides a first-pitch solo shot from Matt Holliday to lead off the 2nd, the bats were quiet for Francis.

By the 8th, the Rox were down 6-1, until Garrett Atkins made a game of it again with a 2-out, 3 run shot over the right field wall.

Brian Fuentes struck out 3 in the bottom of the 8th, allowing 1 hit and no runs.

For the top of the ninth, with Isringhausen on the mound, Hurdle pinched for Torrealba with Jamey Carroll, who struck out on a seemingly high pitch. He pinched again for Barmes with JD Closser, who pounded one into right, bringing the game within 1. For the pitcher's spot, Jorge Piedra struck out swinging on a brutal curve from Izzy, and the Sullivan pulled the old backwards K to finish the game.

Such a heartbreak.

Possibly the biggest blown opportunity of the game for the Rox came in the top of the 4th. Helton singled, and then Holliday and Atkins were both walked, to give a bases-loaded, 1-out at bat for Brad Hawpe. Hawpe then swung at a miserable ball and fouled out to 3rd. Torrealba then grounded out to finish the inning.

Now, I don't mean to blame the game on Brad Hawpe, but it was a clutch moment and he failed to come through.

Which seems to be the story of the Rockies' season. Men on base with a general lack of clutch at the plate. Pitchers unsupported.

Somebody commented during the game: "I'd bet all the starting pitchers leave after their contracts are up." I'm glad we don't have any primadonnas on the mound, because I could really see this happenening if this streak of subpar batting doesn't cease.

Tomorrow, Josh Fogg (4-4, 4.91) is scheduled to start against Cardinals Ace Chris Carpenter (5-3, 2.57) in the close of this series. Fogg may NOT take the hill, however, as hamstring problems have been bothering him this week.

So, hoping for the best before coming back home, this writer is signing off. Until next time, Good night, Good Luck, and GO ROCKIES!!!


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