Oh Purple Glove, why have you forsaken JJ?!
Position: 3rd NL West
Games Back: 2.0
Elimination Number: 85
A rare blown game by the Bullpen.
Jason Jennings carried a 3-hitter with a 3 run lead (thanks to a Todd Helton homer and a Brad Hawpe RBI single) into the 8th inning Monday night against the Los Angeles Angels. He gave up a leadoff single and a walk, and was then pulled in favor of Jose Mesa.
Mesa then gave up consecutive singles to score 1 and load the bases before grounding out Vlad Guerrero...for the first out. Yet a run still scored.
So now, it's 3-2 Rockies, with runners on 2nd and 3rd and only 1 out. So Garrett Anderson was intentionally walked in hopes of inducing a double play from Angels catcher Mike Napoli.
Instead, Napoli doubled to deep right center, right up the power alley, scoring the runners on 2nd and 3rd, and more importantly, giving up the lead.
At the point, Mesa was pulled in favor of Tom Martin, who got a grounder right back to tag out Anderson on his way home.
Hurdle then went to Ramirez, who gave up an RBI single before grounding out Izturis to end the inning.
Now, rather than facing an Angels hold-the-gap pitcher, the Rockies now had to face Francisco Rodriquez, their star closer.
Rodriguez struck out Atkins and Hawpe, looking and swinging, respectively. DH Jorge Piedra then stepped up to the plate, and knocked the first pitch he saw out of the park.
Closser then stepped up, and after a couple balls and strike, knocked a big one into deep center -
and into the waiting glove of Chone Figgins.
I can't really complain entirely too much, except about the bullpen, but even then, a game such as this is so rare, that we can't stay mad. It would just be nice to be able to beat the Angels.
With 3 weeks until the All-Star game, the Rockies are right at .500, a goal that a lot of fans realistically set for our boys at the end of last season. Before the break, however, the Rockies will face the Seattle Mariners to wrap up this season's interleague play. The Rockies will then return to the NL West to face San Francisco and Arizona, before enjoying the All-Star break.
Tonight, the Rockies will hope to take the series back under the arm of Aaron Cook (5-7, 3.46) who is looking to take a win from Jeff Weaver (3-9, 5.82). Weaver's high number are more indicative of the beginning of the season, where he was lit up game after game. However, in his last 10 starts, Weaver has allowed more than 3 earned runs only twice.
Weaver has a career 5.06 against Colorado, with a BAA of .273. The homefield hasn't been good to Weaver either, showing an ERA of 7.92, with opponents batting .326 against him.
So while Weaver is seemingly prone to giving up a decent number of runs tonight, it should be noted that the Rockies are drastically failing at supporting Aaron Cook with runs. Cook has not been part of a winning game for the Rockies since beating the Toronto Blue Jays at Coors on May 19th, watching his record drop from 5-3 to 5-7 in frustrating defeat after defeat. Cook seems to be taking it all in stride, still pitching excellent ball and giving the team every opportunity to win their games.
If the Rockies can continue to strike early and often, they'll take the series from the Angels.
But until then, Rockies fans, enjoy the game, Good Luck, and GO ROCKIES!!!