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News » Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2009-05-15


Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2009-05-15


Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2009-05-15
The Rockies fell to 2-4 in rubber games of series with a 5-3 loss to the Astros on Thursday that completed a 3-5 homestand. The Rockies are 7-10 at Coors Field. What looms now is a 10-game road trip to Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Detroit, a trek that could determine the team's fate.

Will the season have any real competitive meaning? Or will the Rockies once again be nothing more than an NL West afterthought?

At 13-20, the Rockies have equaled their season low at seven games below .500. Todd Helton said the trip needs to be .500 or better, which will be a challenge given the Rockies' 6-10 record on the road.

On Thursday, they lost a game in which the Astros hit one ball out of the infield in the first inning and scored three runs on two errors. The Rockies also mishandled a double steal, enabling a steal of home. Manager Clint Hurdle called it the club's worst inning of the year, "no doubt about that."

The Rockies have had one three-game winning streak. They have won two straight two other times. Their offense is unpredictable, and Helton said the offense has been "the confusing part" of the team's struggles.

Before Thursday's game, Hurdle said, "This is an opportunity for a new group of guys to fight their way out of this. I am going to back them and support them. Regardless if people think there is a lack of leadership, this is not a case of a lack of leadership, it's a case of a lack of results.

"If there's fight in these guys, they need to bring it. And I think there's fight in them."

Nine innings later, there was another loss. After getting pounded 15-11 on Wednesday in a game they trailed 15-5, the Rockies committed three errors for the second time this year.

"You're going to get knocked down in this game," Hurdle said. "Your ability to get up and recover is what's critical, and that's where we are right now."

The latest defeat dropped the Rockies' record to 2-12 in games decided by two or fewer runs, including 1-8 in one-run games. That means the Rockies have been close plenty of times but not able to do the things necessary to win tight games.

"We're seven games under right now," Hurdle said. "You got eight one-run losses, a couple of two-run losses (actually four). So you're there, but you got to take the next step."

For the Rockies, the step better come very soon, on the road no less, if they want to avoid a repeat of 2008, when they found themselves buried as May was winding down. Last year, the Rockies finished May at 20-35, 10 games behind, and they fell to 20-38 and 12 games back on June 2.

ASTROS 5, ROCKIES 3: 3B Garrett Atkins made two errors in the first inning, when the Rockies also allowed the Astros to pull off a double steal of home and second base. It was all part of a three-run inning, two of the runs unearned.

Jason Hammel pitched 5 1/3 innings in his longest outing with the Rockies and allowed four runs, one earned. The final unearned run came in the third after SS Clint Barmes' error put runners on first and third with one out.

The Rockies struck out 13 times, 11 in seven innings against LHP Wandy Rodriguez, and didn't get a hit after a run-scoring single by Atkins in the fourth. Following that hit, 15 consecutive Rockies were retired before pinch hitter Seth Smith walked with two outs in the ninth.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 15, 2009

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