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News » Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2008-07-30

Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2008-07-30

Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2008-07-30
Fresh off a sweep of the Reds in Cincinnati, the Rockies arrived at PNC Park on Monday seemingly ready to make a move on the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks.

They came out of the All-Star break and swept a four-game series from the Pirates at Coors Field to rev up the idea that a second-half surge was in the offing, and since then, the Pirates had dealt their most consistent reliever, Damaso Marte, and one of their key bats, Xavier Nady, to the Yankees. They had lost their most consistent hitter, Adam LaRoche, to the disabled list, and second baseman Freddy Sanchez is on the bench, nursing a back problem.

Yet two days later, the Rockies have blown leads in back-to-back losses, with the Pirates rallying for a 6-4 win Tuesday.

"These are games we need to win," left fielder Matt Holliday said, "especially when we lead on the road. That's what makes it frustrating. We have to turn the page and move on. ... We can't hang our heads."

Sounds good. But is it that easy?

Can the Rockies push aside the fact that the night after Valerio De Los Santos turned over a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning to the bullpen only to see it washed away, Glendon Rusch weaved his way through five innings, and handed over a 4-3 lead that Matt Herges couldn't even protect for two batters? Jason Bay led off the bottom of the sixth with a single, and he scored the tying run on a double from Doug Mientkiewicz, who eventually scored the go-ahead run on a Chris Gomez sacrifice fly.

The Rockies want to think there is still hope in the NL West. But with only 54 games remaining in the regular season, they know the opportunities are dwindling.

"It is definitely frustrating to get the lead early, to get off to a good start and then not finish it off," shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said.

What adds to the frustrations is that while the starting pitching has been the glaring concern as the Rockies look for ways to get better before Thursday's trade deadline, the piecemeal starting corps has at least left the Rockies in a position to win the last two nights.

It has been the bullpen that didn't get the job done. After Jason Grilli saw a 3-0 lead turn into a 4-3 deficit in his one inning of work Monday, the struggles continued for Herges, who found himself and the Rockies on the short end of a 5-4 score by the end of his inning Tuesday.

"I don't think we feel added pressure, but we realize the magnitude of these games," said Herges, who has allowed 11 runs in 7 2/3 innings his last seven appearances. "And then to not get the job done, it is frustrating."

PIRATES 6, ROCKIES 4: Rockies middle relief blew its second game in a row in Pittsburgh. With Ian Stewart doubling home a run in the first and singling home a run in the third, the Rockies were up 4-0. Yet the Pirates rallied off Glendon Rusch and the Colorado bullpen.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: July 30, 2008

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