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Colorado Rockies doomed by bad decisions in loss to Marlins

David Martin Avatar
June 8, 2015

 

As good as Saturday was, Sunday was really bad for the Colorado Rockies.

The team was plagued by bad decisions in their Sunday loss to the Marlins, in which the Rockies dropped the game and the series after a 10th inning solo home run gave the Marlins a 3-2 decision.

With the game tied 2-2, the Rockies had a great chance to take a lead in the 7th inning. Carlos Gonzalez had already launched a solo shot into the bullpen to get even, but the Rockies were poised to add more runs. After CarGo’s homer, Nolan Arenado walked, then Wilin Rosario was hit by a pitch putting the go-ahead run on second base and an insurance run at first with no one out.

With the Marlins backs’ against the wall, Nick Hundley stepped to the plate and laid down a bunt. The ball rolled to the first base side of the pitchers mound, when reliever Matt Capps picked it up and fired to third base. The initial safe call was eventually overruled by a replay challenge that changed the course of the inning.

The call, frankly, was brutal. There have been several situations in the Rockies 2015 season alone that has pointed to replay being worthless, and Sunday’s really fit that description. The play was certainly close, and Arenado may have been out, but the idea of replay is that there has to be conclusive evidence that the call was incorrect. There was no way the umpires in New York reviewing the play could possibly have seen enough evidence to overrule the original call.

The call was bad, but the decision to bunt may have been worse.

In a situation where a pitcher had given up a solo home run, walked the next batter, then plunked the next guy, it isn’t really a great idea to give away an out. The idea makes sense, get the go-ahead run at third base with just one out and a chance to take the lead. However, in that situation, the Rockies should have been looking to keep the pressure on Capps and the Marlins.

It may not have been Walt Weiss’ decision for Hundley to bunt, the catcher may have done it on his own, but it was a bad decision. The out at third base changed the course of the inning. Brandon Barnes struck out after Hundley’s failed sacrifice and then Rafael Ynoa followed suit by striking out as well.

The other decision that cost the Rockies was the call that Weiss made to send Boone Logan in from the bullpen to pitch the top of the 10th inning. Logan, putting it nicely, has been an utter disaster in a Rockies uniform. He was apparently the present that Dan O’Dowd left for the club as the final free agent signing, a dubious three-year, $16 million deal.

Logan has been bad as a Rockie, but he has been particularly terrible when facing right-handed hitters. He is legitimately a lefty specialist, but he has been forced to pitch against right-handers. After using Scott Oberg and John Axford, Weiss had plenty of options in the bullpen. He could have gone with Brooks Brown, or Tommy Kahnle, who has been perfect since his call-up. Instead, Weiss went with Logan. The lefty promptly gave up the game-winning homer to Adeiny Hechavarria, a right-hander.

Weiss has taken plenty of criticism in the past three seasons as manager. He got a free pass, in a sense, because of his lack of experience and the Rockies lack of expectations. However, fans are growing weary of watching Weiss still learning on the job. At some point, they want to see him morph into a good manager. His greatest downfall so far, one that gets many managers, is his bullpen management. Sometimes the way Weiss uses certain pitchers in certain situations is simply baffling. Sunday was an example of that.

To be fair to Weiss, the offense has to score more than two runs to win. They failed to do that on Sunday.

Kyle Kendrick gave up two 1st inning runs, but then settled in, giving the Rockies the kind of outing that they were expecting from him when they picked him up in the offseason. True to his billing, he ate up seven strong innings, giving up just the two runs on five hits. He struck out four and walked one.

Credit should go to Kendrick for his vast improvements, but unfortunately for the Rockies, they couldn’t muster enough runs to get Kendrick a win, which would be his first at Coors Field.

The Rockies welcome in the St. Louis Cardinals, and almost certainly their entire fanbase that has decided that Denver is a great place to live. The Rockies are still seeking their first home series victory of the season. It won’t be easy against a very good Cardinals team.

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