The Colorado Rockies delivered another gut punch to themselves, their fans, and their Wild Card chances by losing yet another game late when the had a lead. That makes three straight, and four of the last six blown in devastating fashion. They wasted a brilliant late-game moment from David Dahl and some solid pitching from Jorge De La Rosa in what is starting to feel like a hall of mirrors in a house of horrors for the club from Colorado.
De La Rosa worked into some jams early but mostly worked out of them. He gave up a run on an Ian Desmond single in the second and on a sac fly from Desmond in the fourth but was otherwise cruising. Jonathan Lucroy was really the only guy to tag De La with anything hard, driving a ball over the center-field fence in the bottom of the fifth.
The Rockies scored in the first, as they so often have lately, but then fell completely silent.
Until the top of the eighth.
A walk to Nolan Arenado and a seeing-eye single from Mark Reynolds set the stage for Dahl's big moment. He came into the at-bat 0-for-3 his 15-game hitting streak (and a Rockies franchise record) on the line -- not the mention the baseball game he was playing in.
The Rangers, not foolish enough to think Dahl's streak some kind of fluke, went to their lefty specialist Jake Diekman, but it mattered not for for the Rockies rookie who turned on an inside fastball and drilled it deep into the right-field corner, not only tying the game but putting himself on third base with one out, representing the go-ahead run.
And with a deep fly ball to left field off the bat of Ryan Raburn, "go ahead" is exactly what the Rockies did when Dahl trotted home easily for the Rockies fourth run. The last three runs, of course, all thanks to Dahl.
But it was all for naught ...
Rockies manager Walt Weiss is clearly still searching for an answer for the rest of the back-end of the bullpen now that Adam Ottavino has taken the closer role back. He went with a combination of Boone Logan, Jordan Lyles, and Ottavino tonight and for the third straight game sat and watched as his bullpen gave up a late lead.
Logan plunked Shin-Soo Choo after Mitch Moreland reached on a Reynold's error and would ultimately be charged with the two runs that scored. Logan was replaced by Jordan Lyles who did his job in getting Ian Desmond to ground out to first. Weiss chose then to intentionally walk Carlos Beltran and bring Ottavino out of the 'pen; both wise moves.
But Otto hung one of his patented sliders just a little bit -- just enough for Adrian Beltre to hit a hard bouncer just past the diving reach of Cristhian Adames. The throw home from Dahl was perhaps questionably cut off by Ottavino and just like that the Rangers had taken the lead right back from the Rockies.
Colorado went down in order in the top of the ninth.
It's been body blow after body blow for the Colorado Rockies who seem to be inventing new and uniquely painful ways to lose; like an inventor with the Spanish Inquisition.
Each loss only counts for one but the Rockies have got to be asking themselves how they can so regularly seem to outplay their competition without walking away with any wins. They've wasted stellar pitching and historic moments and breakout performances and brilliant individual efforts. They've made it tough to ask fans to stay up late to watch. Because late is usually when things start getting ugly.
There are 48 games left on the docket. The season is far from over. But every wasted opportunity, every "coulda, woulda, shoulda" is another minute taken off of your baseball life. And the Rockies are running out of time.
Colorado will lose to the Rangers in the ninth inning one more time tomorrow afternoon. Chad Bettis will have his very good outing end with a loss after the Rockies get to Lucas Harrell early but suddenly come down with the plague in the final frame and have to forfeit the game. First pitch is at 12:05 MST.