Boston, MA — The Colorado Rockies are officially in a funk. A tough road trip continued Wednesday night in Boston against the Red Sox in a 10-3 defeat, moving them to 2-6 since sweeping the Mets at Coors Field a week ago.
Despite the fact that Red Sox starter Steven Wright’s knuckleball lead to a parade of passed balls — two of which directly led to runs for the Rockies — he remained difficult to square up with any kind of consistency. Poor Ryan Hanigan would be charged with four PBs in the game and even seemed to remove himself in the middle of the proceedings. Wright finished with seven innings pitched, three runs (two earned) on seven hits while striking out seven and walking only two. He could win a decent jackpot in Vegas with trip sevens like that.
On the flip side, Chad Bettis struggled with his fastball command in the fourth inning and the Red Sox also jumped on a few good pitches, chasing him after just 4 2/3, giving up seven runs on seven hits, including a towering home run to Xander Bogaerts in the frame.
Justin Miller worked an inning and a third, giving up just a hit and Jason Motte made his Rockies debut, coming off the DL and pitching one inning, giving up a hit and striking out two.
Chad Qualls got knocked around in the eighth for three runs on four hits, ballooning his ERA to 6.08.
The highlight for the Rockies offense was Carlos Gonzalez who went 3-for-4 and scored twice, raising his batting average back up to .282. Ryan Raburn was the only other Rockie with a multi-hit day. Mark Reynolds went 1-for-4 with two RBI, furthering his upsetting of pretty much everyone’s expectations. He has yet to hit for a ton of power but still leads the team with a .318 batting average.
Knuckleballs are hard to hit. Add in the facts that the Rockies offense has been in a bit of a collective slump on this road trip and the Boston Red Sox are playing some of the best baseball in the country right now, and this one just had too many things going against the Rockies. Quite frankly, it’s a game they just aren’t quite yet at the level to win. It didn’t turn on any given moment, rather the Red Sox proved to be the more talented and experienced team at this particular moment in time.
This game should signal to both the front office and the fans that this team isn’t quite ready to compete at the very highest level. That’s OK. They would be way ahead of schedule if they were already there. It also doesn’t mean they need to go out and trade a promising prospect for an “ace” pitcher. They have plenty of in-house options available in the near future and also plenty of assets to continue their steady growth through less-than-blockbuster moves. What the Rockies have proven so far in 2016 is that they have a core worth adding to and that they should not yet be done adding to it.
The Rockies try to salvage a game in the series on Thursday against the Red Sox. Jon Gray vs. Clay Bucholtz at 5:10 MST.