There's Plenty of Blame to Go Around in Colorado Rockies' Latest Meltdown

By Al Balderas
Chris Humphreys-USA Today Sports

Will the real Colorado Rockies please stand up? Or will they simply lie down like they have the past two nights against the San Francisco Giants?

There was plenty of blame to go around in Tuesday’s 9-6 loss, beginning with starting pitcher Juan Nicasio, who Nicasio didn’t have any command and was gassed by the time the game reached the sixth inning. He walked the first two batters of the inning, the second coming on his 95th pitch of the game.

Adam Ottavino replaced Nicasio. His first pitch was a ball. His second was a wild pitch. Before Brandon Crawford could walk too, he hit a 2-0 offering for a home run. Ottavino gave up two more hits and an intentional walk before he was replaced by Matt Belisle. The only out Ottavino recorded in the sixth inning came when Marco Scutaro sacrificed himself.

Belisle, of course, gave up another double and single in the eighth inning, igniting the Giants’ winning rally. He was saddled with the loss.

It’s hard to believe but Ottavino was a first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006. The Cards dumped him after one season in the bigs (0-2, 8.46 ERA). Though he won five of six decisions as a reliever for the Rockies last season, his ERA was 4.56. After three games this season, it’s 9.00. Could his next appearance be for the Rockies’ minor-league club in Colorado Springs?

Offensively, the Rockies weren’t much better. They scored five runs off of Tim Lincecum in the second inning and were actually leading, but had just two hits after that, including none in the final three innings. Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki both failed to deliver in the seventh inning with a runner in scoring position.

The Rockies have to go into salvage mode for today’s finale at AT&T Park before they fly down the coast to San Diego. The next homestand will include games against the Atlanta Braves, a team that also began its season by winning five of its first six games. The only difference is that the Braves have now won seven of its first eight games.

If the Rockies’ crapshoot pitching staff continues to show inconsistency from top to bottom, it won’t be long before the Rockies are trying to salvage the 2013 season.

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