Between plays, the announcer gave a quick recap of the game. He talked about how the Rockies were winning at one point and how the Diamondbacks came back to take the lead in the late innings. Lost a late-inning lead, huh? Guess who was the first player to pop into my head? Wilton Lopez. I jumped online to see the box score of the game and to see if I was right. I was.
Now there’s a shocker. If there has been a dark cloud hanging over the start the Rockies have had this season, it looks just like Lopez. The Rockies have lost five games this season. Lopez has two blown saves this season. That means that Lopez has blown a save in 40 percent of the team’s losses. Not all of his disasters were in save situations, so he’s actually done more damage than that.
I’m sure Lopez will say something sappy like he did after his last disaster.
“They brought me here to do a job, and I’m confident I will get things turned around,” he told the Denver Post after giving up two runs in an inning against the San Diego Padres on April 12.
He sure turned things around on Sunday when he allowed two runs in the ninth inning, turning a 4-3 lead into a 5-4 loss.
The loss ended an eight-game winning streak, and allowed the San Francisco Giants to creep to within 1.5 games of the first-place Rockies. The loss was the first for the Rockies at Coors Field this season and killed the Rockies’ momentum, something that would have come in handy against their next opponent, the Atlanta Braves.
The loss was Lopez’s first of the season. His ERA climbed to 9.00 in the process.
Manager Walt Weiss will probably come out and say that he still believes in Lopez and will continue to use him in high-leverage situations. In fairness, I wouldn’t expect Weiss to say anything less — publicly. The Rockies are 13-5 and sit in a division that is bound to get more competitive with time. Though they’re in first place now, every loss, especially meaningless ones like Sunday’s, will loom large.
How long will the Rockies be willing to go with the crapshoot pitcher known as Wilton Lopez? Only Weiss knows.