The Colorado Rockies are currently involved in arguably their most trying stretch of the season, with 20 of their next 26 games on the road versus teams on the eastern side of the United States. With that understanding, it is imperative that the Rockies capitalize on every opportunity presented to them – especially if the opportunity presented is a five-run lead versus arguably the best team in the NL, the Atlanta Braves.
But the Rockies failed to capitalize Monday night.
An offensive performance that included 15 hits and eight runs scored, including a 5-for-5 effort from Carlos Gonzalez, was for naught and the Rockies dropped their first game of the daunting road trip. This one is going to leave a mark.
Rewinding the events of the night had to seem surreal for any longtime follower of the Rockies. Jorge De La Rosa was on the mound. Handing him a five-run lead is supposed to be automatic. Instead, he struggled, walking runners in untimely non-De La Rosa like fashion.
Nolan Arenado has been a solid defensive glove at third base, yet a third-inning error cost the Rockies three runs.
Edgmer Escalona had Andrelton Simmons down in the bottom of the 10th with an 0-2 count, yet offered a two-seam fast ball over the meat of the plate. The young men currently preparing to punch their ticket to the Little League World Series in Williamsport know better than that. Simmons’ hit off the Escalona 0-2 pitch drove in the Braves’ winning run.
These are simply a few glaring example of the many things that went wrong for the Rockies on Monday.
All that said, and in retrospect of the season to date, these are the things that separate a division-leading team like the Braves from a slipping mid-division dweller like the Rockies. Where the Rockies have a long list of missed opportunities, the Braves have few.
I feel as though I have been here before. Or, in the infamous words of baseball legend Yogi Berra, “it’s déjà vu all over again.”. As it turns out, missed opportunities are a common theme.
There’s a definitive bottom line for the Rockies’ 2013 season – time is growing short and missed opportunities are beginning to catch up. To salvage the season, the Rockies have to make a run. The problem is that the Rockies have struggled to assemble back-to-back-to-back successful games, let alone the type of streak required to crawl back in to the NL West race.
The time has to be now, because the Rockies are simply running out of tomorrows.