Rockies Get a Reminder or 3: NL West Goes Through LA
The Dodgers have won five consecutive NL West titles. They are the only team to have advanced to the post-season each of the last five years. And they have given the Rockies a not so subtle reminder of the challenge they present.
It was one thing for the Dodgers to put a damper on the Rockies hopes of their first winning road trip of the season in May, when the rockies won the first game of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium, giving them a 4-3 record on a nine-game road trip through San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The Dodgers, however, won the next two games, and the Rockies came home for the first three-series homestand of the season. It began with the Rockies taking two out of three from the Reds and the Giants, needing one victory out of their three-game series with the Dodgers to enough their first winning homestand of the season.
The Rockies were swept, and to add to the frustration, in each of the games at Coors Field, the Rockies went into the sixth inning with a lead, and the Giants exploited Colorado's bullpen. A 6-5 lead on Friday turned into an 11-8 loss. On Saturday the Rockies were up 4-3 in what became a 12-4 loss. And on Sunday, the Rockies saw a 6-4 lead turn into a 10-7 loss.
Not a surprise. The Dodgers have been the biggest challenge the Rockies have faced so far this season. And they have done it at the expense of a Rockies bullpen, which the team felt would be a strength after an off-season splurge in which they signed three-year deals worth a total of $106 million with left-hander Jake McGee, and right-handers Bryan Shaw and Wade Davis.
Twelve times the bullpen was called on for help in the three games, and never did they provide a saving response. In 10 1/3 innings, the Rockies relievers gave up 18 runs, blew three saves and suffered three losses.
The most glaring came on Sunday. Davis, the one consistent reliever the Rockies have had this season other than Adam Ottavino, who is on the disabled list, Davis, who has converted 18 of 20 saves this season, was asked to merely hold serve in the ninth inning of what was a 7-7 game. The Dodgers, however, got to him for three runs, including a two-run Yasmani Grandal home run.
Big deal? Well, it was only the fourth time in 247 relief appearances that Davis allowed three runs in an inning.
It was a grinding three outs for Davis. He faced eight batters and threw 38 pitches, which equaled the most pitches he has thrown in any of the 295 career appearances he has made in which he has worked an inning or less. Not surprising, he suffered the loss in both of his 38-pitch, one-inning efforts, and both times he entered a game with the scored tied -- Sunday and June 2, 2015 against the Indians when he took over in a game tied at one run in the ninth.
THE MORE, NOT THE BETTER
Davis did earn the save in that game the Rockies won at Dodger Stadium on May 21. It, however, underscores the nature of the six games the two teams have played that the May 21 game was the only one in which Davis pitched against the Dodgers until Sunday.
Thirteen Rockies pitchers had were called on in the six games, and other than McGee, whose only appearance was a shutout inning on Sunday, each of the other 12 had their problems holding the Dodgers in check.
NO HELP IN SIGHT
The Dodgers have been a problem for Davis since he became a reliever. He has suffered two of his four bullpen losses against the Dodgers, and his 6.75 ERA as a reliever against the Dodgers is his second highest against an NL team.
A CASE OF THE BLUES