Street stumbles in ninth; Rockies lose in 11 innings

May 6, 2011 | 12:09 am | 41  

Closer Huston Street blew his first save of the season, giving up two solo homers in the ninth to nullify Jason Hammel‘s third straight strong start, and the Colorado Rockies lost 3-2 in 11 innings to the Arizona Diamondback in the rubber game of their three-game series.

The Diamondbacks won the game when Matt Belisle relieved Franklin Morales with one out in the 11th and Chris Young, who tied the game with a homer with two out in the ninth off Street, doubled high off the wall in left-center. Belisle struck out Kelly Johnson, but Justin Upton’s bloop single to right sent the Rockies to their second loss in 11 innings Diamondbacks this season. The Rockies fell 7-6 in 11 innings on Opening Day at Coors Field.

The Rockies went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. They didn’t get a hit after Dexter Fowler‘s one-out single in the seventh but blew a huge opportunity in the 11th. Carlos Gonzalez led off and reached base on second baseman Kelly Johnson’s error, and Daniel Hernandez walked slumping Troy Tulowitzki. But Todd Helton fouled out, and Hernandez struck out Seth Smith and Ian Stewart.

Until Street stumbled, it appeared that Hammel was going to make sure the early scoring chances the Rockies squandered didn’t tow them under. He pitched seven scoreless innings, and has a 0.87 ERA (20 2/3 innings, 2 earned runs) in his past three starts.

The Rockies put runners on first and second to start the game but came up empty when Gonzalez, who went 0-for-5 and didn’t hit the ball out of the infield, grounded out, moving the runners to second and third, and Tulowitzki, who went 0-for-4, grounded into a fielder’s choice, with third baseman Melvin Mora throwing out Fowler at the plate. Ian Kennedy completed his escape by getting Helton to pop out.

Hammel had his own problems in the first. Leadoff hitter Young reached base on third baseman Stewart’s throwing error. He stole second as Johnson swung and missed strike three. Hammel walked Justin Upton, got Stephen Drew to pop out but walked Miguel Montero to load the bases before Mora grounded out.

The Rockies scored in the second when Smith led off with a double and took third on a wild pitch while Stewart was in the process of drawing a walk. Jose Morales‘ sacrifice fly scored Smith, but Stewart broke for second on left fielder Gerardo Parra’s poor throw, only to have shortstop Drew cut off the ball and nail Stewart at second.

Fowler opened the third with a triple, but the Rockies couldn’t get him home. Jonathan Herrera and Gonzalez struck out and Tulowitzki popped out. The Rockies scored a run in the fifth but left the bases loaded. Helton led off the inning with his 535th double to move past Lou Gehrig into 30th place. He scored on Morales’ one-out single, which moved Stewart, who had walked, to third base. Hammel sacrificed Morales to second, and Fowler walked but Herrera grounded into a fielder’s choice.

Other highlights:
_ Street allowed one home run in his first 13 games, a span of 14 1/3 innings. He has yielded three homers in his past four games, a span of 3 1/3 innings.
_Tulowitzki is 1-for-25 in his past six games and 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position in that span. He went 0-for-13 in the series, and his average has dropped to .261. For the season, Tulowitzki is 6-for-35 (.171) with runners in scoring position.
_ Stewart drew walks on each of his first two plate appearances, matching his total in his first 33 plate appearances of the season. But he went 0-for-3 and took a called third strike to end the 11th with runners on first and second, leaving him 3-for-34 (.088) with 14 strikeouts overall and 1-for-8 with three strikeouts since being recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Tuesday.
_ Matt Reynolds had retired the first batter he faced in 12 consecutive appearances before giving up a single in the ninth to left-handed hitting Johnson, the only batter. Reynolds yielded an opposite-field homer Wednesday to left-handed hitting Juan Miranda. Left-handed hitters are 4-for-19 against Reynolds. The two runs Reynolds allowed Wednesday in two-thirds of an inning equaled the total number of runs he yielded in 7 1/3 innings in his first 11 games.
_ Matt Lindstrom struck out Upton, the only batter he faced, with a runner on first to end the ninth, extending his scoreless streak to 10 innings and lowering his ERA to 0.75 (12 innings, 1 earned run).

41 Comments »

  • Doc | May 6, 2011 | 6:54 am

    When Stewart struck out looking, I flashed on Tracy’s question of what’s to loose with calling the kid up. A wasted opportunity IMHO. According to Renck at the DP, when asked how it went in AAA, Stewart said, “It was a lot of fun. Reminded me of little league.”

  • Wayne | May 6, 2011 | 7:02 am

    As much as I want to bash on Stewart (and you all know how much I do it) the entire offense lost this game. There were at least 2 opportunities where a sac fly scores a run and one opportunity that I can remember that a ground ball to 2nd or short scores a run. Mix in a timely hit anywhere in the first 4 innings (other than Morales single) and we have 6 or 7 runs on the board. Pitiful. This is looking, as others have said in the other thread) too much like 2010. And if I hear Goodman or Fraser say “we all know they will hit” one more time I may stop watching for awhile. Prog, you are right, this is not fun right now.

  • Doc | May 6, 2011 | 7:11 am

    To finish my thought, I’m not putting the game’s loss on Stewy even if he should still be at AAA and Nelson should have been called up. I agree with last night’s chat-it’s 2010 all over again. Maybe Stewart is onto something here. If they all relaxed and had fun, like Little League, maybe they’d get over the hump. I sure hope they find the magic soon.

  • miketober | May 6, 2011 | 7:23 am

    I think JTracy needs to bench Tulo for at least a couple of games. Move Johnny to SS and Amezega to 2B. The defense may suffer, but right now our 4-hole is an automatic out, and not a productive out. Maybe some splinters in Tulo’s butt will wake him up.
    I know “he’s frustrated” and “he’ll be fine” and “he made a loud out just the other day” and all the other excuses, but he is just killing the offense right now.

  • rockieswin | May 6, 2011 | 7:24 am

    Plain & simple – it was a team loss – they had so many opportunities to put the game out of reach early and didn’t do it. And then didn’t do it again in the extra innings. Arggghhhhh!

  • Agbayani | May 6, 2011 | 7:41 am

    1. Changing the batting order doesn’t do much, but it was a shame to watch the Rockies waste Fowler’s night (on base 4 out of 5 times). I’ve got to say move Seth Smith up to 2nd in the order. Herrera has had a really nice run, but he’s returning to earth now. Play Smith pretty much every day. He’s the best bet the Rockies have for RF productivity.

    2. Stewart is frustrating as hell, but again, there’s simply no better option right now. His passive approach is maddening, but at least he walked more than he struck out looking last night. Not that anyone drove him in.

    3. Face facts: this club needs another bat. Wigginton and Lopez weren’t the answer, and neither is Giambi. Salary considerations say we’re probably stuck with Wiggington and Lopez, so that means finding what the Rockies have wanted for a few years now: a productive RH bat to take Giambi’s roster spot. I don’t have any good ideas, but the Rockies have got to be willing to give up some real talent if they’re ready to make a push in 2011 — you’re not going to get what you need by trading another Chaz Roe (who brought Lopez).

    4. Street? I’m left with what I always say: he’s no dominant closer by any means, and hasn’t come close to being one since his rookie year. So again, he’s going to have to be the guy since there’s nobody else waiting in the wings (although Brothers is intriguing; you’d have to say he needs to actually face big league batters before anyone’s ready to reward him with the closer’s role). Lindstrom has been very good, but flip-flopping him with Street really doesn’t accomplish much – Street would just blow games in the 7th, and Lindstrom hasn’t been a dominant closer himself at any time in his career. You can win without a dominant closer, but the 9th inning will always be interesting. Just like the good old Brian Fuentes days, but with fewer walks and more home runs allowed.

  • rockymountainhigh | May 6, 2011 | 7:56 am

    Other than missed opportunities, the series came down to one thing – inability to hit against one of the worst pitching staff in the NL. Our own pitching staff held their own limiting the NL’s top offense to just 4, 4, and 3 runs which says sweep given Arizona’s bad pitching.

  • dave in bayfield | May 6, 2011 | 7:58 am

    This game wasn’t what we would call a “must win” game, but it sure left a sour taste. We all probably saw the result coming after the lost opportunities in the early innings. However, I watched all 11 innings. I’m getting too old to stay up that late. The Rox can’t count on the rest of the NL West to flounder. This is “kick them while they’re down” time.

  • Agbayani | May 6, 2011 | 8:00 am

    Miketober, a word on slumps and benching Tulo:

    Raul Ibanez was in a horrific 0-for-35 slump. I saw the comments floating around: bench him, there’s obviously something wrong with him even if it’s just age, we can’t suffer through this any longer. They sat him against some lefties, but kept throwing him out there otherwise.

    He just went 8-for-11 with 2 homers and 8 RBIs as the Phillies swept the Nationals.

    It’s like trying to time the stock market. You don’t know, I don’t know, the hitting coach doesn’t know, the manager doesn’t know, the player himself doesn’t know when a slump is going to end or when a hot streak is going to end. You can’t time the market. You can’t time hot and cold streaks. They happen seemingly randomly, and they end just as randomly and inexplicably. When Tulo was on a tear after the first weekend of the season who would’ve thought he’d just as suddenly stop hitting? And who can predict when the next hot streak is coming? About all we know is it’s less likely to start against a Tim Lincecum and more likely to start against a Ryan Vogelsong (currently the Giants’ 5th starter), and it’s more likely to start against the Nationals than it is against the Giants, but that’s true about any player.

    If Tulo says he feels healthy, not tired, etc, you keep throwing him out there until it turns around, since the only thing we know for sure is that in any given game a healthy Tulo has a far greater chance of being a productive hitter than a healthy Amezaga.

  • Cisco Kid | May 6, 2011 | 8:05 am

    I’m surprised it hasn’t been asked as to why Tracy didn’t call for the sac bunt in the 11th when Helton came up. Tied game in xtra innings and runners on 1st & 2nd with no outs. Am I missing something, but doesn’t the situation cry out for a sacrifice? I’m disappointed in Helton that even if Tracy didn’t call for the sac bunt he should have taken upon himself as a savvy veteran to do the right thing. The Dbacks sac bunted with their 5th place hitter (Montero) in the previous inning, why couldn’t the Rox? It’s become painfully obvious the past 2 seasons that Tracy doesn’t like to sac bunt, but it gets increasing frustrating losing these 1-run games without giving yourself a chance.

    Hate to waste Lindstrom for just one batter faced. Would the Rox consider bringing up Daley for the weekend to help out the BP?

  • Agbayani | May 6, 2011 | 8:09 am

    Cisco, I thought the same thing about the sacrifice with Helton. I guess we can say it turned out not to matter based on what Smith and Stewart were unable to do (get the ball out of the infield), but you’re right: that was a classic bunt situation where you need to get the runner to 3rd. I was guessing that Tracy didn’t do it simply because Helton is not a good bunter.

  • Agbayani | May 6, 2011 | 8:16 am

    On slumps II: I thought it would be fun to note what one knowledgeable writer said about Ibanez’s slump literally the day before Ibanez single-handedly destroyed the Nationals:

    “The Sunday night 0-fer brought Ibanez’s current offensive drought to 34 straight at-bats without a hit. As Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes, that puts Ibanez in the radar area of some all-time ineffective streaks and just another impotent week away from breaking baseball’s record for at-bats by a position player without a hit. That mark currently belongs to Brooklyn’s Bill Bergen, who went 46 straight at-bats in 1909 without recording a hit of any kind.”

    “With Ibanez’s season average weighing an anemic .154 and his OBP resting at a sickly .238, it’s safe to say that the 38-year-old has become a sizable anchor on the Phillies lineup. And while I hate to see him struggle as he’s one of the classier players in the game, it’s probably time to follow Matt Snyder of CBS Sports’ advice and do what’s best for the team: Admit that Ibanez is a sunk cost at this point, slide Ben Francisco over to left and restart the Dominic Brown era in right when he’s ready to go.”

  • Doc | May 6, 2011 | 8:20 am

    I watched the game on the Arizona feed and they brought up that the last time Helton laid down a sacrifice bunt was something like August 15, 2005. Not going to happen.

  • Miketober | May 6, 2011 | 9:07 am

    Ab, I understand your logic on the unpredictability of slumps. But when was the last time Tulo had a day off? Why is it okay to give CarGo a rest or to bump him down to 5th when he slumps? Why is there so much criticism of one of the FISSH when they have a bad series? And yet Tulo is sacred. Tulo is exempt.

    Yes I agree he will come out of his slump eventually and do great things. I just feel like his inability to get the ball out of the infield lately is the 500 lb. gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk about. The Rockies should have swept this series. Our clean-up hitter was hitless. Could there be a connection?

  • Marcus | May 6, 2011 | 9:44 am

    The Rockies need to send Tulo to AAA to play for the Sky Sox!!! Ha Ha!!! Just kidding people! But Seriously, I have felt the whole season, even when he was hot that I don’t think he is a cleanup hitter. If I were Dick Tracy I would put Helton back in the 3 hole, Cargo Cleanup, and Tulo in the 5th spot. Then I would tell Tulo that until he gets rid of his Beiber Fever he will not be a cleanup hitter. I am getting really anxious to see some of the Sky Sox playing with the big club. I really hope Tracy’s patients with players doesnt end of hurting the Rocks this year.

  • Rocky | May 6, 2011 | 9:51 am

    Very good comments as always, I learn a lot here. But, I’m a little suprised that no one has made the obvious ironic observation about hitting coaches. Isn’t Sleepy, I mean Don Baylor, the D-Bax hitting coach now? The Rox suffered mightily with poor hitting in nearly all areas when he was here, and it seems it’s the same situation in 2011 with Lansford. And it’s time to put Giambi out to pasture, he’s done.

    I agree with what was said earlier, if Goodman and Co. say anything more about how they(Rockies) will work thier way out of this, they’re gonna start hitting blah blah blah blah blah I’m going to write a sternly worded letter!

  • Becker | May 6, 2011 | 10:42 am

    Giambi needs a start or two, he looks very rusty. Todd’s last at bat of the game last night should have earned him some rest on the bench tonight.

  • terence | May 6, 2011 | 10:52 am

    can reyes play second? in february i asked about trading for justin upton.

  • Huckster | May 6, 2011 | 11:17 am

    Frustrating loss. I think there needs to be an Inside the Rockies Kangaroo Court to assess fines for lack of fundamental baseball activities. Maybe $20.00 for failing to get a runner home from third with less than 2 outs. $10.00 for failing to advance a runner from second to third with no outs. If they can’t advance runners or get them in from third, maybe Tulo, Cargo and Todd need to work on their bunting. Winning on the road is done one run at a time not leaving Dex on third after a lead off triple.

  • Miketober | May 6, 2011 | 11:23 am

    Huckster, great idea, but $10-20?? I think the heart of the order should be fined enough to buy Hammel a new BMW for not picking up his pitching performance.

  • Robb | May 6, 2011 | 11:54 am

    Tough one. Really should have swept the series. Street has been living on borrowed time the past few outings, but you still expect him to hold a 2-run lead against the D-Backs. Taking 2 out of 3 against Giants will help a lot and fact is we miss Tiny Tim so chances are better. While I think the team is better when Stewart plays well, I think he is just holding a spot for Wiggy. There could be a big trade on the horizon, but only if DOD is willing to trade some of his AAA/AA studs. I would always consider trading a potential star for someone who has performed at the major league level. Stewart is the perfect example of a potential star who never lived up to expectations. Finally, why doesn’t Morales start more often? At least 2 times per week. Thanks for letting me ramble.

  • Mike Raysfan | May 6, 2011 | 12:03 pm

    I say it’s Prog’s fault. He put the whamy on it yesterday when he said he was ready for Street to come in and blow the save in the previous game! :>)

    I agree it looks more like 2010 right now. They need to get back to taking advantage of situations they way they did the 1st 10 days or so. Runners on 3rd with nobody out NEED to score.

  • Rocky | May 6, 2011 | 12:05 pm

    “Stewart is the perfect example of a potential star who never lived up to expectations.”

    “‘Stewy even if he should still be at AAA and Nelson should have been called up. ”

    “When Stewart struck out looking, I flashed on Tracy’s question of what’s to loose with calling the kid up. A wasted opportunity IMHO. According to Renck at the DP, when asked how it went in AAA, Stewart said, “It was a lot of fun. When Stewart struck out looking, I flashed on Tracy’s question of what’s to loose with calling the kid up. A wasted opportunity IMHO. According to Renck at the DP, when asked how it went in AAA, Stewart said, “It was a lot of fun.”

    Has the Stewart death watch started?

  • Robb | May 6, 2011 | 12:20 pm

    Rocky, shades of Barmes from last year. Look what happened there? Some real similarities to Stewart in terms of fans losing faith.

  • Cameo | May 6, 2011 | 12:31 pm

    It’s tough to lose 2 out of 3 to AZ and especially tough to lose 2 out of 3 at home to Pitt. Rox are struggling right now for sure. I just hope everybody else in the division keeps struggling too.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | May 6, 2011 | 1:00 pm

    “Has the Stewart death watch started?”

    Started? This board had him dead before the season started.

  • sabrchip | May 6, 2011 | 1:42 pm

    Chimin’ in with this, a two run lead in the ninth should always be a “must-win” game even at 18-11 goin’ into a weekend where getting swept will still leave the Rox in 1st. Oops, hope there’s no whamy there Mike!

    I like moving the 3-4-5 around, but Tracy seems to love the L-R-L or vice versa in the middle of the lineup.

    Good analogy with Stewart and Barmes. That’s what it looks like here only does DOD stick with Ian ’til the end of the season. Nelson needs to be up here, he’s proven everything there is to prove in CS.

  • Rocky Mountain High | May 6, 2011 | 1:49 pm

    Give Stewart,Rogers, Ianetta, John Maine, Franklin Morales, Matt Daley, Jordan Pacheco to NYM and receive David Wright in return. Call up Wilits Rosario and Rex Brothers. How’s that?

  • egossage | May 6, 2011 | 1:51 pm

    Don’t know if Rosario is quite ready for the Big Leagues yet.

  • Wayne | May 6, 2011 | 2:04 pm

    RMH, was looking for that remark on my trade thread. If Giants do go after Reyes we need to counter with some impact bat. That is why I put the trade thread up there. Sorry, egossage, you won’t like what I proposed.

  • egossage | May 6, 2011 | 2:15 pm

    Hey I would put Wright over Stewart anyday! My defending Stewart is because a lot of people seem to criticize him while a lot of the other players are doing just as bad. Stewart is a better baseball player than half of the players on the Rockies. If the Mets would take Stewart and a couple more players for Wright I would welcome that trade anyday! Wright would easily become one of the top 3 players on the Rockies if not the top player.

  • progmatinee | May 6, 2011 | 2:15 pm

    RMH, way way way way too much. you trade both Iannetta and Pacheco you are putting every egg in the Rosario basket, a guy with a leg injury, to play catcher.

    Maybe Pacheco, Stewart and Rogers. Or better yet, Stewart, EYJ and Rogers.

  • Agbayani | May 6, 2011 | 2:19 pm

    The Mets are almost certainly going to move into salary dump mode, so I’d expect Reyes and Wright to be shopped pretty aggressively. Egossage, you’re right: David Wright would slot in below Tulo and CarGo as the third best bat on the club, and he’s be a tremendous addition, particularly since you’re not buying him past 2012.

  • egossage | May 6, 2011 | 2:21 pm

    Yeah Prog, I agree with you. We have got to get rid of EY Jr. Keep Pacheco because that guy can hit. Maybe not for power but he makes contact and that’s all I want on this team. Guys that make contact. I don’t want every guy in the lineup to be a power hitter which seems to be our lineup right now (except when Morales is catching and when Hererra is playing). DOD will make a move this year. A big move. I’m calling it.

  • Karl | May 6, 2011 | 2:50 pm

    Ok, so to sum up we had EdtheUmp on Young trade (after he was revealed mind you) this winter into spring training to tide us over for fun discussion and now today we are holding out hope and having fun with Wayne’s scenario, that is for DWright to come here.

    It’s good to see we are all having a fun discussion today. Well done folks. Love this site.

    Too bad team gave up the lead last night. I will take the blame, no whammy’s from others as the reasons. I let work get in the way of watching the Rox. My bad, won’t happen again this weekend.

  • Miketober | May 6, 2011 | 3:05 pm

    No Karl it’s my fault. I got my hopes up for the offense after Wednesday’s win. I should have known better.

  • Rocky Mountain High | May 6, 2011 | 3:50 pm

    egossage, I enjoy reading your posts because it seems like you and I are of the exact same opinions on the various Rox topics here on this site. You and I are on the island alone in Stewart’s corner as an example.

  • Rocky Mountain High | May 6, 2011 | 3:54 pm

    Prog, I was just making a long list to make sure that the Rox have the most bargaining chips to win the services of David Wright. But I know my list was too much to give up; just trying to get Mets’ attention. I’m all over David Wright at 3B for his glove and bat at a relatively young age for an established veteran.

  • progmatinee | May 6, 2011 | 4:57 pm

    i see what you did there. :)

  • Lwesche | May 6, 2011 | 5:24 pm

    That game probably should of been 8-6 going into the 5th. For too long we saw the offense was horrible but we were still winning games. Now we are losing to the worst teams in baseball. Watch, they will go to SF and sweep. Wishful thinking??

  • Doc | May 6, 2011 | 5:28 pm

    RMH -Not a matter of being in Stewart’s corner. I’m sure we all want him to succeed. However, I’d like a small sign that after 1154 at bats in a major league uniform, he’s got some idea of what he’s doing—(I’d take a display like he put on in St. Louis just after Tracy took over). Like I said earlier, Stewart needs to play like we was still in the Springs, back in the “little leagues when playing was fun.” If he can figure out how to do this, great. I just hope he spreads the smiles to the rest of the guys. The whole team is uptight.

    Which is true? The joy of playing the game allows you to relax and play the game to your fullest capability, or playing the game to your fullest capability allows you to enjoy playing the game?