Baseball is a great game because for all the emotions of come-back wins and end-of-game strikeouts to get a save, there are also those painful losses that often defy description. The latter seems especially true for the Rockies and their fans at the ballparks in California. The game is different in those venues compared to high altitude Coors Field, so maybe that adds to the whole process.
San Francisco’s AT&T Park has been a particular house of horrors. The series last weekend was typical, even though the Rockies could have swept the series as easily as the 2-of-3 they lost. Friday night, it’s a grand slam from a pitcher (Madison Bumgarner), while on Sunday, it was a walk-off homer after a terrific Rockies comeback. The Giants play so many close games that they just seem more comfortable in tight contests than their opponents, and there is no doubt their large, baseball-savvy crowds provide a great home field advantage.
For all of the Rockies’ troubles in San Francisco, however, the losses to the Padres at Petco Park in San Diego are the ones that gnaw at me. Jerry Schemmel and I call it being Padred: to lose a game in the oddest circumstances. Last night’s 5-4 setback was Exhibit A. Rex Brothers, fighting his command right now, looked like he might survive a bases loaded situation from three walks only to have San Diego score a run on a wild pitch and then the winning tally when Willin Rosario’s attempt to get the man at the plate on the misfired pitch go past Brothers covering the plate. Sometimes, even seeing isn’t believing when you’ve been “padred!”
On the injury front, we will wait to hear on Michael Cuddyer’s elbow contusion, but it sounds like it isn’t too serious. Of course, the Rockies thought that with Brett Anderson, and he will be gone 4-6 weeks with a fractured left index finger. Jhoulys Chacin makes his first rehab start tonight in Modesto, so let’s hope that is the beginning of some better medical news for the ballclub. It has been a strange year already for many teams in baseball when it comes to health.
TIP OF THE WEEK: Although the trips to San Francisco can sometimes be painful at the ballpark, I always enjoy the weekend series when the Saturday game is played in the afternoon. That allows me to see a show at Biscuits and Blues, an intimate music club that always features some of the best blues artists in the country. This past Saturday, Joe Louis Walker played two sets, and the 65-year-old guitarist and his 4-piece band were in top form. Wailing blues, hard rock-n-roll, and even some gospel music, they were cookin’! Check out Walker’s latest CD, Hornet’s Nest - you won’t be disappointed.