The September magic ran out for the Colorado Rockies last night, as sub-par pitching brought the team's 10-game winning streak to an end. But the 6-4 loss to the San Diego Padres at Coors Field should have been preventable.
The Denver Post points out that the Padres' frigid offense hadn't scored more than five runs in nearly a month, but yesterday their bats got hot early. Combined with solid bullpen pitching, the Padres returned their division lead to two-and-a-half games, making the Rockies' remaining games that much more important. Rockies starting pitcher Jeff Francis struggled early, giving up a monster two-run home run to the Padres' Miguel Tejada in the first inning. Francis lasted through the third inning and was pulled, shifting responsibility to the Rockies' bullpen.
"You aren't going to win every game—even though it looked like we would," outfielder Carlos Gonzalez tells the Post. Earlier in the day, he told The New York Times the Rockies seem to save the best baseball for September, a troubling trend the team needs to reverse to avoid the pressure of having to win every game down the stretch. The Rox play eight of their remaining 15 games at Coors Field.
"I'm telling you, it's an amazing thing watching these kids play here," says Rockies slugger Jason Giambi. "It'd be like L.A. is for the Lakers.... They feel like they can win every game here."