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The Colorado Rockies enjoyed a day off Thursday, and it came just in time. The Rockies not only lost their third game in a row on Wednesday night, they lost it in grand style. The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw not only threw a no-hitter at the Rockies, he almost “perfect-gamed” them. If not for an error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez, Kershaw would have kept the bases clean of Rockies’ runners for all nine innings.
For the Rockies in the past month, it has been a series of streaks, beginning with three losses at the tail end of a dismal 2-7 road trip which saw the team lose the last game of a three-game series at Philadelphia, then get swept in Cleveland against the Indians. At the time, the return home seemed like just the thing the Rockies needed to awaken from their Rip Van Winkle-like slumber. That would not be the case, however, as the Arizona Diamondbacks proved to be rude guests, sweeping the Rockies at Coors Field in a three-game set. The Dodgers came to town, and by the time they won the first of a three games, Colorado found themselves mired in an 8-game losing streak.
The Rockies would end the losing streak and take the second game from the Dodgers, 5-4 in 10 innings, but lose the rubber game–and the first two of a four-game home series against the Atlanta Braves. At that point, Colorado had lost 14 of 17.
The switch flipped in the middle of the Atlanta series. It would be easy to say the offense woke up in that third game, but the Rockies’ bats had exploded for 10 runs in the second loss to the Braves, 13-10. The next night, Colorado would get a dominant first-ever major league start by pitcher Tyler Matzek, who allowed only five hits and struck out seven as the Rockies rolled over Atlanta 8-2. Whatever Matzek had must have been contagious, as the next afternoon Jhoulys Chacin turned in easily his best performance of the season, shutting out the Braves over seven innings in a 10-3 Colorado win.
The prosperity continued on the road for the Rockies, as they visited San Francisco to face the division-leading Giants. Notching comebacks in either the eighth or ninth innings in each game, Colorado was able to sweep the first-place Giants, and get out of town with a rare road-sweep, and a five-game winning streak. It certainly did not balance the books after the 3-14 spell, but it was a great moral-builder and reason to be optimistic as they headed to Chavez Ravine for three games against the Dodgers.
The Colorado Rockies are one of the best offenses in baseball in 2014, leading in runs scored, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage for much of the season. Manager Walt Weiss must have been wondering who it was masquerading as his hitters those three nights in Los Angeles. The Rockies scored three runs in three days, losing all three and suffering the indignity of Kershaw’s no-hit gem on the final evening. Weiss simply tipped his cap to Kershaw and the Dodgers following the loss, saying “I’ve seen some great pitching performances, but it’s tough to be any better than Kershaw.”
Now the Rockies are back at home again, and the fans at Coors Field hope their team will benefit from the home cooking for which their stadium is famous. Colorado has six games in the friendly confines, starting with a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers. Christian Bergman, who is 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA will start the first game for the Rockies, against the Brewers’ Marco Estrada (5-4, 4.82 ERA).
Commentary by Chuck Podhaisky
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the Colorado Rockies