Despite Jason Jennings spotting the Braves a touchdown in the first inning, I had a good feeling about this one until a brutal Desi Relaford error in the top of the eighth stole the Rockies' momentum after they closed it to 8-5. This is how I feel about the season, as a whole: horrible mistakes by young players, I don't mind so much. They're here to learn how to be big leaguers. But stupid mistakes by mediocre veterans? No, that's the old Rockies. What happened to "Gen R?"
While Cory Sullivan and Atlanta's Ryan Langerhans weren't trading off brilliant plays in left field, the Rockies were busy putting together a series of scrappy mini-rallies. Helton and Wilson combined for a two-out run in the 3rd. Clint Barmes had an RBI single in the 4th. A three-run burst in the 5th was capped off by a pinch-hit single for Garrett Atkins. Who, by the way, was omitted from the starting lineup in favor of Desi "Career .673 OPS" Relaford.
Marcos Carvajal gave up another run in his one inning of work, while new arrival David Cortes was great (2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K). Jay Witasick would have gotten out of a shaky eighth if not for "Crazy Hands" Relaford. He did recover to pitch a scoreless ninth, which featured a wacky Marcus Giles ground-rule double. Somehow the ball skipped out of Brad Hawpe's glove and stayed on the ledge of one of the wells in the manual scoreboard on the right-field wall. The announcers said they'd never seen such a thing, and they would know better than I. Three strikeouts for Witasick in two innings of work, though, which is pretty good. As for Jason Jennings, well, the less said, the better. At least he managed to hang around in the game for four innings to save the bullpen after effectively losing the game in the first.
Offensive stars? Well, Preston Wilson was 3 for 5 and reached on an error, improving his trade value. Good work, Preston! Clint Barmes was 2 for 5. Todd Helton had no hits, but two walks and two runs. Cory Sullivan was 2 for 4 in addition to his fine glovework. But what are you going to do when your starter chokes up six runs in the first inning? Lose, mostly. With BK facing Smoltz tomorrow, too. Onward, purple soldiers!