Nine in the Ninth

Nothing shakes a writer out of the doldrums like an epic collapse.  Here are nine thoughts on yesterday’s loss: 

  1. Dennys Reyes hadn’t given up a run in his last seven outings dating back to June 13th.  The Rockies had not scored on Reyes, in Colorado, since July 10 2005 (5 years and 2 teams ago).
  2. According to Baseball Reference, no Cardinal pitcher had ever given up six runs in the ninth inning before last night.  Only two Cardinal hurlers had allowed six runs in 1/3 of an inning as late as the eighth:  Ricky Bottalico (9 June 1999 at Kansas City) and Hal Woodeshick (7 June 1967 against Houston, and the Cardinals gave up 5 in the ninth that day as well).
  3. The last time Ryan Franklin gave up six runs in a game he was still a starting pitcher, and spread the pain out over four innings.
  4. The last time Franklin surrendered six or more runs as a reliever?  2002.
  5. Only twice had a Cardinal pitcher recorded one out, given up six or more runs, and allowed two home runs:  Mark Petkovsek (pronounced pet-KAI-sek, I always liked that name) in 1998, and Jack Crimian in 1952.  Musial went 2 for 6 on that day in ’52.
  6. Coors Field has a well-earned reputation as a bandbox where no lead is safe.  That said, again according to Baseball Reference, before last night the Rockies had never scored nine runs in an inning at home, much less 2/3 of an inning.
  7. The Rockies scored 12 runs and left 13 men on.  This marks the third time this year Colorado left at least 13 men on base.  In fact, they left 20 on Sunday against San Francisco (13 hits, 15 walks) in a 4-3 win.
  8. Surprisingly, even with this loss the Cardinals are only 36-40 all time in Denver.  Funny the tricks your mind plays on you; I thought they routinely went into the  Mile High City and got bludgeoned.  That said, they haven’t won a series in Denver since 2006.
  9. Randy Winn’s error hurt, but Seth Smith absolutely destroys right-handed pitching, posting an OPS of .913 career (.949 in 2010. all of his HR) against them.  As that inning deteriorated, the fans got excited, and momentum took a seat in the Rockie dugout, one just knew he was going to administer the coup-de-grace on the game. 

Finally, check out the win probability from yesterday’s game: 

Graph reproduced from http://www.fangraphs.com

 

It’s frustrating, it’s aggravating, it’s infuriating.  But it’s only one loss, and a very unusual one at that.  I’m not going to get worked up over it.  Unless, of course, the Cardinals slip on a banana peel late in tonight’s game too… 

Update 12:21 PM PDT – Derrick Goold is reporting last night as the third time St Louis has blown a 6-run lead in the ninth inning.  My guess is the 6 runs were surrendered by more than one pitcher on those other two occasions, which would account for why I couldn’t find that data in my search.  The other option is my search was too cursory, which is possible; I looked for about 5 minutes.

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