In the midst of pre-game banter, Rockies manager Bud Black is often asked about games past or future, in addition to present.
He is quick to point out that there is only one game that matters – the game that day or night.
Looking into the future can only create speculation.
Looking back can limit the focus on the job at hand.
That’s why Saturday carries such significance.
With what the Rockies went through in suffering a 16-12, 12-inning loss to the Padres on Friday night, a fresh start on Saturday will be welcomed.
What the Rockies have to keep in focus is as miserable as a loss may have been in a game in which the Rockies equaled a season-high for runs allowed in an inning – six in the ninth on Friday – they had the good fortune of both of the teams ahead of them in the NL wild-card race – the Cubs and the Phillies – also losing, so the Rockies still remain just two games back in the wild-card battle.
It was just one game. It's important to not allow it impact future games.
And the Rockies have shown an ability to shake off a nightmarish inning after a good night's sleep so far this year. They are 1-5 when allowing five or more runs in an inning this season, including when they did it twice on Friday (allowing five runs in the 12th as well as the six in ninth).
They, however, went into Saturday having rebounded to win the next game after each of the five previous games when the pitching staff suffered that big inning.ile there may not be a hangover on Saturday, there definitely will be a residual. The bullpen not only stumbled, but was chewed up.
Every member of the bullpen took the mound and every one of them struggled – except Scott Oberg, who worked the 10th and 11th innings without giving up a run.
Oh, Brian Shaw didn’t give up a run, but he only faced two batters in the sixth, and before he induced pinch-hitter Franmil Reyes to ground out weakly to end the inning, he did serve up a run-scoring single to Austin Hedges, which drew the score to 4-3 Rockies at that point.
And it's more a matter of accumulation than merely what happened on Friday. In the first four games of the current homestand, the Rockies bullpen has carried a heavy load. Jairo Diaz, who suffered the loss when he gave up five runs in the 12th on Friday, was making his fourth appearance in four games. Every reliever -- except Mike Dunn -- worked for at least the second time in four games on Friday night.
The salvation for the Rockies is that German Marquez gets the call to start Saturday's game. The odds are he can carry a heavy workload. He does rank second in the NL in innings pitched, three behind Max Scherzer of the Nationals.
Marquez and Jon Gray are the only Rockies starting pitchers with more than two starts who are averaging six innings a start.