Colorado Rockies Avoid No-Hitter, Lose to Giants

David MartinAnalyst IApril 18, 2011

DENVER, CO - APRIL 18:  Starting pitcher Tim Lincecum #55 of the San Francisco Giants delivers against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Lincecum recorded 10 strike outs as he earned the win as the Giants defeated the Rockies 8-1.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Sometimes you just tip your cap and move on.

Tim Lincecum took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Carlos Gonzalez laced a single into right field. After Todd Helton doubled down the right field line, Lincecum's bid for a shutout ended as well.

In the end, the Rockies lost the opener of a three-game series 8-1 to the Giants.

For all of the hype coming into the series about the Rockies using the three-game set as a statement, a game like Lincecum threw on Monday nullifies all of the talk. Sometimes a guy on the other team just has it, and Lincecum was having one of those nights.

It certainly didn't hurt the right-hander to be staked to a 5-0 lead before he ever climbed the mound and threw a pitch.

As good as Lincecum was for the Giants, Esmil Rogers was equally as bad for the Rockies.

Rogers got a quick first out to start the game before the flood gates opened. Aided by a breeze to right field, Freddy Sanchez lifted a ball into the Rockies bullpen to start the scoring. Before it was over, Pat Burrell and Nate Schierholtz had both launched home runs of their own.

It may have been the quickest game in the history of Coors Field. After the top of the first inning, the remainder of the game was only played because the rules stated that it had to be. Lincecum has never lost a game when given a five-run advantage.

As bad as it was for Rogers, Triple-A call-up Clayton Mortensen made the latest statement about the Rockies depth. One of the few negative points for the Rockies in the early going of a very successful season has been the overuse of the bullpen. With Ubaldo Jimenez on the DL and Jorge De La Rosa twice dealing with blister issues, the Rockies have asked their bullpen to work more than they would like to.

With Rogers clunker, it looked like the Rockies were going to have to get five or six innings from their pen again. Instead, Mortensen came in and pitched six shutout innings in his Rockies debut. He gave up just two hits while walking two and striking out a batter.

The Rockies acquired Mortensen in the offseason from the Oakland A's for exactly what he was used for on Monday night. Ironically, Mortensen was one of the prospects that was shipped to Oakland from St. Louis for Matt Holliday.

The game goes down in the books as a loss, and the Rockies will have to take the next two in the series to be the victors, but the reality is, it was simply a night when the club didn't have a chance to begin with. They were facing a two-time Cy Young winner, and the Rockies starter simply didn't have it.

Those types of games happen. It doesn't matter what the series is or who a team is playing, games like Monday night's happen to every team. It is simply another example of why a hot start is so important.

The Rockies send Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound to in an effort to even the series on Tuesday.

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