DENVER (AP) -- Brandon Webb is starting to like Colorado's
bullpen. It's giving the Rockies fits.
Troy Glaus hit his fifth homer and Webb benefited from
Colorado's shaky relievers for the second time in a week, helping
the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Rockies 5-3 Monday night and end
a three-game losing streak.
"It seemed like the exact same thing," Webb said.
It was pretty close.
Shawn Chacon allowed a run in six innings in a taught duel with
Webb last Tuesday, only to see the bullpen spoil it by allowing
three runs in a 4-2 loss.
This time, Chacon gave up a run and five hits in six innings
before being lifted for a pinch hitter. He had thrown 101 pitches
and manager Clint Hurdle didn't want jeopardize his health just
because the bullpen has been struggling.
Right-hander Ryan Speier (1-1) replaced Chacon, and 14 pitches
later -- poof! -- the lead was gone.
Quinton McCracken led off with the first of five straight
singles off Speier, the boos growing louder with each hit. Tony
Clark, Craig Counsell and Royce Clayton chased Speier with
consecutive run-scoring singles, then a sarcastic cheer rang out
when Hurdle finally went out to get Speier, who didn't get an out.
But the meltdown wasn't really a surprise. Colorado is off to
the worst start in franchise history at 2-12, and six of those
losses have come from the bullpen. And with six blown saves
already, the Rockies could be well on their way to breaking the
major league record of 34 they set last year.
"I don't think there is any worse feeling in baseball than to
have a lead after the sixth inning and then to blow it," said
Speier, whose ERA rose to 15.75. "I just needed to get three outs
before I gave up a run, and I couldn't do that tonight. It's very
Chacon has deserved a better fate the way he's pitched.
Unable to spot his pitches in a failed attempt as closer last
year, Chacon has been superb in two outings since returning to the
rotation. The right-hander has allowed 11 hits and two runs in 12
innings, with nine strikeouts with just one walk after issuing 52
free passes in 63 1-3 innings last year.
Against Arizona, Chacon had his curveball working early,
freezing the Diamondbacks to set up his fastball on the corners. He
allowed four singles in the first five innings before Glaus went
down after a low fastball and lined it out to left-center in the
sixth, cutting Colorado's lead to 3-1.
"Anytime you lose it doesn't feel good," Chacon said.
"Regardless of how I pitched, we lost the ball game. We will keep
coming out and trying to win. You have to tell yourself that you
have to go out there with your stuff and trust your teammates."
It could have been good enough for a win, but that went to Webb
(3-0), who wasn't bad, either. He allowed three runs and five hits
in six innings, with six strikeouts. Brandon Lyon pitched the ninth
for his fifth save in six chances.
Webb's only trouble came in the fourth inning.
Brad Hawpe started things off with a fly to left-center that
kept carrying until it cleared the wall in the deepest part of the
park. Webb then walked Cory Sullivan and Clint Barmes after J.D.
Closser grounded out to first, and Chacon followed with a
run-scoring single through the left side -- his first hit since July
30, 2003, against Cincinnati.
Aaron Miles made it 3-0 with a chopper up the middle that Webb
The three runs were one less than Webb allowed his first two
starts (13 innings), and it would have been more if not for
Counsell's diving stop at second -- one of three in the game -- for
the third out.
But that was all the Rockies managed off Webb. He was lifted for
a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, picking up the win after
Arizona's four-run outburst against Speier.
"I'll take these last two outings. They are a shot for me,"
said Webb, the first Arizona pitcher to start 3-0 since Randy
Johnson in 2002. "My first couple of years I would give up a
couple of runs and the bats didn't come alive. Now they have picked
Arizona's Luis Gonzalez was ejected in the eighth inning
for arguing balls and strikes. ... Barmes was hit by a pitch for
the third time in three games in the second inning. ... Arizona won
on the road for the first time in 10 games, dating to last season.
... Colorado has lost 19 of 22 games, spanning two seasons.