The Colorado Rockies hope their concern for an injured teammate
won’t hinder the collective focus they’ll need to bounce back from
their latest defeat.
A night after watching their starting pitcher get carted off the
field, the struggling Rockies look to regroup Saturday and prevent
the Washington Nationals from winning consecutive games at Coors
Field for the first time in three years.
The outcome of Colorado’s 5-3 loss to Washington on Friday was
overshadowed by starter Juan Nicasio being hit in the head by a
line drive off the bat of Ian Desmond in the second inning. The
Rockies right-hander lay flat on his back for several minutes
before he was placed on a stability board, then carted off and
taken to a local hospital where he was resting comfortably and
undergoing tests for a neck injury.
“It was hard,” manager Jim Tracy said. “I laud the effort to be
in the position we were in with a chance to win the game. You have
to finish the job.”
The incident was just another blow in a difficult season for the
Rockies (52-61), who have dropped five of six to fall further out
of contention in the NL West.
“It’s been a tough year already,” said shortstop Troy
Tulowitzki, batting .388 with four homers and 18 RBIs since the
Jhoulys Chacin (8-8, 3.38 ERA), who watched from the dugout with
much concern as Nicasio lay on field, tries for a ninth time
Saturday to match his career-high victory total. The right-hander
is 0-4 with a 4.50 ERA in eight starts since he beat San Diego on
Chacin held Philadelphia to one run in 7 1-3 innings Monday, but
closer Huston Street could not hold a two-run lead in the ninth and
the Rockies fell 4-3 in 10 innings.
“It’s frustrating more for the team,” Chacin said. “I (want) to
give us a chance to win the game.”
Chacin is 0-2 with 5.25 ERA against the Nationals, but he gave
up one run and four hits over seven innings of a 2-0 loss to them
Washington (54-58) had lost four straight and seven of eight at
Coors Field before Friday’s victory, and hasn’t earned back-to-back
victories there since sweeping a doubleheader Aug. 7, 2008.
Desmond had four hits Friday while Rick Ankiel and Michael Morse
each added three as the Nationals regrouped after losing 6-3 in
Thursday’s opener. Desmond tried to keep his mind on baseball while
thinking of Nicasio.
“It’s hard to see another ballplayer get hurt,” he said. “I hope
Desmond is 10 for 26 (.385) while the Nationals have won five of
seven following a stretch in which he was 2 for 14 during the
team’s six-game skid. Morse is hitting .467 with two homers and six
RBIs over the last seven, and .478 in six career games versus
Scheduled Nationals starter Livan Hernandez (6-10, 4.08) is 1-3
in his last eight starts versus Colorado – where he spent part of
the 2008 season – but has a 2.24 ERA over that span.
After going 0-2 with a 5.74 ERA in five July starts, the
right-hander beat Atlanta on Monday as he allowed one run in six
innings of a 5-3 win.