DENVER -- When the Rockies went to the World Series in 2007, they did so in part on the strength of a record-breaking defense that established a rock-solid foundation for all aspects of their game.
Early in 2012, they find themselves at the other end of the spectrum, with their 24 errors the second highest in the league. On Saturday night, they made a season-high four errors in a 12-9 loss to the Braves, with Gold Glovers Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez committing errors in the same inning for the second time this season.
"I think just like with hitting, it's contagious a little bit, defense," Tulowitzki said. "You start to get one, two, and guys start to think about it a little bit. But we're a better defensive team than we've shown. We've just kind of struggled early. There's no real excuse. The weather hasn't helped sometimes. When bad weather's come, we maybe got a little tight or whatever, but there's really no excuse for it."
Tyler Colvin's error in center came when he put enough effort in to track down a ball at the warning track with his back to the plate, but watched it bounce off his glove. Gonzalez's ball was lost in the lights, and Esmil Rogers' throwing error in a pickoff attempt at second was a mental lapse that found him throwing to an empty base while the infield was positioned to defend against a bunt. Tulowitzki's miscue came on a routine grounder by the pitcher, Mike Minor, and he still isn't sure how he missed the ball.
"I wish I had an answer," Tulowitzki said. "I missed it. I couldn't believe it when it happened. Maybe I took my eye off it a little bit early. I don't know. Believe me, it bothers me big time, but there's nothing you can do about it."
Despite the uncharacteristic defensive lapses, neither Tulowitzki nor manager Jim Tracy are concerned about an ongoing issue.
"Was last night sloppy?" Tracy asked. "Yes it was. But over the long haul through the 26 games we played, have there been moments of brilliance in the 26 games? I think there has or we'd have no chance at being 12-14. It's a big old deep hole that we [would] get into that we [would] have to climb out of."