On the third pitch of Sunday's game at Coors Field, Milwaukee's Rickie Weeks bombed a ball to Wheat Ridge that went just foul down the left field line. The Rockies, and rookie pitcher Tyler Matzek, were already walking a tightrope.
With eight players on the disabled list and a ninth with one foot in the infirmary, the Rockies have little room for error.
But they fell again on more miscues Sunday in a 6-5 loss to Milwaukee. Blunders in the field and on the bases cost the Rockies' in a sixth consecutive loss.
The Rockies flew to Los Angeles a week ago on a five-game winning streak, and coming off a series sweep at first-place San Francisco. After they were swept first by the Dodgers, and now the Brewers (by a combined score of 46-22), the Rockies are 11 games behind the Giants in the National League West.
"I tell you something," Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario said, "you have to be prepared for everything. Sometimes (stuff) happens that you can't control."
Matzek, in his third career big-league start, went 1-2-3 in the first inning. But the Brewers took a 3-0 lead in the second when Aramis Ramirez blasted a 438-foot shot to left field.
The Rockies got back even at 3-3 but let the game slipped away, sometimes literally.
In the fifth, Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy singled to right field to score Weeks and Rockies right fielder Charlie Blackmon threw to third base trying to catch Ryan Braun. When Lucroy sneaked off for second, third baseman Charlie Culberson caught him in a run-down.
Then Braun broke for home and first baseman Justin Morneau threw to the plate, seemingly in plenty of time for Rosario to tag Braun.
But Rosario instead threw to second to get Lucroy, allowing the run to score, making it 5-3. The Brewers did not trail again.
"I saw the video. I really did have time to make the play," Rosario said. "I didn't pick up the runner soon enough. That run can't come in so easy."
In the fourth, Rockies second baseman Josh Rutledge sprinted to the other side of the diamond, behind shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and dove into left field for an impressive stetched-out catch to retire Mark Reynolds.
But in the sixth, Rutledge was in the outfield when he should have been at second base. Ramirez hit a line drive to center fielder Drew Stubbs, and Rutledge joined Tulowitzki out on the grass as co-cut-offs, leaving second base empty. Ramirez sprinted to a stand-up double.
Then the Rockies, in a metaphor for their six-game slide, slipped in the ninth trailing 6-4. Corey Dickerson, in the lead-off spot, lined a long shot to right field that hit off the wall, inches short of a home run. He coasted into third.
When the Brewers' relay throw got away from Ramirez, Dickerson broke for home. He made it about eight steps before falling into the dirt for an easy tag-out.
"I'd been standing around for awhile, hadn't been on base. And my legs were already stiff," Dickerson said. "I would have walked in, basically, because the ball was so far off. But my legs gave out — I couldn't feel 'em. And I fell down."
In their six-game slide, the Rockies collected 10 errors (against four combined for the Dodgers and Brewers).
"It hasn't been a lack of focus," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Lack of execution. But not a lack of focus."