Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/18/12

The Colorado Rockies are dealing with an epidemic of walks, which, not surprisingly, has been very costly in two recent losses and has contributed to some very shoddy work recently by the bullpen.

The Rockies issued 10 walks, one intentional, Sunday at Los Angeles and lost 11-5. Seven of those 10 walks were issued by relievers and five ended up scoring.

On Tuesday at San Francisco, the Rockies managed to blow a save and win 5-4, despite issuing another 10 walks (one intentional). The bullpen was responsible for six walks, although just one of the 10 scored.

Seeking a sweep of their two-game series with the Diamondbacks, the Rockies lost 9-7 on Thursday when closer Rafael Betancourt yielded a two-run homer with two out in the ninth. Rockies pitchers issued nine walks (one intentional), and four ended up scoring.

Starter Juan Nicasio walked five and threw two wild pitches in 4 2/3 innings, departing after throwing 106 pitches, with just 57 strikes. He took a line drive on the right hip -- a ball hit by Willie Bloomquist, the game's second batter -- and had trouble pushing off after that. Nicasio said he couldn't help but think of Aug. 5 at Coors Field when he was struck on the right temple with a line drive and suffered a fractured skull and a broken C1 vertebrae.

"You throw 100-something pitches in four innings, it's bad," Nicasio said.

With Nicasio unable to make it through the five innings necessary to qualify for a win and leaving the game with a 3-1 lead, manager Jim Tracy had to go to the bullpen. He ended up using six relievers in a game the Rockies led 3-0 and 4-1 before giving up eight runs in the final four innings.

After Betancourt gave up Upton's homer, the Rockies loaded the bases with no outs against closer J.J. Putz but didn't score when pitcher Alex White, forced to pinch hit, struck out and Ramon Hernandez grounded into a double play.

After Nicasio left, Josh Outman struck out three in his one inning, but not before giving up a hit and a walk. Matt Belisle gave up four hits, a walk and a run in one inning.

Josh Roenicke retired the one batter he faced, but Rex Brothers allowed two hits, two walks (one intentional) and four runs while retiring just two of the six batters he faced. Esmil Rogers, coming off a perfect 11-pitch, 11-strike inning Wednesday, gave up two run-scoring singles before putting an end to a four-run eighth.

"We can't pitch any worse than that," Tracy said.

In particular, Outman, Belisle and Brothers are struggling -- and Rogers may be beyond that point.

Outman, activated Saturday after beginning the season on the disabled list with a right oblique strain, has allowed three hits, three walks and five runs in two innings over three appearances.

In Belisle's past three appearances, he has a blown save and has yielded eight hits and two runs in 2 2/3 innings, with one walk and one strikeout. In those games, Belisle has inherited four runners and three have scored.

Brothers seemed to turn the corner Monday at San Francisco when he walked the bases loaded in the eighth but escaped by striking out the next batter he faced. Brothers really hasn't been right since he made a scoreless appearance with two strikeouts in the season opener April 6. In his past nine games, Brothers has pitched 5 1/3 innings with a blown save while allowing nine hits, seven runs and seven walks with seven strikeouts.

Then there's Rogers, who made a deceptive second straight scoreless appearance. In his past six games, Rogers has a loss, a blown save and has allowed nine hits and nine runs in 5 1/3 innings with four strikeouts. During that span, three of his five inherited runners have scored.

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