Rockies manager Walt Weiss noted that Bettis, who gave up seven hits and five runs while throwing 98 pitches in 5 1/3, "ran out of gas" in his first outing. Bettis said that explanation only goes so far.
"When it comes down to it, you've got to make your pitches, and that's not what happened," he said.
Then there is the context.
Bettis' implosion came a night after the Rockies scored seven runs in the third and fourth innings against D-backs new ace Zack Greinke, yet starter Jorge De La Rosa couldn't make it through five innings and needed seat-of-the-pants bullpen work in the middle innings for the Rockies to win. And the first two difficult starts came after starting pitching has struggled in recent seasons.
Bettis, 8-6 with a 4.16 ERA in 20 starts last season, said pitchers have a big enough job helping one another through 2016 without having to rehash the past.
"One way would be holding each other accountable and pushing each other every start," Bettis said. "That being said, there are some things I need to get better at and there are quicker outs along the way. I need to be a little bit more efficient.
"That being said, I don't think it's something that you can reflect on back into the past. We're moving forward, pulling on the same rope."
The first two games demonstrated how short, inefficient starts affect so much.
Because the Rockies taxed their bullpen Monday, Weiss said he had to stay off some of the back-end pitchers. He hoped Christian Bergman and Jason Gurka, who warmed up twice Monday, could hold a lead until the Rockies could go to Chad Qualls, who faced one batter Monday. Instead, Bergman gave up four runs on four hits and a walk in one inning, and Gurka was tagged with four hits and two runs in 1 2/3 innings.
"You want to put that game away," Weiss said. "I felt comfortable going to Bergy, but he had a tough night tonight. He left a lot of pitches in the middle of the plate."
By not pitching deeper, Bettis left too much on the bullpen's plate.
On Tuesday, Bettis gave up homers to Paul Goldschmidt in the first inning and Jean Segura in the third, but Trevor Story's fourth-inning leadoff shot, Nick Hundley's three-run homer and DJ LeMahieu's two-run homer provided a 6-2 lead.