OBERG BACK, BLOWS NICE START BY BETTIS
Chad Bettis (2-1, 3.77) ran out of gas with 2 out in the 7th. Gregory Polanco led off the inning with a single and moved around to 3rd on a fly ball and then a ground-out. Bettis walked pinch hitter Jason Rogers, then uncorked a wild pitch to John Jaso to bring Polanco home, and finally walked Jaso. Colorado Rockies’ acting manager Tommy Runnels turned to Scott Oberg, Gopherg as he is affectionately know to the RWO, and 3 pitches later, one wild, sure enough Matt Joyce had taken Oberg deep, running the Pittsburgh Pirates’ lead to 5-0. They would cruise to defeat Colorado 6-1 Monday night at Coors Field in Denver.
There were a number of sideshows. There was a cloudburst in the 2nd that resulted in a 30 minute delay, and home plate umpire Lance Barrett had a rotten night, regularly ruling off-the plate-pitches strikes, and repeatedly calling Rockies out on them. Nick Hundley had an issue with Barrett early, getting manager Walt Weiss run, and later Ryan Raburn got an equivalent screw job and expulsion. Runnels did his best to follow Raburn to the showers, but Barrett, undoubtedly as embarrassed as anything, was subdued enough by colleagues to spare him.
But the real game story was a pitching duel between Bettis and left-hander Jeff Locke (1-2, 5.03), the Redstone Rocket. Locke held Colorado scoreless over 6 innings on 6 hits. He walked 2 and struck-out 8. Bettis meanwhile got nicked for a run in the 5th when he hit Josh Harrison leading off, and Harrison moved around on a Jordy Mercer single, Locke sacrifice, and ground-ball by Jaso. Bettis threw an otherwise clean game until the trouble in the 7th.
The Rockies got their run in the bottom of the 7th on singles by DJ LeMahieu and Cristhian Adames and a ground ball by Gerardo Parra. AJ Schugel finished up for the Pirates. Gonzalez Germen followed Oberg to the hill and covered the final 2 for Colorado. He surrendered a run in the 8th on a Polanco double and Harrison single.
It was a dismal loss because you could see it coming. Bring back Jeremy Guthrie. Does Oberg own a bike?
Game 2 of the 4-game set is tonight down at the old ball yard. It’s Jorge De La Rosa for the Rockies against Gerrit Cole, 6:40 pm MT.