ROX OFF ON TOUR OF CALIFORNIA FOLLOWING DAZZLING HOME STAND
Just when the Colorado Rockies looked poised to run off on a stretch of exhilarating wins, they settled back into Coors Field and lost 4 out of 6 for the benefit of the many citizens of Colorado who stopped by the old ball park to observe. It started-out nicely enough, with Jon Gray tacking a 9th consecutive quality start onto the stretch that had begun on the road in Miami. As chronicled ably elsewhere by RMH, the Rockies split 2 with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Tyler Anderson causing the string to lapse in an 8-0 loss on Wednesday.
While the Angels headed back to Anaheim to deal with the Minnesota Twins, Colorado got set to host the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Brewers are looking like they may have a big future ahead of them. The former Rockie Jhoulys Chacin got the call for Milwaukee on Thursday and held Colorado in check for 5-1/3, surrendering single runs in the 2nd and the 5th. German Marquez provided the opposition to Chacin and served-up a solo-shot to Lorenzo Cain on the first pitch of the game, was nicked for another run on 2 singles, a hit-batsman and a sacrifice fly in the 3rd, then 4 Brewers singles and a double sent Marquez packing in the 5th and put the contest in the victory column for Milwaukee, which rolled 4 relievers out, including another ex-Rockie, the left-hander Boone Logan, to hold Colorado back over the distance.
Heartbreak was the Friday night theme for revelers out on the Rooftop. The usually steady Chad Bettis was out for the Rockies, and he suffered through single Brewers runs in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th while his teammates countered against Brandon Woodruff with 1 in the 2nd, 3 in the 3rd and 5 in the 4th, Colorado running-out to a 9-4 lead after 5. But Milwaukee got to Bettis in the 6th. A single, double, and single chased the right-hander and squeezed the lead down to 9-6, then 2 additional runs would score against reliever Chris Rusin. Colorado got 1 back to make it 10-8 headed into the 7th, and that lead would hold until the 9th when Wade Davis allowed a 2-out single to Hernan Perez and Manny Piña followed that with a 2-run jack. The Rockies would decline to answer and 3 singles off of shaky Jake McGee in the top of the 10th saw the Brewers slink-off with an 11-10 victory.
Saturday brought the week’s second burst of joy, orchestrated this time by the shortstop Trevor “Air” Story, who has pushed his batting average up to .234 and is rocking 32 RBI behind ten 2018 home runs. Kyle Freeland was on the hill for Colorado and posted 6-1/3 innings of 4-hit/4-walk shutout dealing. Story knocked-in Nolan Arenado, who had tripled with 2-out, with a fly ball just-over the left center-field wall in the 1st. In the 3rd Story doubled-in Arenado, who had doubled again with 2-out to make it 3-0, and in the 5th two were out by the time Story came to bat with empty bases and delivered a solo-shot to left. Brian Shaw, Mike Dunn, Adam Ottavino and Davis delivered 2-2/3 behind Freeland to complete the shutout, 4-0 Rockies.
But Gray pitched like a mother on Mother’s Day, giving-up 3 in the 3rd, 1 in the 4th, and another 2 in the 6th while rookie Freddy Peralta of the Brewers was brilliant, stifling Colorado on a single hit over 5-2/3 while striking-out 13. The Rockies got a run off of Matt Albers in the 6th and 2 off of Dan Jennings in the 7th, but there wasn’t enough late-afternoon magic down there at the old ball park to stave-off a down end to a down week. Colorado is now 7-11 at the friendly confines of Lodo, in contrast to an unusual 15-8 on the road. There’s no science to explain it; each of the young starters has a tendency toward trouble in the early innings, and of course it’s easier to get in trouble at Coors than it is on the road. To pull another rabbit out of the hat, the Rockies’ offense, such as it is, hasn’t shown it’s got a lot of come from behind in it, at least to-date.
Colorado is in the city of San Diego, California, tonight for the first of 2 with the good old Padres. Game time is 8:10 MT and Anderson (2-1, 4.23) will face-off against Joey Luchesi (3-2. 2.98) of San Diego in a battle of lefties. Marquez goes tomorrow against the locally revered Jordan Lyles in a 1:40 MT afternoon set-to, then the Rockies head up the coast for 4 with the hated Giants on the weekend, only to turn back around toward Los Angeles for 3 with the Dodgers starting a week from today. Look sharp: it’s California. Time to open some eyes.