Roy Oswalt had a mixed bag of results tonight when the Rockies fell to the Nationals 5-1. His fastballs were at the same velocity as his prime years from the first pitch to the 101st and final pitch. Problem was that he needed that many pitches to strike out 11 Washington batters over just five innings. It didn’t help his pitch count when some of the hitters had long ABs with a bunch of souvenirs for their hometown fans. He did give up nine hits, but no free passes were issued. One of the hits was a solo home run by Ian Desmond to open the scoring. The next three runs were scored on a bang bang play at home on an infield grounder that glanced off Jon Herrera’s glove and a two run double on a misjudged fly ball to center field.
The hitters had a little more life tonight against perennial all star pitcher Jordan Zimmerman. They had six hits and an almost equal number of well hit balls that were right at the gloves. The best opportunity in the early going came in the first inning when they had runners on the corners with Nolan Arenado at the plate. He ripped a line drive that was gloved by the second baseman.
Zimmerman was finally nicked for an unearned run in the 8th inning with some help from the defense. Pinch hitter Josh Rutledge drew a walk, first of the night issued by Zimmerman. Tyler Colvin followed with a slow chopper to second that was thrown away as Rut came sliding into second base. D.J. LeMahieu lined a single up the middle for the only run of the game. Unfortunately, CarGo and Big Money whiffed to end the rally. Zimmerman threw just 11 (112 total) more pitches than Oswalt over eight innings.
The Rockies dropped their fourth straight game to fall to an even .500 record at 37-37 for the first time since they were 1-1. Tomorrow night, they face yet another ace, Stephen Strasburg who has the lowest home ERA of all starting pitchers. Roy Oswalt clone Tyler Chatwood will attempt to end the slide into the smoked and mirrored maze.