Colorado Rockies avoided a sweep by the Washington Nationals in a rare Coors Field pitching duel with a 3-2 victory. Yohan Flande pitched a beautiful game going seven innings giving up two runs on just 89 pitches. Dustin Garneau did well in his debut catching Flande and his blowpen mates. Garneau also had a double in his first AB off Max Scherzer with two strikes on him.
The Rockies scratched out three runs which was good enough to back Flande’s victory. Flande helped the offense with his bat twice. In the fifth, he had a one-out single in front of Charlie Blackmon’s single and Jose Reyes’ double to score the game’s first run. He came back in the next inning and produced a two-out RBI single to score Matt McBride for a 2-0 lead. He showed his speed beating out a slow bouncer to the shortstop.
Flande lost the lead in the top of seventh when Michael Taylor hit a two-out two-run no doubter following a walk to Ryan Zimmerman, tying the game at 2-2. Ben Paulsen sans his beard drove in the go-ahead run to regain the lead 3-2. Scott Gopherg avoided any type of trouble pitching a clean 17-pitch 1-2-3 eighth inning. John Axford did his best blowpen imitation show to preserve Colorado’s win. He gave up the lead off single to Bryce Harper. Then twice he ran into deep counts before striking two men out. Then he issued a no-no free pass to Zimmerman to push Harper into scoring position. He finally closed out the game with a game-ending strikeout to Taylor. It took Axford 26 pitches to pick up his 17th save.
Colorado’s hitters will likely continue to be offensive, pun intended, with the New York Mets and their vaunted pitching staff coming into town for a three-game set this weekend. Jon Gray will get the weekend series started Friday night against Bartolo Colon.