The Rockies went into Tuesday night’s game on a 4 of 5 streak, marked entirely by quality starting outings. They went into a battle with the Dbacks knowing they needed Kendrick to keep the string going. They also needed to see if they could get to young Archie Bradley early and knock him out. On those two fronts the Rox managed only one, and that was not pretty.
In the top of 2nd, with Morneau at 2nd thanks to a double and one out Carlos Gonzalez stepped to bat against Bradley. CarGo isn’t quite all the way back from a three week slump, but has been barrelling up balls much better the past 5 or so games. Sadly, he barrelled up on straight through the box where Bradley had finished his throwing motion. The impact on Bradley was sickening, and at first I thought CarGo had killed him. We all know it is going to happen one of these days, as hard as players throw and hit the ball. As someone who was watching the night Juan Nicasio had his neck broken, I had to look away. Fortunately after being prone for several minutes the young stud got up, walked off the field and flashed the thumbs-up to the fans. Thankfully it was just a curveball, because CarGo hammered it back at him at 115mph. Had it been a fastball, how bad it could it have been. Bradley seems to have avoided a concussion, but he will need go to the DL and his nose and sinus areas will be looked at over the next few days.
But other than that, it was all about Kyle Kendrick getting hammered. He allowed three runs thanks to four straight hits to start the game. It seemed everything was fat and the Dbacks jumped on all of them. The first would have been worse but for another amazing defensive play (some guy at 3B). Kendrick settled down in the 2nd and 3rd and the Rox knotted it up in the 4th. They had wasted a bases loaded situation in the 2nd thanks to a Kendrick K and a Blackmon groundout, with only DJ driving in a run in that inning (and almost decapitating Dbacks reliever Andrew Chafin). In the fourth they put two across versus Chafin thanks to a Kendrick double followed by a Blackmon double (what if they had done that in the 2nd? The game looks very differently than their K and groundout). Tulo drove in Blackmon but tossed out by Dbacks catcher to their SS at 2nd.
The key for a team offensively is to score but then have their pitching hold the line the next half-inning. But Kendrick gave up a single and then a homer to David Peralta to make it 5-3. He got out of that inning without any additional damage but was knocked out in the 5th after allowing a 1-out double to Goldschmidt followed by a Trumbo homer and then a Peralta double. Kendrick’s line – 4.1 innings, 10 hits, 8R, 8ER, 1BB, 0K 2HR. That now means that of his five starts he has three that went 5 innings or less and allowed 8,6, and 8 ER. The opening day start was a great one and he was good enough last Wed vs. The Padres allowing 4 ER over 7in (or a Coors Quality Start), but his performance are becoming worse and worse. Other than Kendrick only De La Rosa has had a truly bad start in terms of allowing lots of runs that puts the offense behind the ball. And DLR at least had the excuse he was coming back from injury. Matzek, Butler, Bergman and Lyles may not go as long as the team wants from its starters, but they have kept the offense from having to go all 1997 Coors. Kendrick, not so much, while also killing the bullpen.
Christian Bergman came in and gave the team 2.2 innings of good relief, allowing just 1 run on 2 hits and a walk before the game fell apart when Jorge Rondon came in for the 8th and got lit up ad well. He allowed a single, got a K, allowed a double, a walk, and a two-out double to score the last three runs. A lot of us were wondering why the Rockies decided to call up Rondon when Kahnle, with excellent experience last year, has been pretty good in Albuquerque, going 11K to 1BB. Maybe they viewed this as a short-term move, with Hawkins soon to come back, but Kahnle would have looked a lot better out there last night (though last year he gave up a long walk-off to Montero in Arizona).
With the bullpen a bit taxed before last night at least they only had to use two relievers with Kendricks meltdown. The Dbacks had to use 5 after Bradley’s injury, so if it comes to a bullpen battle on Wednesday, the Rox should have the advantage.
Other than that, 3 hits from Blackmon and Morneau, 3Ks of CarGo, and a hit for everyone in the starting line-up, but no multiple hit games aside from those two.
Tonight Jordan Lyles goes vs Josh Collmenter for the win…on Josh Collmenter bobble-head night.