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Archer hits bullseye 11 times for Rays in series clincher

Drew Creasman Avatar
July 20, 2016


Flesch-Law-Recap-DENVER — For the second time in less than 24 hours, the Colorado Rockies were thoroughly outclassed on their home field by the Tampa Bay Rays, sending the Coors Field Faithful home early and unhappy.

Jorge De La Rosa mirrored Tyler Chatwood’s performance from the night before, getting demolished in the zone and giving up hard contact early and often. He could only manage to get through four innings despite the clear evidence that the Rockies wanted to avoid going to their bullpen early having overtaxed them just a few hours earlier.

But nine runs (seven earned) on 11 hits with only one strikeout was just too much to suffer and Walt Weiss’ hand was forced.

The Rockies manufactured a pair of runs on the second to briefly take the lead. Daniel Descalso hit a line drive to left field that was terribly misplayed by Corey Dickerson. The hit was charitably ruled a double and an error was charged on the play allowing Descalso to move to third base.

After a walk to Mark Reynolds and the Ray’s now a double play from escaping the threat, the Rockies decided to have Tony Wolters lay down a safety squeeze bunt that only managed to score Descalso because of his brilliant slide to avoid the tag and touch home plate, scoring the Rockies first run of the game.

Descalso’s “double” was the Rockies’ only extra-base hit in the game.

In a play that was eerily similar, Reynolds would score on a similarly phenomenal slide. What originally looked like an inning-ending double play instead of the sac fly the Rockies were hoping for became the go-ahead run after a six-plus minute delay resulted in the play being overturned.

The one-run lead didn’t last long as the Rays put up three runs on De La Rosa in the top of the third, highlighted by Evan Longoria’s second double in three innings. De La caught a few tough breaks with some patented Coors Field bloop hits, but he also made his own bed by plunking Brandon Guyer in the inning and working too much over the plate.

De La Rosa imploded in the fourth for five innings and the game was pretty much lost at that point. For the second day in a row, the Rockies were never really in it.

Chris Archer came into the game with losses in six of his last seven starts. Today, he was the CY Young-worthy pitcher that he was last year. Striking out 11 in six innings pitched, the right-hander was only touched four times and damaged in one inning. Only walking two, Archer picked up where Blake Snell left off last nigh, completely quieting the Rockies’s dull offense.

Dickerson grabbed another three hits. A return to Coors Field may be helping him to come out of a slump. Shortstop Tim Beckham had a day to remember, going 5-for-5 and driving in a pair of runs.

In an odd bit of symmetry, the Rockies struck out as many times as the Rays scored; 11. Final score: 11-3.

Lasting Impact

Weiss made a good point before the game that despite the losing records owned by both the Braves and Rays, the Rockies have run into a string of excellent pitching lately. The quality of the Rockies pitching had kept most of those games close, even if they came out as losses, but these last two implosions by the starting rotation have put these last two games down early and revealed again just how damaging it was that the offense went so stale during the stretch when the pitching held up.

Yes, they’ve run into some good pitching as of late, but the Rockies offense hasn’t been in a collective extended slump for going on close to a month now.

This game was also a massive blow to the trade value of Jorge De La Rosa, but it was unlikely he was going to waive his no-trade clause anyway.

What’s Next

The Rockies continue the seven-game homestand and welcome the Braves — who they just played in Atlanta — to Coors Field for a four-game set. Game 1 sees Chad Bettis take the hill against the emerging Mike Foltynewicz in a rematch of five days ago. First pitch is at 6:40 MST.

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