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House. Of. Horrors.
The Colorado Rockies led at some point in each game of this three-game sweep but the Miami Marlins persevered each time. Miserable performance with men on base, sheer dumb luck, and a nightmarish ending culminated in a 5-3 win for the Marlins to complete the series.
The top of the fifth was the biggest and most recent piece of evidence in the “Miami is a House of Horrors for Colorado” case. Nolan Arenado was hit on the hand by Vance Worley and had to be removed from the game. As we said before the road trip started, the Rockies are usually lucky to get out of Miami without anyone getting hurt, let alone winning a ballgame. And again, they might have been better off skipping the flight to Florida and catching up on some sleep the last few days.
Not only was Arenado hurt to start the inning, but Gerardo Parra followed with a ground-rule double, the second time in the series such an occurrence has robbed the Rockies of a run. And then, of course, the second-and-third, nobody out situation led to zero runs as Carlos Gonzalez struck out, Pat Valaika popped up on the infield and Ryan Hanigan grounded out weakly to second. (Ryan McMahon did draw a walk in there to load the bases, reaching base for the first time in his MLB career.)
Marquez caught a tough break in the second after plunking J.T. Realmuto and surrendering a ground ball single to Tomas Telis, he got a ground out and a strike out and had two strikes on the opposing pitcher, Worley, and even threw a good pitch on the outside of the plate. But Worley took an ugly swing, stepping practically out of the box, but managed to poke a two-RBI single into right field to put the Marlins on top early.
Worley has three hits and four RBI against the Rockies in his career in just six plate appearances. He has 18 hits and six RBI against everyone else combined over 162 plate appearances.
The Rockies took the lead in the bottom of that frame, though, also on a rally that started with a hit batsman in Charlie Blackmon. A single from LeMahieu put two on and another one from Gerardo Parra got the Rockies on the board. Parra moved up to second with some smart base running and it paid off on a two-RBI single up the middle from Carlos Gonzalez to give the Rockies a short-lived 3-2 lead.
Miami tied it right back up with an absurd home run from Giancarlo Stanton, his third in the series, 42nd of the season, and already the 250th of his career. Stanton has smashed 21 homers in his last 33 games. It wasn’t even a bad pitch from Marquez, a 98 mph fastball on the edge of the outside corner.
Colorado got a pair of base runners in the fourth with an infield single from Marquez and a walk to Blackmon but LeMahieu hit into an inning-ending double play.
The Marlins would not fail to capitalize in that same way in the bottom of the inning, getting singles from Telis and Miguel Rojas before a big double from Mike Aviles pulled just inside the left field line score a pair of runs to make it 5-3, Miami.
Marquez’ rough day snapped a streak of six straight quality starts. He gave up five runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out four. Adam Ottavino was called upon to get the final two outs of the fifth and he did so, getting some help on a nifty diving stop from McMahon. Another first of should be many great defensive moments in his MLB career.
Antonio Senzatela pitched the next two innings for Colorado and looked dynamite. He did not allow a base runner and struck out three Marlins, including getting Stanton looking on a perfectly located breaking pitch.
The Rockies went down in order in the sixth and seventh but Valaika hit his third single of the game to break that streak and McMahon followed with the first base hit of his career, a solid single through the right side. Anyone who has watched closely could see what was coming next, though. Hanigan ground into the third double play of the game for Colorado and Mark Reynolds ground out weakly to short to kill yet another rally.
The Rockies were retired 1-2-3 in the ninth to finish off the most frustrating game and series in a very long time. And now so much depends upon the outcome of one single X-Ray, though Colorado does get a huge boost on Monday when they return to Denver to face the Atlanta Braves. Chad Bettis will take the mound after kicking cancer’s ass. It was a brutal road trip for the Rockies, but it’s hard to believe they won’t be in the highest of spirits tomorrow.