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Missed opportunities sink Colorado once again

Patrick Lyons Avatar
August 9, 2019

The last time the Rockies lined up against the Padres, Jon Gray was entering the game in the 9th inning of a 13-13 game during a weekend in which the two clubs broke the modern era record with 92 runs scored in a four-game series.

Gray gave up a bases loaded walk to a pitcher and Colorado lost 14-13; that season-sinking weekend has the Rockies at 15-28 ever since.

Thursday night represented another game of missed opportunities. Once again, the Rockies struggled with runners in scoring position, going 3-for-16, and leaving eight runners left of base. The often solid defense made three errors, including two during a sixth inning when four unearned runs crossed the plate and removed all hope for a Colorado victory.

It all began promising with a pair of two-out singles in the first inning. Nolan Arenado lashed one to center and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch from San Diego starting pitcher LHP Eric Lauer. A sharp ground ball to the right side by Daniel Murphy scored Arenado for the first baseman’s 61st run batted in.

The purples nearly scratched home another run on an Ian Desmond grounder, but National League Rookie of the Year candidate Fernando Tatis Jr. made a superb play to end the inning and hold the Rockies to a run.

Not to be outdone, Tatis Jr. swatted Gray’s second pitch for the 20-year-old’s sixth leadoff home run of the season in the bottom half of the first inning, a new Friar franchise record. Gray came to regret plunking Manny Machado, brother-in-law to Yonder Alonso, with a 95 mph fastball; he dashed to second on a stolen base of the season and scored on an Eric Hosmer single.

San Diego struck for another run in the next inning courtesy of a Luis Urías double and Tatis Jr’s second RBI in as many innings.

Colorado responded with a run in the top third with back-to-back doubles from Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story.

In the fourth, the Rockies were poised to break through in a big way with three consecutive singles – Ryan McMahon, Yonathan Daza, and Tony Wolters – to start the inning. But on the Wolters’ base hit, Hunter Renfroe hosed McMahon at the plate for the first the right fielder’s 12th outfield assist. Then, Tatis Jr. made another dazzling play on the front end of a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play on a Gray grounder, ending the threat.

Blackmon tied the game in the fifth at 3-3 with his second extra base hit of the game and his 25th home run of the season. Story singled for his second hit and promptly stole second base to get into scoring position, becoming the first shortstop in Colorado history with multiple seasons of 15 stolen bases. Padres skipper Andy Green pushed the right button, calling on LHP Matt Strahm to get Arenado and Murphy to strike out and Desmond to fly out.

Gray retired ten straight at one point and settled in for three consecutive scoreless frames, showing enough to justify another inning when his spot in the order came up with the go-ahead run just 90 ft from home in the top half of the sixth. He’d strike out looking and things took an unfortunate turn for the worse soon after.

The bottom half lined up nicely for Gray until Story made his second error of the game with two runners aboard and two outs, giving San Diego the lead and extending the inning. A wild pitch soon followed to bring home another unearned run of the frame.

Jairo Díaz replaced Gray, but it was more of the same: Díaz fielded a ground ball and threw it away for the second error of the inning. Myers scored two more with a double that put the game out of the reach for Colorado, 8-3.

The Rockies had another opportunity in the seventh when Blackmon reached on a hit by  pitch and a Story walk. In a similar chain of events, Arenado and Murphy struck out and Desmond ended the inning.

Bryan Shaw pitched the eighth inning and surrendered a solo home run to Manuel Margot to round out the 9-3 Rockies loss.


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