Jon Gray may have entered Sunday’s affair with a 6.41 ERA and questions about his slightly diminished fastball, but he left with his longest outing of the season (7 IP) and with the most strikeouts (7) since exactly one year ago during Colorado’s 10-4 win.
In a similar vein, the bats provided the most runs this year thanks to an early two-out barrage as well as runs across four consecutive innings.
Every Rockies’ starter in the lineup not named Daniel Murphy recorded a base hit with Raimel Tapia leading the way following two singles and a triple.
Gray came off one of the worst starts of his career against his old nemesis, the Arizona Diamondbacks, surrendering 11 hits and lasting only 3.1 inning, his shortest start since 2018.
The Wolf of Blake Street was back on his game and just in time as Colorado was mired in a 1-5 slump in as close to a must-win game as you can have at this point in the season.
As for the bullpen, it was another nail-biter with Daniel Bard giving up a run during his 8th inning and Jairo Díaz imploding before our eyes, walking as many batters (3) as he had coming into the game.
Carlos Estévez came on with the bases loaded the tying run at the plate. He made one pitch to secure the victory, but it came at cost; the liner off Scott Heineman’s bat hit Estévez, who walked off the field in pain.
Player of the Game: Jon Gray – 7 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
The fastball may not have returned entirely, but it didn’t matter as Gray was sharp, particularly with a slider that was commanded particularly well. You can excuse two pitches to Rougned Odor and Joey Gallo as Texas could only must three hits while Gray got seven ground ball outs to zero fly ball outs.
The early home run to Odor was located not up and away enough, but it didn’t matter as five runs from the Rockies quickly erased the pitch. A solo shot on the slider by Joey Gallo caught too much of center portion of the plate and was his only other mistake on the afternoon.
Moment of the Game: McMahon mashes three-run home run
Following Gray’s two-run second inning, Colorado quickly responded when Nolan Arenado and Raimel Tapia singled to bring up Ryan McMahon with two-outs in the bottom of the frame.
RyMac walloped Allard’s 1-0 offering 451ft to center field, beyond the famous fountains and into the trees for his third blast of 2020. The Rockies eventually scored two more and would not look back.
Defensive Gem: Arenado robs down-the-line double
Grabbing a Jeff Mathis one-hopper with a backhanded stab in the third inning was yet another play to be shown on the big screen at the Clark Sports Complex in Cooperstown when Arenado is voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- With a second inning single, Garrett Hampson extended his hitting streak to seven games. He’s batting .387 (12-for-31) over this span.
- Entering Sunday’s series finale, Gray’s 639 strikeouts since 2016 rank eighth among right-handed pitchers in the National League.
- Colorado will travel to Houston for two nights games at Minute Maid Park before hosting the Astros for a pair at Coors Field Wednesday and Thursday.