While the Dodgers prepared for a bullpen day, the Rockies were caught off guard in a 15-6 drubbing at the hands of the neighborhood bully.
Ryan Castellani hoped to earn his first win at home and improve upon a no decision against Los Angeles on September 6 at Chavez Ravine.
The 1-2-3 first inning appeared promising until his five-pitch walk to Max Muncy and a 438ft moon shot by Cody Bellinger in the second inning set in rhythm an offensive onslaught by the National League’s best.
Gavin Lux snapped an 0-for-14 slump to add his own two-run dinger shortly thereafter to push away any hopes had by Rockies to contend on this evening.
Then, Josh Fuentes received his first opportunity of the game and made the most of it. On the first pitch changeup by Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood, the first baseman swatted a three-run homer to give Colorado hope, for the time being.
By the time Castellani looked back at the scoreboard at the end of the fifth, he had matched the length of his previous outing (4.1 IP) against Los Angeles, but surrendered seven earned runs.
A five-run fifth perpetuated by the 25-year-old rookie starter and Jeff Hoffman put the game out of reach. In addition, Wade Davis could not finish the seventh inning and four more runs moved him up to a 20.77 ERA for the season.
Player of the Game: Fuentes – 3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI
He’s done everything Bud Black and the organization has asked of him and then some. Unfortunately, it hasn’t always been enough to translate in the form of purple wins.
His 410ft home run in the second showed some welcomed signs of life following singles by Charlie Blackmon and Kevin Pillar. At 4-3, it would be the closest Colorado would play LA since the scoreless opening frame.
Following 5,029.1 innings as an infielder between the minors and majors since 2014, Fuentes moved to left field for the first time as a professional, adding further speculation that the Rockies should find a spot for him on the 2021 roster.
Turning Point: McMahon cannot convert double play
In a winning season, the three-run dinger by Fuentes would have been the spark of a comeback victory against the first-place Dodgers.
However, the moment that shifted the outcome occurred in the fifth frame on a Corey Seager ground ball. McMahon made a grab of the one-hopper, spun around to start the inning-ending double play and… threw wide of Story at second base to extend the inning.
Los Angeles followed with four consecutive singles that pushed five runs across the plate and put the game out of reach.
Defensive Gem: Story’s full extension starts double play
Castellani had already surrendered four runs on two dingers in the second inning with Mookie Betts and the top of the Dodgers’ order set to tack on more runs. A seeing-eye single for Betts was spotted by Story’s eagle-eye and a quick first step allowed the Gold Glove finalist to make the all-out dive to start the 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
- Colorado had been held to a franchise record three or fewer runs for five consecutive games in a single-season. (It happened once before, but across two seasons, Sept. 30, 2017-April 8, 2018.)
- Over that five-game span, Rockies’ starting pitchers have recorded three quality starts while posting a 2.70 ERA (33.1 IP, 10 ER).
- Before the game, Colorado announced the Player To Be Named Later in the Mychal Givens and Kevin Pillar trades. Baltimore received 18-year-old outfielder Mishael Deson in addition to acquiring IF/OF Tyler Nevin and IF Terrin Vavra for Givens while Boston received RHP Jacob Wallace, a 3rd round selection in the 2019 MLB Draft.
- Josh Fuentes recorded the second three-hit game of his young career, each one off a different pitcher (first: Sept 15 vs San Diego).