After starting the 2020 MLB season like a lion, the Colorado Rockies finished like lambs.
The 11-3 loss at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks wrapped up another series loss, the fourth in their last six series with their last victory coming against the Dodgers in Los Angeles at the beginning of the month.
Kyle Freeland simply did not have his stuff on Sunday and, after bouncing back impressively from an awful 2019, should walk away from the season with more pride and assurance of his abilities.
The DBacks jumped on Freeland early and the 2018 Cy Young Award contender was done by the third inning following 61 pitches.
In his stead, a trio of rookies recorded the final 5.1 innings: RHP Ashton Goudeau, RHP Tommy Doyle, and RHP José Mujica.
Offensively, it was as depressing as any game all season with only two hits against Madison Bumgarner and company for Colorado through the first seven frames.
In the eighth, the Rockies erased the potential for a humiliating shutout with three runs.
At 26-34 and tied with three other National League clubs for 11th place, Colorado can at least look forward to the eighth overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, a position that would have been hindered with a meaningless win on this day.
Player of the Game: Raimel Tapia – 2-for-4, R, 2 doubles
Colorado entered the eighth inning with only two base knocks and down 11-0. Sam Hilliard swatted a leadoff triple and Tony Wolters added his second single of the game before Tapia notched his second double of the afternoon.
Due to a fielding error by left fielder Tim Locastro, Tapia was not reward with the run batted in. Regardless, he finished the season atop the Rockies’ leaderboard with a .321 batting average.
Turning Point: Calhoun crushes homer to spoil Freeland’s day
Following an RBI-single off a center-cut slider in their initial matchup in the first, Freeland worked ahead 1-2 to Kole Calhoun in the third inning.
With Ketel Marte on base via walk, the chest-high slider was hammered to right-center for a 438ft two-run homer to stake the DBacks to a 4-0 lead.
Defensive Gem: Hilliard flashes and flexes during outfield assist
The rookie outfielder camped up Carson Kelly’s fly ball to deep center and fired to second base as an ambitious Wayne Mathisen tried to tag up from first base. Trevor Story swung around to just barely get Mathisen’s finger tips for Colorado’s 11th outfield assist and Hilliard’s first of the year.
- Since winning his first two starts of the season on July 26 at Texas and August 1 vs. San Diego, Freeland has gone 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA (58.2 IP, 32 ER) in 11 games.
- Among pitchers who have gone six or more innings and either lost or gotten a no-decision, Freeland leads all Major Leaguers this year with eight such starts.
- Entering Sunday, Colorado has three starters among the bottom 10 in average run support in the National League: Freeland (3.69, 4th and lowest in franchise history), Germán Márquez (4.41, 9th) and Antonio Senzatela (4.66, 12th).