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Rockies let one slip away in LA

Drew Creasman Avatar
August 28, 2018

The Colorado Rockies had, and blew, multiple opportunities to beat the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, taking the lead early and late only to see it slip out of their hands for a 10-7 loss.

Starter Jon Gray pitched a game somewhere in between the frustrating first-half version of himself and the borderline dominant one we have seen since a return from Triple-A.

He pitched nearly seven innings and limited almost all of the damage against him to just one inning, but that frame did resemble his propensity for losing focus that has led to problems in the past.

The Rockies took the lead on, believe it or not, a Tony Wolters solo home run in the third. They might’ve added a fair few more once a Charlie Blackmon walk and a pair of singles from DJ LeMahieu and Carlos Gonzalez loaded the bases, still with nobody out. But Nolan Arenado hit into a double play, scoring a second run but dealing a blow to the rally that ended when Trevor Story lined out to left.

The Rockies 2-0 lead held until the Angels got to Gray in the bottom of the fourth. It began with a Kole Calhoun single followed by another from David Fletcher that put runners at the corner. Mike Trout made it three singles in a row, scoring Calhoun and getting the Angels on the board.

Gray appeared to lose his focus for a moment, balking both runners up a base.

Sometimes pitcher and all around superstar Japanese import Shohei Ohtani followed that by smashing Gray’s biggest mistake pitch of the day, a fastball right down the middle, deep over the wall in center for his 15th home run of the season, swinging the game from a one-run deficit for the home club to a two-run lead at 4-2.

The Angels added a run in the sixth when Trout took Gray deep, going down and getting a well-located pitch on the lower-inside half and golfing it just inside the foul pole in left to make it a 5-2 Los Angeles lead.

Colorado got one back thanks to a DJ LeMahieu double, a productive groundout from Carlos Gonzalez and another for an RBI from Nolan Arenado.

After missing opportunities all games, the Rockies were given a gift in the eighth by reliever Justin Anderson who could not find the strike zone, issuing walks to Ian Desmond, David Dahl, and pinch-hitter Chris Iannetta in quick succession.

Blackmon failed to immediately cash in on this by hitting a soft liner to left that wasn’t deep enough to score anyone.

But that was a moot point when LeMahieu turned on an inside breaking ball and ripped it just inside the foul pole in left for the first grand slam of his career and one of the biggest swings of the bat for the Colorado Rockies 2018 season.

Adam Ottavino came on for the bottom of the eighth and repaid the favor by loading the bases with a pair of walks sandwiched around a single from Ohtani. Andrelton Simmons hit a fly ball into foul territory in right that Gonzalez was able to track down but a slight bobble of the baseball meant his throw was just behind Trout’s slide into home plate.

He bounced back to strike out Francisco Arcia looking but lost the feel again, walking Kaleb Cowart who is batting .145 on the season, once again loading the bases, this time for former-Rockie Eric Young Jr.

At that, Bud Black decided he had seen enough and went to trade-deadline acquisition Seunghwan Oh. Young fought off several tough pitches to work the count full and just managed to loft one into shallow field that narrowly avoided a diving attempt from Story in center. With two outs and the runners in motion, two runs scored easily to swing the game back in favor of the Angels at 8-7.

Things went from bad to worse when Fletcher hit a grounder to short in the ensuing at-bat that Story couldn’t seem to get a grip on (like CarGo earlier) unleashing a wild throw that allowed two more runs to score, suddenly giving the Angels a 10-7 lead.

The Rockies went down in order in the ninth to complete the gut-punch of a loss for the visitors.

Final Stats:

Jon Gray: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Jake McGee: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Adam Ottavino: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 K

What’s Next:

The second, and final, game of the series takes place on Tuesday night with a first pitch at 8:07 (for some reason) Mountain Time. Kyle Freeland will face off against what appears to be a bullpen effort for the Angels.


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