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Rockies rally late but lose another heartbreaker in extras

Drew Creasman Avatar
July 17, 2019

The Colorado Rockies’ season continues to spiral away from them.

When they pitch, they can’t hit, and when they hit, they can’t pitch right now. We saw a little bit of both on Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants as the bats fell silent for the first eight innings, and the moment they awoke the pitching fell apart en route to an 8-4 loss.

Starter Peter Lambert was good, arguably even great considering what the ballpark and most of his rotation mates have been through lately.

The Giants took a 2-0 lead in the second with some good hitting and some good fortune. Brandon Crawford stayed hot by pulling a single through the right side and Mike Yastrzemski kept his fine play going with a double off the wall in left to plate the first run of the game.

Lambert bounced back to get weak swings out of both Kevin Pillar and Joe Panik that produced soft rollers. The former went for an almost perfect swinging bunt to put runners at the corners, but the second snuck just by Lambert who, if he had fielded it, might’ve been able to cut down the runner at the plate or maybe even turn two to end the inning.

But instead it bounced away from him and everyone was safe including the second run at home. He got his double play in the next at bat on another ball hit back to him but the opening salvo had been fired.

The Rockies could only manage a pair of singles against Pomeranz in the early going though, so it was vital that Lambert settled in and allowed only two the rest of the way through his six innings, keeping the game close.

Bud Black went to Garrett Hampson to hit for Lambert leading off the bottom of the sixth, drawing an easy walk. Charlie Blackmon followed that up by ripping a single to right to put runners on the corners with nobody out.

Trevor Story hit one hard on the ground toward second that Panik bobbled, erasing any chance for the double play. San Francisco settled for one out at second as Hampson raced home to get the Rockies on the board.

Nolan Arenado was plunked by a pitch in the ensuing at bat, but Daniel Murphy hit into an easy 6-3 double play to end the inning and the threat.

Jake McGee worked around a pair of singles to get a pair of outs before giving way to Jairo Diaz who ended the seventh with a punchout.

Scott Oberg came on in the eighth and committed the cardinal sin of walking the leadoff batter, Brandon Belt. He then got beat on a perfectly executed hit-and-run by Belt and Buster Posey when the veteran catcher hit a grounder right to the spot vacated at second to put runners at the corners with nobody out.

He bounced back to strike out Pablo Sandoval, but couldn’t put Alex Dickerson away on a 1-2 pitch that the lefty laced to left for an RBI single. He got Crawford to bounce into an inning-ending double play to send it to the bottom of the eighth with the Rockies trailing 3-1.

After Colorado didn’t respond, they turned to Chad Bettis in the top of the ninth. His first pitch was blasted to left by Yastrzemski for a solo home run.

The Giants handed the ball to LHP closer Will Smith and yet somehow Colorado found their momentum against the All-Star reliever.

Trevor Story woke up everybody with a solo shot to right-center, his 21st home run of the season. Daniel Murphy kept hope alive after a Nolan Arenado fly out to right with a solid soft line drive single to left that brought the tying run to the plate.

Ian Desmond wasted no time in demolishing a first pitch offering from Smith, sending it screaming into the bleachers in center field 467 feet from home plate for a game-tying home run. Raimel Tapia kept it going with a single to left, but McMahon and Wolters each struck out to send the game to extras.

Wade Davis retired Belt on a flyout to right on the first pitch of the 10th then lost Posey with some non-competitive pitches after getting to a 2-2 count, walking him in the process. The control remained an issue in a walk of Sandoval.

That allowed a single to right for Dickerson, his career high fourth hit of the game, to score Posey and put the Giants back on top. Crawford added another one on a single through the left side that ran Davis from the game and prompted Black to go to Bryan Shaw.

Shaw got a grounder out of Yastrzemski but it got through the middle for another RBI single. Then, the nearly unthinkable happened. The Giants got one last run on a grounder hit right at Arenado that just went between his legs for an error. When the dust settled, they had taken an 8-4 lead.

And that was the final.

With the loss, the Rockies fall into a tie with these Giants for last place in the NL West. They remain just three games back of a Wild Card spot with a 46-49 record.

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