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DENVER – The Dodgers secured their place in the 2018 MLB Playoffs with a victory on Saturday afternoon, dashing the hopes of a celebration at Coors Field before the first pitch. With the Rockies 12-2 loss to the Nationals,
A sellout crowd of 47,781 in attendance backed Jon Gray in support, with hopes that he could shake the label as a pitcher unable to harness his talents in a big game.
By the end of the first inning, his team trailed 2-0.
By the end of the second, the Nationals extended the lead against Gray to 5-0.
When Gray’s spot in the batting order came up, Raimel Tapia stepped in to take his place.
Jon Gray got behind early, throwing a first-pitch strike to just eight of the fourteen batters he faced.
With the Rockies behind 5-0, Carlos Gonzalez came to the plate in the second for his first at-bat and lifted a home run to centerfield 436-ft. Entering the game CarGo had an OPS of just .398 in fifteen plate appearances.
Chad Bettis entered the game in the third and did well to shut down the Nationals lineup. Excluding a solo home run by 19-year-old Juan Soto, Bettis faced the minimum amount of batters and struck out two over three innings of work.
The relief corps of D.J. Johnson, Jake McGee and Sam Howard couldn’t escape unscathed and combined to give up seven runs on four walks and nine hits.
Nolan Arenado did he best to chip away Washington’s five-run lead in the sixth with his 35th home run, a solo shot estimated to have traveled 423-ft.
In doing so, Arenado joined Albert Belle as the only players to have ever hit 35 home runs and 35 doubles in four consecutive seasons.
Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg was in control throughout the game, fanning seven Rockies hitters and scattering five hits.
Colorado threatened in the first inning with one out after DJ LeMahieu singled and David Dahl walked. Arenado flew out to centerfield and Trevor Story struck out.
Ian Desmond reached third base in the second after walking and advancing twice on a fielder’s choice. Story singled in the sixth and moved up on a ground ball to second base by Gonzalez.
With Nationals closer Sean Doolittle on for the final frame, the Rockies bench did admirably to start a late rally down by ten runs, but ultimately came short of making a dent in Washington’s ten-run lead.
The 0-for-3 game by David Dahl snapped his five-game consecutive home run streak.
Jon Gray: 2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 41-27 (pitches-strikes)
Chad Bettis: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 37-25
Nolan Arenado: 1-4, HR, R, RBI
Carlos Gonzalez: 1-3, HR, R, RBI, K
Ian Desmond: 1-2, single, BB
DJ LeMahieu: 1-4, single, K
David Dahl: 0-3, BB
The final game of the regular season expects to see Max Scherzer take the hill for the visitors. The Rockies have not yet announced an official starter. First pitch at 1:10 Mountain Time.