© 2024 ALLCITY Network Inc.
All rights reserved.
DENVER – Colorado Rockies starter Chad Bettis may well have been pitching to stay in the rotation down the stretch.
After his brutal outing against the Pittsburgh Pirates in his first game back off the Disabled List, questions were starting to rise about whether or not Colorado had time to let him get right, or if he might better be served coming out of the bullpen.
For at least one day, though, such conversations can be put to rest. Bettis looked like the version of himself that was this club’s best pitcher over the first two months, pitching over six innings of high-quality baseball against the deadly Los Angeles Dodgers lineup.
His phenomenal work resulted in a win despite the bullpen giving the 3-0 lead back. Chris Iannetta drew a bases loaded walk in the ninth to give Colorado their second straight walk-off win by a score of 4-3.
The Rockies took advantage of some Dodger mistakes in the bottom of the first, scoring the opening salvo without the benefit of a hit. Charlie Blackmon reached first when Chris Taylor dropped a pop fly behind second base. He moved to second on a passed ball and over to third on a well-executed groundball to the right side off the bat of DJ LeMahieu.
Trevor Story made it two consecutive productive outs for the Rockies when he hit a fly ball to right field that was just deep enough to score Blackmon ahead of Yasiel Puig’s excellent throw.
Bettis ran into his first bit of trouble in the fourth after back-to-back singles from Puig and Cody Bellinger with one out. But Bettis got Rockie-killer Matt Kemp to fly out to right and Chris Taylor to do the same to center, ending the threat.
Colorado added a second run in the bottom of the fourth after DJ LeMahieu finally got the club into the hit column with a double over Puig’s head in right. Story flew out to center but David Dahl came up with a single back up the middle that hooked into right. Once again, a Rockies baserunner just beat out a throw from Puig, LeMahieu implementing a creative slide to get around the tag. The ball skipped away from the catcher, allowing Dahl to reach second.
Puig got his revenge in the next at-bat when Desmond hit yet another ball to right. Dahl tagged up and tried to reach third but was gunned down by a perfect throw to end the inning.
Bettis lost his command for a moment in the fifth, issuing a pair of walks to bring Manny Machado to the plate with two out. But again he was able to make the pitch to escape the jam, getting another fly out to center that Blackmon was positioned perfectly to haul in.
He walked the leadoff batter in the sixth but immediately induced a double play from Bellinger in what turned out to be a quick inning.
Colorado got an insurance run in the bottom of that frame on Blackmon’s 22nd home run of the season, staying on a fastball out away from him and driving it over the wall in left for an opposite-field shot in a left-on-left encounter.
Bettis struck out Taylor to open the seventh but walked Yasmani Grandal, prompting Bud Black to go to his bullpen. It was an interesting decision considering Bettis was at just 85 pitches but he had also walked three batters in the last two innings and was pitching his second game after a DL stint.
Jake McGee came on and got a big strikeout of Max Muncy, blowing him away on a 96 mph fastball up and in, but Justin Turner managed a double to right, putting runners at second and third.
Black went to Scott Oberg against Brian Dozier in the big spot. Dozier took a fastball on the outer edge and hit a grounder up the middle just out of the reach of Story to get the Dodgers on the board, pulling them to within one at 3-2. Oberg struck out Machado to preserve the lead and end the inning.
Adam Ottavino came on in the eighth and surrendered a leadoff soft single to left to Puig. Bellinger followed with a hard line drive off the wall in right, fielded nicely by Dahl who barehanded the baseball and fired it back in to keep him to a single and freeze Puig at third.
Puig was able to trot home for the tying run on a sac fly off the bat of Kemp but Otto recorded the next two outs in quick succession to make sure the Dodgers did not take the lead.
Closer Wade Davis came into the tie game in the ninth and got two outs on two pitches before walking Dozier in a non-competitive at-bat. Then, he allowed Dozier to easily swipe second—and then third without a throw—moving the go-ahead run just 90 feet away from home plate. But he got pinch-hitter Joc Pederson to ground out to short, sending it to the bottom of the ninth.
LeMahieu led off by slicing one down the right-field line. Puig was playing “no doubles” but couldn’t handle the ball cleanly, allowing DJ to reach second base. Story struck out and Dahl and Ryan McMahon were intentionally walked to load the bases for Iannetta’s walk-off.
Chad Bettis: 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K
Jake McGee: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Scott Oberg: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Adam Ottavino: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
After a much-needed day off, the Colorado Rockies head to Houston for another two-game set with the defending champs. German Marquez will face Justin Verlander in the first game with first pitch at 6:10 Mountain Time.