DENVER – Baseball is a game of inches and for the last two games, the Colorado Rockies have been about an inch away from success. In their second consecutive loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, they again couldn’t pick up the big hit, and when it seemed like they might, it didn’t fall. Both starters, Alex Wood and Tyler Anderson, pitched well but the former was better at wriggling out of damage, striking out the Rockies 10 times and lowering his ERA in an incredible rebound season to 2.27.
Again, it looked closer than the final score suggested, the Rockies lost 4-0 despite putting 13 men on base in the game.
The Dodgers picked up right where the left off from last night, scoring a pair of tough-luck runs against the Rockies in the second inning. Gerardo Parra, who was getting the start in center field for the rarely-rested Charlie Blackmon, badly misplayed an Austin Barnes line drive, starting in before realizing the ball was over his head. The misplay cost the Rockies two runs as Barnes stole third and scored on a squeeze bunt.
This was the first game Blackmon did not play a single inning of since August 21, 2016. And it showed.
Los Angeles scored their third run of the game in the fifth on a solo home run off the bat of Brett Eibner, his first of the season.
Other than those two moments, Anderson was very good in this game, throwing 5.2 innings and striking out eight batters while walking just two. He gave up only five hits.
For the second straight game, the Rockies were plagued with some bad luck. They got the lead-off man on base three times and had 12 baserunners through the first six innings but couldn’t plate a run. In the sixth, Nolan Arenado led off the inning with a walk but Carlos Gonzalez hit a screaming line drive that looked primed to be an RBI triple but instead was caught by first baseman Cody Bellinger and turned into an inning-ending double play. It was the second time in two games a line-drive double play has killed a late Rockies rally.
Los Angeles got another run in the seventh off of Mike Dunn in the top of the sixth when, instead of the line drive going right at Mark Reynolds, Justin Turner hit it just out of his reach for an RBI double. That made it 4-0, Dodgers, and that is where the scoring would end. The Rockies did not record a base hit after the third inning until DJ LeMahieu singled in the eighth. The only bright spot for Colorado’s offense in the game, it was LeMahieu’s third base hit bringing his average up to .283 on the season. He might have come around to score on an Arenado RBI double if not for a fantastic diving catch by Turner at third base. It was just that kind of night for the Rockies.
Two tough losses leave the Rockies at 23-15, clinging to a half-game lead over these Dodgers in the NL West with another game to play against them Sunday afternoon.