The Atlanta Braves have a long and storied history of phenomenal and historically significant pitching. The Colorado Rockies ... do not. But for one day, they looked nearly identical. Jon Gray and Julio Teheran delivered an old-school pitchers' duel on Sunday afternoon, much to the delight of anyone who enjoys the mastery required to hurl a baseball with precision and break and speed and purpose.
Teheran pitched seven innings and held the Rockies to just three hits, the only one that went for extra bases being a late two-out double off the bat of Daniel Descalso. He struck out five and walked one without allowing a run. He mixed speeds and worked the edges with brilliance, which brings us to ...
Gray matched Teheran's seven innings, scattering five singles and keeping the score clean as well. He struck out eight while walking three. He sat in the upper 90s with the fastball and had as good a location with it as he had break on his wipeout slider. It was the second outing in a row that Gray absolutely dominated from the time he took the ball until the moment Walt Weiss grabbed it out of his hands.
To Weiss' credit, he left Gray in with some traffic in the seventh. In his previous outing, Weiss had pulled Gray in a similar situation and the game came crashing down immediately. This time, Weiss let the decisive moment fall on Gray's shoulders and the young wolf came through, finishing strong with a 90 mph slider for a strikeout on his career-high 115th pitch of the game.
Unfortunately, Gray's performance would not be enough to carry the Rockies to victory. While Motte pitched a clean eighth inning, Gonzalez Germen relinquished the tie after allowing Ender Inciarte on with a base hit in the ninth. Chase D'Arnaud would later single to left, bringing Inciarte home and giving the Braves a walk-off 1-0 victory.
The Rockies return home to the Mile High City to face off against the Tampa Bay Rays in some interleague competition. Rockies rookie Tyler Anderson will be looking for the seventh consecutive Quality Start to begin his career. He takes the hill against fellow lefty Drew Smyly. First pitch at 6:40 MST.