DENVER — There was arguably no more fitting way for the Colorado Rockies to end their 2016 season. We saw some extraordinary promise from young players in German Marquez and Jordan Patterson, the team played well enough to win and never gave up, but still collapsed late, the bullpen giving up four runs over the final three innings in a 6-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Charlie Blackmon got the scoring going with his 29th home run — 10th lead-off — of the season. More on those numbers below, but perhaps the most interesting aspect of the home run not captured by a statistic was the part where Blackmon nearly hit a home run earlier in the at-bat, but it went foul.
Baseball players of all stripes will tell you it’s nearly impossible to still go yard after doing that for a number of reasons, but Blackmon has made a habit of doing this and it is a testament to his approach and focus and mostly just how good an all-around hitter he has become.
Though he has been good in centerfield all season, Blackmon does deserve some blame, losing a ball in the sun in the top of the first that allowed the Brewers to score their first run on what was ruled a double by Orlando Arcia. The “double” brought in Hernan Perez who had been hit by a pitch.
Arcia then managed to steal third without a throw, catching the Rockies napping on a Sunday afternoon, and came in on a grounder to short to give the Brewers a 2-1 lead. It was a tough pair of “earned” runs for Marquez considering he gave up just one hit in the inning and that ball is usually caught.
Blackmon, as could have been anticipated, made up for his mistake in the very next inning, tying the game at two with a double into the right-center field gap, scoring Cristhian Adames.
The game stayed tied until the bottom of the fifth when a pair of two-out doubles from rookies Tom Murphy and Jordan Patterson — the latter of which nearly left the ballpark — and the Rockies took a 3-2 lead. It was the first career RBI and first career extra-base hit for Patterson is just his third start.
Marquez pitched brilliantly, allowing just the two runs after the defensive miscue, and striking out seven while walking just one over six innings. The future looks incredibly bright for this 21-year-old.
Down to their last out but with Nolan Arenado at second after singling and moving up on a wild pitch, Patterson delivered the second RBI of his career and the game with a single into center, tying the game at four.
But Andrew Susac hit his first home run of the year (in the last game of the season) in the top of the tenth inning to give the Brewers a 6-4 lead.
For the second day in a row, the Rockies would tie the game late but lose in extras, the bullpen showing the troubles that have been emblematic of the entire season.
By the Numbers
29 – In the bottom of the first inning, Charlie Blackmon hit his 29th home run of the season, extending his career high.
10 – The home run was also Blackmon’s tenth lead-off home run of the year, which leads the National League, and the 22nd of his career.
5 – This meant that Blackmon became just the fifth player in MLB history to reach double-digit lead-off home runs. The last player to accomplish that feat was Alfonso Soriano in 2007 with the Chicago Cubs who hit 12. Anytime you’re one of only five guys in the history of a game well over 100 years old, you had a good year.
The Colorado Rockies 2016 season is officially in the books. We will have a wrap-up on all the interesting numbers and moments from the season in the next few days.
But don’t fret! We aren’t going anywhere. BSN Denver will still be bringing you daily Rockies coverage throughout the offseason. We will be ranking the Top 25 players who are 25-years-old and younger. Of course, we will have all the winter coverage, rumors, trades, free agents, manager hirings? And we will be catching up with some of your favorite Rockies players, looking forward to next year and diving into the offseason routines.
Tomorrow begins our coverage of the 2017 Colorado Rockies. You don’t want to miss that.