DENVER – The Colorado Rockies just had one of those days at the ballpark where their very best efforts ended with a whimper. They arguably had more good at-bats in this game than the Los Angeles Dodgers did, but a terrible second inning and some stupendously bad luck cost Colorado in a 6-2 loss at Coors Field.
With one exception, every run the Dodgers scored came in a second inning that saw Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood momentarily lose all command. He issued walks to Cody Bellinger and Christ Taylor before Chase Utley hit a line drive to center field that Charlie Blackmon misplayed and ended up a two-RBI triple.
Blackmon likely would never have caught the ball, but if he kept it in front of him the rest of the inning but another walk to Yasiel Puig and a pair of two-out doubles from Joc Pederson and Corey Seager quickly made it 5-0, Dodgers. What was even more frustrating from the Rockies perspective is how quickly Chatwood turned things around, making an adjustment by going to the curveball more for the rest of the game and cruising through the next two innings.
Colorado was a good defensive play or a couple of walks from limiting the damage in that inning to just a run or two but the five spot with Clayton Kershaw on the mound was a bad omen.
The Rockies made a hell of an effort to get back in the game, though. In fact, they managed to put base runners on in every single frame against Kershaw until the sixth. It started with coming right back in the second and getting runners at second and third with just one out after a Carlos Gonzalez double. But Pat Valaika and Dustin Garneau struck out back-to-back and the home club couldn’t even get one run out of it.
It started with coming right back in the second and getting runners at second and third with just one out after a Carlos Gonzalez double. But Pat Valaika and Dustin Garneau struck out back-to-back and the home club couldn’t even get one run out of it.
Similarly, in the third, Blackmon hit a one-out triple and came in on a single from DJ LeMahieu to give the Rockies a run, but Nolan Arenado hit into his second consecutive double play to end that threat.
The Rockies got a walk from Mark Reynolds and another base hit from CarGo in the fourth to plate the second run. Then Valaika reached via error and it looked like something might finally break Colorado’s way but an attempt to move up on a ball in the dirt ended up being controversially overturned to rule Valaika out. Garneau then hit a pop fly that would have been a sac fly if not for the play before it, and the Rockies missed a chance at a third run.
In the fifth, Chris Rusin almost started things with an infield single but the throw to first barely beat him. Blackmon followed with his second base hit of the game and LeMahieu hit a screamer that — of course — turned into a double play behind Blackmon as it was right at the second baseman Taylor.
The Rockies went down in order for the first time in the sixth. They did so again in the seventh. Kershaw is now 89-0 when he is staked to at least a 4-0 lead. He gave up more hits (7) than Chatwood (6) but was able to wriggle out of everything with a bit of help from Mr. Murphy and his Law.
In the top of the eighth, Cody Bellinger hit his seventh home run of the season off of Jake McGee, a towering shot over the right-field scoreboard, to make it 6-2. He has played in just 16 games.
Raimel Tapia, who was called up this afternoon, worked a walk to lead off the eighth, but he was left there. All told, Colorado left 12 men on base.
The Rockies hit the ball hard all night but did themselves in with a bad inning defined by walks and a defensive mistake. Chatwood was a pitch away from escaping that inning and Colorado twice came away with nothing when a sac fly would have plated one and a single would have brought in a pair. Despite the final score, this was a pretty close game.
They fell to 23-14 on the season but still hold a game-and-a-half lead over these Dodgers for first place in the National League West with two more to play in this series.