DENVER – In a match-up between two starters in just their second MLB appearances, the Colorado Rockies got pummeled by the San Diego Padres, getting just three hits in a 6-0 loss on a gorgeous Wednesday afternoon at Coors Field.
Freeland got off to a very rough start, giving up four runs in the first frame of the game. He was simply too over the plate with his pitches and gave up a pair of doubles to Manuel Margot and Wil Myers followed by a single from Yangervis Solarte to make it 2-0 before the rookie had recorded an out. He got one on a line out from Hunter Renfroe before Ryan Schimpf smacked his second homer of the year over the right-centerfield fence to make it 4-0 out of the gate.
It looked like it might be a short day for Freeland but he got a couple of groundouts to stop the bleeding and really settled down after that. He allowed just two singles over the next three innings, getting a pair of backward Ks to end the third.
But the Padres got after Freeland again in the fifth. A walk to Myers and singles from Solarte and Renfroe plated the fifth run of the game and a sac fly from Schrimpf that landed just short of the right-field wall made it 6-0. Freeland could not complete the inning and finished the second start of his MLB debut on a down note.
His final line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 2 K.
It obviously wasn’t the start he was looking for. The fact that he momentarily recovered and gave the bullpen some innings should not be lost, but Freeland simply didn’t have it this afternoon.
Zach Lee, also making just the second start of his MLB career, faired much better. He kept the Rockies to just two hits through 5.1 innings, both belonging to Charlie Blackmon. He did walk four batters but the Rockies anemic offense could do nothing to take advantage.
Jake Shapiro warned us at the start of the season that this team’s offense wasn’t very good but even then he didn’t predict that through the first three series’ all of DJ LeMahieu, Carlos Gonzalez, and Trevor Story would be hitting under .200. That’s not a typo. Those three usually reliable offensive players are hitting just .171, .200, and .133 respectively. Blackmon looks like he is coming around but is still batting just .256. So far, the offense has been all Nolan Arenado, Gerardo Parra, and Mark Reynolds. And they won’t keep winning that way.
In 27 innings against the Padres at Coors Field, the Rockies managed to score just six runs. They managed just three hits in this decisive game, the first time since August 15, 2015, that the Rockies have tallied three or fewer hits in a game at Coors Field. They did get a pair of walks to lead off the bottom of the ninth, momentarily giving their fans hope for a very late comeback, but Tony Wolters struck out and Reynolds grounded into a game-ending double play.
Of course, the team is set to get some reinforcements soon with the returns of Tom Murphy, David Dahl, and Ian Desmond — all known for good offense — but the current group is going to have to pick it up even if those guys come back firing on all cylinders.
One also has to wonder if losing this first series to the Padres is indicative that a trend from a year ago — the Rockies playing down to less talented teams — will continue in 2017.
In fact, it remains to be seen whether Wednesday afternoon’s loss is indicative of anything at all, or if it was just one of those tough days at the office. The Rockies get a chance to totally redeem themselves in San Francisco with a four-game set, starting with yet another marquee pitching match-up, Jon Gray versus Madison Bumgarner.