DENVER – Friday night’s win against the Los Angeles Dodgers came off the heels of the bullpen providing 3.1 innings of shutout baseball against the NL West leaders, tying the series at one apiece.
Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray had surrendered four earned runs in five innings of work and was approached the one hundred pitch mark having already thrown 97 pitches.
Leading off the sixth inning for the Dodgers was left-handed hitting Max Muncy, who had homered in his previous at bat against Gray. Had he reached base during the inning, fellow left-handed hitter Joc Pederson would also get an opportunity.
In game one of the series Thursday night, both Muncy and Pederson contributed pinch hit home runs off the right-handed pitching Scott Oberg.
Though the left-handed pitching Harrison Musgrave was the first man to warm up in the Rockies bullpen, manager Bud Black opted to stay with his starter.
After the game, Black explained his decision.
“Jon said he felt fine. I trust Jon. I liked the way Jon has been throwing the last two-and-a-half, three weeks, so I sent him back out.
Muncy doubled to left field on a four-seam fastball against Gray. When Pederson strolled to the plate after two quick outs, Black motioned to the ‘pen for his rookie left-hander with two outs and a runner on third base.
Musgrave was candid before Saturday’s game about his big spot in Friday’s game.
“I warmed up the inning before to face Muncy in case he came up. Pederson was the next lefty up once Muncy got on base. I’ve thrown to him a few times in Spring Training and the season. So, I’d faced him a good bit. I went out and did my job.”
Pederson hit a fly ball to left field that closed out the sixth inning, keeping the score close.
Musgrave’s familiarity with Pederson played to the advantage of the West Virginia native.