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A Rockie Trip to Mexico

The Colorado Rockies finished a two-game series in Mexico City, Mexico, on Sunday against the Houston Astros. Both teams were evenly matched at 7 wins 19 losses this season at the start of this series, but the Rockies lost both games due to shortcomings on all fronts and some questionable officiating.

Saturday’s game got off to a good start. Cal Quantrill took the mound, pitched to contact, and ended the inning after three batters. Then Ezequiel Tovar led the offensive attack with a single. Brenton Doyle followed with a hit to the shortstop which made the forced out at second, but Doyle hustled and beat the throw to first to avoid the double play. Ryan McMahon then stepped up to the plate and sent a fastball 459 ft to put the Rockies on the board first with two runs and only one out. This scenario has historically predicted a win this season for the Rockies because every time they have gotten on the board first, they have kept the hope and spirit alive all the way to a win; however, the momentum killing event in the bottom of the fifth seemed to knock the wind out of the Rockies this time.

In the top of the third, the Astros surged ahead with back-to-back home runs to make the score 4 – 2. The Rockies could not get anything going for the next two innings, but their defense was holding the Astros too. At the bottom of the fifth, Hunter Goodman and Tovar both went down swinging, but Doyle followed with a single to get something started. McMahon got on base next after catcher interference, and the Rockies had the tying runs on base with Elias Diaz at the plate. Diaz hits a hard grounder to left, and Doyle turned on the speed to get home to make score 4 – 3 with McMahon on and two out. Then officials stated that Doyle was out because he failed to touch third. On appeal from the Rockies, the video was reviewed and showed Doyle trip as he rounds on third. The stutter in Doyle’s step on the corner of the bag seems to imply to everyone except the officials that he touched the bag, and the angle of the cameras at the Mexico City’s stadium did not offer a definitive view. The officials ruled Doyle out at third on a forced out, they removed the run, and took away Diaz’s RBI, all resulting in a third out and an end to the Rockies momentum.

 The Rockies went into a rapid decline that allowed the Astros to tally another eight runs. By the time they began to show signs of life again in the bottom of the ninth, Charlie Blackmon and Elehuris Montero were both able to reach second off singles due to defense indifference. A 10-run deficit was too much to recover from at that point, and the two runs scored rang hollow.

Sunday’s outing seemed to return to the traditional Rockies’s story. The Astros scored two at the top of the first, which included a homerun. The Rockies batters did not seem to be able to take advantage of the fast grass or the symmetrical outfield and thin air of Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu. That is unfortunate since Austin Gomber gave a good performance on the mound where he held the Astros to six hits, no walks, and two strikeouts out of seven innings pitched. Unfortunately, Gomber’s performance was recorded as a loss because the Rockies’ bats could not balance the scales.


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