HomeTeamsRockiesThe Rockies Make Good on a Do-Over With Arizona

The Rockies Make Good on a Do-Over With Arizona

The season has been rough for the starting pitchers of the Colorado Rockies, but on Monday Kyle Freeland helped keep the Arizona Diamondbacks to a scoreless start. The Rockies strong start led to the breaking of a 17-game streak by scoring first. The game went on to put a W on the board for Colorado and signs of improvement for their pitching staff.

Freeland showed improvement over the last time he faced the Diamondbacks by cutting his ERA by more than half to bring it down from 38.57 to 16.03. No one is saying those numbers are great, but it is worth noting that Freeland stayed in the fight much longer and more consistently this time by pitching 5.0 innings, his longest showing so far this season, and managed to hold the Diamondbacks down to 2 ER and 1 HR.

Things started to come undone for the Rockies at the top of the fourth when Arizona got two on and used a sacrifice fly to bring one home. Then Blaze Alexander waited on Freeland’s changeup for a solid grounder to Kris Bryant in right field. That’s when a perfect inopportunely timed error by Ryan McMahon at third allowed two runs instead of retiring the side since there were already two outs on the board. Instead, Freeland grabbed the last out when he scooped a soft grounder and easily tossed it to first to end the inning and his showing in front of the hometown crowd.

Going into this series against Colorado, the Diamondbacks had lost four in a row after losing to the New York Yankees at home and being swept by the Atlanta Braves on the road. The Rockies were in a prime spot to take on the National League rival at Coors Field. Colorado bats put the home team ahead, but the bullpen struggled to hold that lead. Peter Lambert, Justin Lawrence, and Nick Mears all put in some time on the mound, but none of them seemed to have a recipe for ending the game and shutting down Arizona’s batting momentum. Mears did not have it on Monday, and at the top of the ninth he walked two and allowed Arizona to work their way into a bases loaded with two outs scenario. The Rockies had a 2-run lead, but Bud Black took no chances and made the right call bringing in Jake Bird to finish the game. Two pitches later the game was over after an easy fly to right field.

Over and over, the Rockies are showing that when they can control the start of the game by either answering the other team’s runs in the first or preventing those runs at the start to begin with then they go on to victory. Then in Tuesday’s game Cal Quantrill went right back to the trend of letting the opposing team get on the board first when he gave up a homerun to Arizona’s lead batter on the second pitch of the game.

Quantrill gave up two in the first, but a homer in the second was again that kind of negative momentum that the starters are too often putting the team into. Seeing Freeland keep the Diamondbacks off the board seemed to reaffirm that the Rockies need to keep it even till about the sixth to give themselves a better chance at working the plate and running the bases. This season, it is also still a trend that when the Rockies answer the runs in the first with some of their own, then they go on to stay in game till their bats warm up in the later innings.

Tuesday’s game was another example of what Colorado is capable of when their starter keeps things close long enough for the batters to wear down the opposing team’s starter; they stay competitive at the plate. This season Colorado’s line-up has hit much better against the bullpens than against the starters. Unfortunately, the Rockies just could not bring any of the runners home in the sixth, seventh, nor eight after getting them on through walks and singles in their second game against Arizona in this series. Tuesday’s game was lost by the bats despite Quantrill showing marked improvement from the top of the Rockies rotation. Wednesday is a chance for Austin Gomber to lead off another winning game as he has done in his previous two appearances this season.


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