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Dodgers 7, Rockies 4: 6-run sixth dooms Colorado

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A six run sixth inning by the Dodgers was more than enough to send Colorado to 66-94 on the year.

Jeff Gross

Entering the bottom of the sixth inning, the Rockies were looking good. After allowing a run in the first, Jordan Lyles had only allowed two baserunners in the subsequent four innings. Meanwhile, Justin Morneau had helped his cause in the batting title run with a two run homer in the third (his 17th), part of a three run frame that had Colorado up 3-1 in the middle of the sixth. At the time, Colorado's win expectancy was 79%. Then it all came unglued.

Two singles, including a bunt single, and then a popup started the inning innocuously enough (win expectancy still at 72%). However, the trickle of hits became a deluge. Lyles allowed a single to score a run, while an error on Charlie Blackmon moved both runners into scoring position (win expectancy 47%). That proved costly almost immediately as an infield single drove both Dodgers in to turn the game into a 4-3 deficit (win expectancy 23%). Making matters worse, second baseman DJ LeMahieu suffered a knee sprain that caused him to leave the game.

At that point, Lyles exited the game and Franklin Morales entered. This was not helpful. Morales faced four hitters and -didn't get any of them out - allowing two singles and two walks that made the game 6-3 (win expectancy 4%). He left the bases loaded for Rob Scahill, who allowed a sac fly but was able to get out of the inning without any further damage. All told, the Dodgers went from prohibitive underdogs to prohibitive favorites in just a few minutes. Ben Paulsen would do his part with a two out homer in the ninth (his 3rd), but it was too little too late for a team that has a season full of games like these.

Lyles finished his season with a 5 1/3 inning outing, allowing five runs on eight hits while striking out four to get an end of season 4.33 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 126 2/3 innings this season. Meanwhile, Morneau's 2-3 evening got the average up to .319, just ahead of Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison - whose 1-4 night brought him down to .318. It's a tight race with only two games to play. If nothing else, Rockies fans, you have that to cheer in the season's final weekend.

Graph


Source: FanGraphs

We Salute: Morneau (.273 WPA)

We Are Disappointed In: Lyles (-.432 WPA), Morales (-.191), Michael Cuddyer (-.150)

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