The Rockies lost in extra innings tonight. It was not a heartbreaker.
As Walt Weiss noted in the postgame press conference, Tim Hudson pitched really well. He threw seven innings and gave up three runs. He didn't walk anybody, however. This, in part, mitigated the damage done by the home runs hit by Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. Despite some rough innings from the bullpen, Jorge De La Rosa and a cadre of relievers kept the Rockies in it, eventually forcing extra innings before falling to some timely hitting and well executed bunts.
Jorge De La Rosa pitched well in five innings. In fact, he lowered his season ERA from 31.50 to 11.57. He gave up two runs on four hits. Most impressively, he struck out seven. What was more impressive than what was most impressive was that six of those strikeouts were swings and misses. De La Rosa was well on his way to a strong six inning outing, but things got difficult for him at the end of the fifth. With two outs in the fifth, De La Rosa had thrown 75 pitches; two walks and an out later and he was at 90 pitches, which ended his evening. De La Rosa noted that he lost his command. He indicated after the game that he was overall happy with his performance.
Curiously, Walt Weiss chose to bring Scott Oberg in for the sixth inning in a tie game. Oberg couldn't get anyone out. He gave up a single, a home run, and a double. He got Casey McGehee out, but that was really thanks to excellent glove work by DJ LeMahieu, who snagged a line drive off of McGehee's bat. Christian Friedrich relieved Oberg. After an out, a walk, a wild pitch, and another walk, the bases were loaded for Matt Duffy. Duffy hit a line drive up the middle of the infield, but DJ LeMahieu dove for the ball and got the force out at second base. By my estimation, DJ LeMahieu saved at least two runs that inning—maybe three.
Christian Bergman held the Giants to two hits in two innings of work, giving them a chance to rally late. John Axford pitched the ninth. He created a little bit of traffic by allowing a single and a walk, but he struck out Buster Posey and got Maxwell to line out to bring it to the ninth inning.
The Rockies got their scoring going in the second, when Charlie Blackmon singled in LeMahieu. The Rockies also benefitted from two very long home runs by Troy Tulowitzki in the third inning and Carlos Gonzalez in the sixth. I wrote in today's preview that it looks like Carlos Gonzalez's swing is returning, and tonight's home run to straight away center field is another indication that that's the case.
CarGo's home run looked kind of like this, but at Coors Field:
Jeremy Affeldt entered in the ninth and retired Gonzalez. Santiago Casilla followed Afieldt and immediately gave up back to back singles to Nick Hundley and LeMahieu, putting runners on first and third with just one out. Drew Stubbs, who had entered the game earlier to replace Corey Dickerson, dribbled a grounder to second baseman Joe Panik. Panik was able to tag LeMahieu out while going to second, but the ball was not hit hard enough for more. Hundley scored to tie the game. Getting aggressive on the base path to get an advantage, Stubbs attempted to steal second. He was thrown out. And it was not one of those close throw outs where the runner slides feet first and pops up, having made it to the bag just a smidgen late. No—it was one of those stumbling slides where the runner tumbles over the bag and gets tagged out. To extra innings.
The Giants got a couple hits in the tenth inning off of Adam Ottavino, but with a double play in between, there wasn't much of a threat. Jean Machi put the Rockies went down in order in the tenth. Brooks Brown pitched the top of the eleventh. He walked Nori Aoki, his fourth walk of the night, to lead off the inning. Matt Duffy bunted him, and Angel Pagan followed that with a single to center field. The ball was hit hard. Stubbs both got to the ball quickly and got it back to the infield quickly, so Aoki wasn't able to score. Joe Panik, however, bunted to first and got him home. Justin Morneau got the ball to Hundley fast, but the throw was just a bit offline, and Aoki executed a perfect slide to score the run and take the lead.
Machi returned for the bottom of the eleventh. Morneau led off with a single to right field. Nolan Arenado, however, grounded into a double play to erase the base runner, leaving Carlos Gonzalez to bat with nobody on base. Gonzalez grounded out to first base to end the game.
The Rockies are now 4-1 against the Giants on the year.