For the second night in a row, the Colorado Rockies failed to get a hit with a runner in scoring position, and they lost their second straight game to the Miami Marlins and their third straight overall 5-1.
Despite the similar offensive output and score, this was a very different game from the series' first contest, where the Marlins jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and the Rockies never had much of a chance. Tonight the Rockies got a strong start from Kyle Kendrick, who kept them in the game despite receiving no run support for the first six innings. Kendrick pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits. He made one big mistake pitch, which Martin Prado hit over the wall in left-center field for a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth. Kendrick exited the game in the seventh with his team trailing by a run, having pitched deep into the game and given them a good chance to win. It was about all you could ask for from your starting pitcher.
Unfortunately the performance of relief man Scott Oberg, who came in to pitch the eighth, left something to be desired. He walked two batters, including the leadoff man -- who also happened to be Giancarlo Stanton, so I'll give him a pass on that one -- before giving up a three-run homer to J.T. Realmuto that made the score 5-1 and put the game out of reach.
It was disappointing to see this kind of performance from Oberg, who had walked just one batter and given up just one run in his last ten appearances before tonight. Hopefully this outing was a blip and not indicative of a regression to his early season form.
Marlins rookie Jose Urena more than matched the veteran Kendrick, also throwing 6 2/3 innings and only allowing one run, on a Carlos Gonzalez opposite-field home run in the seventh. Urena pitched to contact, striking out only one batter but walking none, and the Rockies were unable to find enough gaps in Marlins Park's massive outfield to do any damage against the 24 year old Dominican, who earned his first career win.
The Rockies scattered seven hits during the game, two more than on Thursday, but they never had more than one in any inning. Troy Tulowitzki hit into a double play in the first, Charlie Blackmon got himself thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double in the third, and DJ LeMahieu hit into another double play in the fifth.
Corey Dickerson hit his second double in as many games since returning from the disabled list but, unlike yesterday, it was not the only extra-base hit for the Rockies. Ben Paulsen hit a lead-off two bagger in the top of the eighth to give the Rockies their best change to tie what was at that point a 2-1 game. Then Nick Hundley and pinch-hitter Rafael Ynoa struck out before Charlie Blackmon hit a weak fly ball to end the inning.
It would appear that the Rockies' woeful offense these past two games is a classic case of the patented Coors Field Hangover, in which the team performs poorly on the road after an extended stretch at home. The ten game homestand was the longest of the season thus far, and the offensive output these last two games has been uncharacteristically bad for a team that had won more road games on the road than it had lost going into the series. Players with better road numbers than home numbers like Nolan Arenado have been shut out in the series, and Troy Tulowitzki -- though he's collected a hit in each game -- hasn't been his red-hot self.
One can only hope that this malaise will wear off sooner rather than later, as the Rockies have now fallen six games below .500 during a stretch of the season that could determine whether or not the team will still be in contention at the All-Star break. While the Rockies could stand to get better pitching than they have these last two games, the key to escaping the neon hell of Miami with a victory or two will be the offense waking up from its (possibly altitude-induced) slumber.
I would be remiss if I did not mention one moment of comedy from this otherwise miserable game: In the bottom of the seventh, Rockies catcher Nick Hundley forgot how many outs there were.
Math is hard. pic.twitter.com/HGWfO5Jy6B— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) June 13, 2015
It's OK Nick, the offense can't count to three either.