The Rockies lost to the Nationals 8-5 and caused me to look up synonyms for “listless.” The Rockies were phlegmatic.
In his second career start, Jeff Hoffman pitched six innings total and allowed six hits. He gave up four runs, three earned, while walking four, striking out three, and giving up two home runs. Hoffman displayed great stuff, but he was inconsistent. The command was off, and the two home runs he allowed were off of hanging breaking balls that invited smashing.
It began with a rough first inning. He not only gave up a solo home run to Jayson Werth, but he also walked a batter, allowed a double, had two of the three outs he recorded were loud. But, he escaped while giving up just one run.
Rockies tied it up in the bottom of the second. Nick Hundley followed a Ryan Raburn single with one of his own to put runners on the corners. Daniel Descalso then drove Raburn in with a sacrifice fly.
Ugly play led to the Nationals’ second run. Trea Turner was awarded second base on an infield single because shortstop Cristhian Adames threw the ball in the dugout. Turner advanced to third base because Descalso forgot to catch the ball coming toward him on a pickoff play. Turner scored on a groundout to first base.
The Rockies tied it in the top of the fourth. They did it, again, with the unlikeliest of characters. After Arenado and Carlos González started the inning with a groundout and a fly out, Raburn and Hundley knocked back to back doubles to make it a 2-2 game.
Hoffman got himself into trouble in the fourth inning. Anthony Rendon led off with a double, Ryan Zimmerman followed with a single, and Hoffman walked Danny Espinosa. José Lobaton grounded into a double play. Hoffman then got pitcher Gio González to pop out. It wasn’t a great inning, but allowing just one run after starting with the bases loaded with nobody out is close to the best case scenario.
Hoffman gave up another run in the fifth. Daniel Murphy, one of the best hitters in the National League this year, hit a solo home run to make it 4-2 Nationals. Hoffman departed after the sixth.
Hoffman was the compelling story of the game, but it didn’t end with his departure. If only it did.
Matt Carasit entered in the seventh and looked awful. A double, a Hundley throwing error, a single, a wild pitch, and a walk made it 5-2 with runners on the corners to start the seventh. Bryce Harper then launched a deep fly ball to centerfield. Charlie Blackmon half-assed a leap to catch the ball, which he missed, before feigning an effort to run after it. The play resulted in a two-run triple. Harper scored on a sacrifice fly, making it an 8-2 game.
The Rockies added three in the ninth inning after Hundley hit a three-run home run; it created the tiniest of blips on the Win Expectancy chart below. Needless to say, it was too little too late.
The Rockies will send Jorge De La Rosa to the mound tomorrow to face AJ Cole in a morning game—11:05 MT start time.
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