Jon Gray pitched the best game in team history during the Rockies 8-0 win against the Padres.
Gray had no early-inning trouble on Saturday. The worst that happened in the first was a single. The worst that happened in the second was that Tom Murphy allowed a runner to reach first base after a strikeout due to a passed ball. Ultimately, that meant Gray was able to strike out four batters in the second inning. It was smooth sailing for Gray and the Rockies after that. He allowed only three more hits the rest of the way (all singles), and he didn’t walk a single batter He struck out 16, which is a new Rockies record. The previous record-holder was Daryl Kile, who struck out 14 in a game in 1998.
The Rockies scored their runs with thunder. They tagged Padres’ starter Edwin Jackson for 10 hits and eight runs. Four of those runs came in the first inning. First, Nolan Arenado hit a two-run home run, and Tom Murphy later followed with a two-run dinger of his own. That put the Rockies up 4-0 early. In the fourth, Charlie Blackmon tripled in a run. The Rockies topped off their scoring in the fifth, when Murphy hit his second home run of the night. This one scored three. There was no small ball.
But that was all secondary. Gray was the star on Saturday. Measured by Baseball Reference’s version of Game Score, this was the best start in Rockies’ history. Gray scored a 95. It’s the best mark in Rockies history. The previous high was Jeff Francis’s 91, which he did in 2006. Not only that, but Gray’s Game Score was also higher than the no-hitter Hideo Nomo threw at Coors Field—that game happened to have taken place 20 years ago to the day.
So, in sum, rookie Jon Gray pitched the best game in team history, and possibly the best game in the majors this season. And it didn’t come out of nowhere. He was supposed to be someone to throw gems from time to time. He was supposed to be the one to pitch the best game in team history. It looks like the Rockies have found their Ace.
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