It’s the same old story we have heard throughout the second half: ‘The bullpen blows another lead.’
This time, it ended with the Rockies falling to the Dodgers, 7-4. Tyler Chatwood turned in six strong innings and LeMahieu added his 11th home run of the year, but that wasn’t enough to overcome the team’s bullpen woes. If your team can’t hold a late lead, there’s a low chance you’ll win the ballgame (astute analysis, I know, but what else can you say?).
The Rockies kicked off the scoring in the top of the second inning. Carlos Gonzalez led off the frame with a single and was promptly driven in on a Nick Hundley double. David Dahl added a single and Stephen Cardullo walked to load the bases, leading to a Daniel Descalso sacrifice fly. After a sacrifice bunt by Chatwood, Charlie Blackmon drove in Dahl with an infield single, leaving the Rockies with a 3-0 lead.
The Dodgers struck back in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run by Yasmani Grandal, his first of two on the night.
LeMahieu added his solo shot in the top of the fifth to make the score 4-1 in favor of Colorado.
The Dodgers added a run in the sixth inning on an RBI groundout from Josh Reddick. The Dodgers had runners on second and third with only one out, so kudos to Chatwood for limiting the damage in that inning. The Rockies entered the seventh with a 4-2 lead.
That lead disappeared quickly in the seventh inning. Jordan Lyles came on in relief for Chatwood and promptly allowed a double to pinch-hitter Andre Ethier, the only batter he would face. Boone Logan entered the game to face the four lefties at the top of the Dodgers lineup, only to have the Dodgers pinch-hit two righties in Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig. Turner flied out, but Logan walked Puig and Seager to load the bases, and then issued a free pass to Gonzalez to drive in a run, making it 4-3. Grandal, the next batter, blasted a grand slam on a 2-2 pitch to put the Dodgers ahead, 7-4.
McGee came on in relief and allowed a single to Reddick (who was caught stealing during the next at-bat) and walked Pederson before finally ending the seventh with a hard hit flyout to Gonzalez in right.
The eighth was highlighted by both Nolan Arenado and manager Walt Weiss being tossed from the game arguing balls and strikes on a called strike three to Arenado. Weiss was initially thrown from the game after the at-bat while Arenado was tossed in-between half-innings.
The score ended at 7-4, capped off by yet another bullpen meltdown. This will undoubtedly be a focus of the front office this offseason as the rest of the team seems to be coming along nicely. As we all know, however, there’s a direct correlation between a good bullpen and team success (usually).
The Rockies and Dodgers continue the series tomorrow night at 8:10 p.m. MT. Jon Gray takes the mound, looking to follow up his masterful performance earlier in the week as he faces off against Scott Kazmir.