On Vin Scully night at Dodger Stadium, the Rockies lost a very long, mostly dull baseball game that was mostly notable for Nolan Arenado's 40th home run, the end of DJ LeMahieu's on-base streak and Jon Gray's very interesting pitching line.
The rookie fireballer had a very bizarre day at the office. On the one hand, he struck out ten and only allowed three hits. You might think after reading those numbers that he had a performance akin to the one he had on Saturday night. Unfortunately, he also gave up four runs, all earned, while walking three and throwing 106 pitches in just four innings of work.
Two of the runs came in the first inning, when Gray walked two and hit another to load the bases before giving up a two run bloop single to Yasmani Grandal. It should have been a one-run single, but Rookie catcher Tom Murphy didn't see Justin Turner coming down the line and reacted too slowly after receiving a perfect throw from Carlos Gonzalez in right field.
Gray was one pitch away from getting out of the fourth inning after 94 pitches, but he allowed back-to-back solo homers to Joc Pederson and Andre Ethier before striking out Chase Utley to end his brief, lengthy, dominant, shaky outing.
The Rockies had several chances to get on the board early in the game. Nolan Arenado was gunned down at home in the top of the first, and he struck out with two runners in scoring position in the third. He took his frustrations out on an innocent baseball when he led off the sixth inning, clubbing it into the seats in left field for his 40th home run of the season. He's just the fourth Rockies player to hit 40 homers more than once, joining Andres Galarraga, Vinny Castilla, and Todd Helton.
Later in the sixth, David Dahl reached on an infield hit and advanced to second on a throwing error. Tom Murphy drove him in with a single to cut the deficit to 4-2.
In a situation that I was hoping wouldn't happen outside of the postseason, Jeff Hoffman came on in relief of Gray in the fifth inning. He threw two scoreless innings that, while not exactly flawless, were more encouraging than some of his other recent outings.
Carlos Estevez gave up an insurance run in the seventh on an Adrian Gonzalez sac-fly. That was all for the Dodgers, though Jason Motte had an adventurous eighth inning in which Yasiel Puig came within inches of a two-run home run.
When it was all over, the Dodgers had won 5-2; handing the Rockies their 81st loss of the season, which assured 2010 remains the most recent winning season for the franchise. Vin Scully has three more games left in his broadcasting career, and hopefully they will all be more interesting than tonight's was.