At this point in the season, there can be little doubt that the Rockies are a young, talented team. Unfortunately, they displayed a whole lot of the young and not much of the talented in Monday’s 7-2 loss to the Pirates Monday at PNC Park.
Rockies starter Kyle Freeland did not have his ‘A’ stuff and the Pirates got to him early, as Josh Harrison followed a leadoff walk with a two-run home run, giving Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead after an inning.
The Pirates doubled their lead in the third, when a Trevor Story error allowed Josh Harrison to reach and eventually score on a David Freese double. Freese then scored on a double by Andrew McCutchen to make it 4-0 for the Pirates.
Pirates starter Jameson Taillon walked Nolan Arenado and Mark Reynolds to start the top of the fourth, but an Ian Desmond strikeout sandwiched between pop outs from Carlos Gonzalez and Trevor Story quickly ended the threat.
The threat in the fourth was the only one the Rockies would mount against Taillon, as he held them scoreless through 5 innings, allowing 5 hits, walking 2 and striking out 5. He threw 78 pitches, 48 for strikes in his first start after undergoing surgery for testicular cancer in May.
Story got the Rockies on the board in the sixth against Pirates reliever Wade LeBlanc when his two-out RBI single scored Desmond, who had doubled. The run cut Colorado’s deficit to 4-1.
Freeland allowed another run in the sixth on a Gregory Polanco double that proved to be the end of his night. He allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits in 5 2⁄3 innings with a pair of walks and three strikeouts.
The Pirates added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh to extend their lead to 7-1 before a run in the ninth for the Rockies brought the score to 7-2.
Colorado had plenty of chances in the game, especially against the Pittsburgh bullpen, but went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and grounded into three double plays, all of which ended innings and came with multiple runners on base.
The Rockies will look to snap their two-game losing streak tomorrow as Tyler Chatwood takes the mound against Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole. First pitch is at 5:05 p.m. Mountain time.