The day’s different, but the result was the same. The Rockies bats were silent in Saturday’s 6-2 loss to the Diamondbacks, as the club continued its late season spiral. Even though the Rockies only had four hits, they had some opportunities. The Rockies were only able to score two runs though. Appropriately, they both were the result of groundouts (one a double play). Only one of the two squads playing in Denver on Saturday night looked like a playoff-caliber team. It wasn’t the Rockies.
The Diamondbacks tagged Gray for three runs in the first inning, and that would be enough. David Peralta and Ketel Marte led off the game with back-to-back singles. Gray retired the next two batters and nearly escaped the inning, but JD Martinez homered to center field to give the D-backs a 3-0 lead. It happened early and it was loud, but those were the only runs Gray gave up for the day. In all, he allowed five hits, walked three, and struck out six in five innings of work.
The Rockies got a run back in the fourth, but in a less than ideal way. DJ LeMahieu led off the inning with a triple to right-center field. After Nolan Arenado walked, Mark Reynolds grounded into a double play. The run scored, but the bases were clear and the Rockies couldn’t add anything else to chip away.
The Diamondbacks and Rockies added a run apiece in the sixth. The Rockies didn’t do any one thing exceptionally poorly in the top half of the inning, but they did enough little things poorly to give up a run. With one out, Chris Rusin gave up a hit to Daniel Descalso and walked Chris Hermann. Patrick Corbin attempted to bunt them both over, but Nolan Arenado charged the plate. He got to the ball in time to make a play at third, but he mishandled it. Everyone was safe, and the bases were loaded with one out. The next batter, however, hit a grounder back to Rusin, setting up a tailor-made 1-2-3 double play. But Rusin made a bad throw home, and Lucroy had to take extra time to ensure he got one out at home. The bases were loaded again, and the Diamondbacks got a run after Rusin threw a wild pitch.
LeMahieu walked with one out in the bottom of the sixth, and he made his way to third after Martinez misplayed an Arenado line drive to right. LeMahieu scored on a Reynolds groundout. That put the Rockies down 4-2 after six innings.
Given how the Rockies are playing, a two-run deficit feels insurmountable. But a home run or a couple extra base hits with even a little bit of traffic can erase it. The Rockies had an opportunity to do that in the seventh inning. The would-be rally came with two outs. Lucroy singled, and pinch-hitter Mike Tauchman blooped a single to left field to put two on for Charlie Blackmon. But this rally ended with a zero. Blackmon struck out. The Diamondbacks added two more runs in the ninth inning to make it 6-2.
The Rockies have lost four of the first five games of this nine-game home stand, and the’ll now need to win the final four games just to come away with a respectable 5-4 record over the crucial stretch of games. Luckily, the Brewers also lost on Saturday, so the Rockies maintained their 1.5 game lead for the second Wild Card. But the Rockies are now 5.5 games behind the Diamondbacks for the top Wild Card spot. Simply securing the second spot is the focus now instead of hosting the Wild Card game, and that’s because it’s easily the more realistic outcome.
The Rockies will try to avoid the sweep on Sunday, as Germán Márquez faces Zack Godley starting at 2:10 MT.