I know that you told your friends that this was “the series”. This was the weekend that mattered for Rockies fans, long after your friends hopped off the bandwagon some time between June and August for Broncos football. You thought Zack Godley is not Zack Greinke. Heck, his performance tonight wasn’t all that divine either. Nonetheless, I’m sorry to inform you that it was enough for the Arizona Diamondbacks to defeat the Colorado Rockies 5 to 1. This series might’ve been the Rockies last chance at getting home field advantage as well as creating space between them and the teams chasing their wild card spot. Now we’re down to the math of playoff odds and the aftermath as the Rockies hold a razor-thin half game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers, who won their game tonight against the Rockies-killing Nationals using nothing but bullpen pitchers.
Even Nolan Arenado, like many fans, might not have the strength to be angry anymore. That’s how jaded the second half of the season has been, to the point where you’re not sure if you blame your friends for jumping ship... but as a fellow pinstripe-wearing player once said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Let’s say that to ourselves and our friends, for at least a little while longer if you please. Stranger things have happened, like Rocktober.
The first two innings were scoreless but the Diamondbacks got a run in the top of the third off of Rockies starter German Marquez. Gregor Blanco reached on a single, advanced to second on Godley’s sacrifice, then scored on David Peralta’s double.
The Rockies sported a new lineup as some regulars got the day off. DJ LeMahieu was moved to the leadoff slot, dropping Charlie Blackmon to third in the order. Carlos Gonzalez, who has a ,.775 OPS in the last 28 games, was moved up to the second slot and Ryan McMahon, Pat Valaika and Tony Wolters all got starts. The rejiggering didn’t appear to help much in this game, though to be fair, you shouldn’t junk an idea after just one game. Blackmon came up twice with runners on, hitting a flyball just short of a home run in the 3rd, then driving in LeMahieu in the 5th to tie the score at 1-1 a piece.
That tie lasted for one batter as Ketel Marte hit a flyball just long enough to be a home run in the 6th, pushing the score to 2-1 in the Diamondbacks favor. After a single allowed to Jake Lamb, Brandon Drury hit a two run home run to right to run the score to 4-1. Marquez would finish the inning but his day was over. He threw six innings, giving up only six hits and no walks, but all four runs were earned and he struck out nine batters. For Coors Field, that should be good enough but for this Rockies offense, it was too much to overcome.
Godley was also done after the sixth after 105 pitches. Though he walked six batters, he only allowed three hit and struck out seven, stifling the Rockies to just one earned run.
The Rockies and Diamondbacks bullpens traded scoreless seventh innings. After Zac Rosscup struck out Lamb, Carlos Esteves gave up a flyball to ex-Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta which wouldn’t have been out of , some parks like Yellowstone but was more than enough for mere Coors Field, though it might not have been enough if he was still a Rockie. In response, the Rockies threatened back in the bottom of the eighth against Arizona reliever T.J. McFarland. Blackmon led off (get it?) the inning with a single, then advanced to second as Gerardo Parra reached on a bunt single of his own. After Trevor Story struck out, Nolan Arenado pinch hit for Ryan McMahon and also struck out. Then, to finish the inning, Pat Valaika struck out. Studies show that striking out three times in a row ends threats and I’d like to thank the Rockies for providing another data point to support that hypothesis.
Greg Holland got the Diamondbacks out with a strikeout and little drama in the top of the ninth. Jimmy Sherfy (typo check), got groundouts from two Rockies pinch hitters and a foul out from LeMahieu to end the game.
Tell your friends, tell Arenado, tomorrow will hopefully be better than today.