The Colorado Rockies lost the NL West tiebreaker to the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 on Monday afternoon. Rockies pitchers gave up two two-run home runs and an RBI single to pitcher Walker Buehler. The loss means the Rockies are the second NL Wild Card team for the second consecutive season.
The four strikeout inning
Whether or not four strikeouts in an inning is fun depends entirely on what happens with that pesky runner who happened to make it to first base. During the fourth inning on Monday, it wasn’t very fun for the Rockies. German Márquez struck out Max Muncy to lead off the inning, one of Márquez’s nine strikeouts, but he and Wolters crossed wires, which led to a passed ball that let Muncy reach first base. Márquez then struck out Manny Machado and Yasmani Grandal with some impressive heat. Cody Bellinger, however, brought Muncy home with a two-run home run, which broke the scoreless tie. Márquez struck out Walker Buehler to make it four for the inning, but by then it was no longer fun.
The Dodgers added more runs to turn the small deficit into a more difficult one, but given the circumstances, the first runs the Rockies gave up hurt the most.
Not that those extra runs mattered much. The Rockies couldn’t get anything going on offense, as Walker Buehler completely shut them down. Buehler only struck out three batters, but all of the contact the Rockies had was weak. They didn’t record their first hit until the sixth inning. They only had two hits until the ninth inning, when Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story both hit solo home runs. Still, the Rockies offense is in need of a friendlier place to hit, and if nothing else they’ll at least get that tomorrow.
While Monday’s game may have felt like an elimination game, it wasn’t. Tomorrow’s the real deal though. The Rockies will travel to Chicago for the 2018 Wild Card game. Game time is 6:00 MT on ESPN. Jon Lester will start for the Cubs, but it’s not clear who will start for the Rockies. It sounded like it would be Kyle Freeland on short rest, but the ESPN booth said that they received word from the Rockies that Antonio Senzatela will get the start.