After leaving Saturday’s win with a sore back, Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon sat out Sunday’s series finale, an absence from the lineup that was conspicuous in a 4-0 loss to Atlanta. Braves starter Sean Newcomb pitched six scoreless innings, allowing five hits and no walks while striking out nine and three Atlanta relievers finished off the shutout. Kyle Freeland put in a solid, if unspectacular start for the Rockies, allowing three runs on seven hits in five innings, walking a pair and striking out five.
This loss was frustrating in its predictability. With Blackmon injured and Carlos González (rightly) on the bench against a lefty, there was just not much punch in the Rockies lineup. Mike Tauchman and Pat Valaika replaced Blackmon and González in the lineup, and while they are both fine bench options, neither inspires much confidence as a starter. If, say, David Dahl or Raimel Tapia got the start in Blackmon’s place the expectations, and results, may well have been better. However, they are both currently tearing up Triple-A.
The loss drops the Rockies back to 5-5 and makes four games in a row for them alternating wins and losses. Monday begins the second series of the year against the Padres, this time in Coors Field. Jon Gray will be on the mound for the Rockies against San Diego’s Clayton Richard. First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. Mountain time.