When the offense is struggling, the last thing you want to see is the reigning Cy Young award winner looking to bounce back after a lackluster performance. Alas that’s exactly what the Rockies got on Tuesday, falling to Tampa Bay 4-0.
Blake Snell won the AL Cy Young Award in 2018 but got his 2019 campaign off to a rough start, allowing five runs, including three home runs, over six innings on Opening Day. He had a decidedly better day on Tuesday, tying a career-high with 13 strikeouts and allowing just two hits and a walk over seven innings.
For those keeping track at home, that’s 26 strikeouts in two games in Tampa for the Rockies offense (reliever Wilmer Font added one in the ninth). Tonight just four Rockies reached base and none of them made it to second base. Nolan Arenado was the only one to not strike out against Snell and Trevor Story got the only base hits of the night. That’s one run in the last 30 innings for the Rockies, who just so happen to be winless since Daniel Murphy left the lineup. Who knew he would be this important to the offense.
With these two factors, the Rays didn’t need much offense to pull out a win and their first runs came via a gift of the Rockies defense. With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the first, Rays catcher Mike Zunino chopped a ground ball to Nolan who fired home to Chris Iannetta to try to get an inning ending double play. Though they couldn’t get Zunino at first, they seemed to be one out away from escaping when Rays manager Kevin Cash challenged the play at home. Turns out Iannetta didn’t have his foot on the plate so the run scored and the inning continued. The next batter singled home two more runs, providing more than enough for the Rays victory.
Kyle Freeland couldn’t really dig out of the hole. He did strike out 10 but was pulled after 42⁄3 innings with 99 pitches.
The Rockies are 2-4 on their Florida road trip and would like a win before Friday’s home opener. Newly extended righty German Márquez will take the mound to try to stop the four game losing streak and Charlie Morton will try to extend the Rays best start in team history. First pitch is scheduled for 11:10 am MT Wednesday.