For the second straight day, Sim Sam Hilliard hit a home run in the second inning to give the Sim Rockies an early lead. Also for the second straight day, the Rockies couldn’t maintain that lead. After falling 6-3 on Tuesday, the Rockies lost 5-3 to Sim Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The Pirates won the series 2-1 and improved to 47-39 on the season, while Colorado dropped to 39-47.
Good Gray, bad Davis
Going into any game, if someone told you the Rockies’ starter would go six innings and only give up two runs, you would probably take it, right? That is the kind of performance Jon Gray gave on Wednesday at PNC Park. He gave up three hits (unfortunately two were doubles) and struck out eight, but he did walk four. Gray held Pittsburgh scoreless through three innings before giving up an RBI double to Gregory Polanco to score Jarrod Dyson in the fourth. Another double, this time off the bat of Kevin Kramer to score Polanco, tied the game up in the bottom of the six and Gray exited with a 2-2 tie. Gray’s record stayed at 2-7 and his ERA dropped to 5.61 (from 5.86). After Antonio Senzatela pitched a scoreless seventh, Tim Collins came in for one batter, giving up a hit Bryan Reynolds, with the ball coming back to hit Collins and forcing his departure from the game. (The injury is not serious and Collins will be back in the bullpen for the next game). Enter Wade Davis. He walked Polanco and then gave up a two-run double to JT Riddle, followed by an RBI single to Luke Maile, giving the Pirates to a 5-3 lead. Carlos Estévez relieved Davis and got out of the inning, but the Rockies went down in order in the ninth as Robbie Erlin recorded his 14th save of the season.
Three leads, all erased
Joe Musgrove (6-3, 2.62) kept the Rockies in check, giving up two runs on two hits in seven innings with four strikeouts and only one walk. Considering the Rockies totaled only four hits in the entire game, it’s kind of impressive they were able to score three runs. When Hilliard hit his homer, a solo shot to center for his ninth home run of the season, it put the Rockies up 1-0. When they found themselves tied at 1-all after four innings, they reclaimed the lead in the sixth when Trevor Story hit into a fielder’s choice that resulted in David Dahl being thrown out at second, but Jon Gray scoring from third. The lead didn’t last long after the Pirates tied it up in the bottom of the frame. The Rockies had one more comeback in them after Yonathan Daza took over for Garrett Hampson in center and singled and came home to score on a double from Story in the eighth inning to put the Rockies on top 3-2. Then Davis ruined the day.
Sim roster moves
With the announcement that Ian Desmond is going to opt out of the 2020 season, he has also now been removed from the Sim Rockies roster. Raimel Tapia will be coming up from Triple-A to replace him. Given Davis’s struggles with his second loss and his 7.39 ERA, he is going to be moved to middle relief and James Pazos will be moved to the setup role to try to preserve save chances for Scott Oberg.
The Rockies will be off on Thursday before returning to Coors Field to host the Giants and Diamondbacks. Up first will be a Friday night showdown between Kyle Freeland (3-6, 4.17) and San Francisco’s Drew Smyly (5-7, 3.72). The game will be broadcast on YouTube starting at 6:15 p.m. MT.