The Rockies’ bid to overtake second place in the National League West in this series came to a screeching halt Sunday afternoon, as the Padres handed Colorado a 13-2 loss — its largest margin of defeat this season. After digging themselves out of mediocrity over the past week, the Rockies (17-17) find themselves at .500 once again, three games behind San Diego (21-15).
Castellani exits early
Rockies starter Ryan Castellani (1-2, 5.24 ERA) got the hook early in Sunday’s game. The rookie right-hander gave up five earned runs over the first two innings, and Bud Black had seen enough. The Rockies manager didn’t let Castellani take a crack at the third inning, as he handed the ball over to the bullpen. It was the shortest outing of his young career.
Castellani struggled with command in his brief appearance. He threw 50 pitches (31 for strikes), walked one batter and hit another with a pitch — and both scored accordingly. Eric Hosmer greeted Castellani with a three-run home run in the top of the first inning to start the scoring.
Chi Chi González kept Colorado within striking distance, giving up just one run and two hits over four innings of relief. But the rest of the Rockies’ bullpen had yet another forgettable performance. Jairo Díaz, James Pazos and Phillip Diehl combined to give up seven runs over the final three innings.
Make it a double
The Rockies entered Sunday with the most double plays turned in Major League Baseball with 43 — and they added two highlight-worthy twofers against the Padres in this one.
Nolan Arenado got a shoutout from the MLB Twitter account with his line-drive snag and rocket throw to first base in the fifth inning.
Garrett Hampson then got flashy with the leather in the sixth inning with a diving stop and back-hand flip to second to start another double play. It was the 45th time Colorado has turned a double play this season. The Kansas City Royals have the second-most with 37.
Blackmon continues slump
Charlie Blackmon is batting .354 and sits comfortably among the league leaders in hits and average. But after entering August 12 with a .500 batting average and a realistic shot at being the first player since Ted Williams to finish the season about .400 (albeit with an asterisk), those stats don’t seem quite as cheery.
After an 0-for-3 afternoon Sunday, Blackmon is currently riding a 1-for-19 slide at the plate. This has all come as Arenado seems to have turned things around offensively. He went 2-for-3 with a double Sunday and has gotten a hit in all five games since Black gave him last Sunday off.
For the Rockies to make a real run in the National League West, they’re going to need their offensive stars to get hot at the same time.
The Rockies and Padres will play in front of a national television audience on ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball in the finale of this four-game series. Germán Márquez (2-4, 4.50 ERA) gets the ball for Colorado, which is looking for a series split. San Diego has yet to name its starter for Monday’s game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:40pm MT.