After getting blown out 23-5 on Tuesday, it looked like the Rockies must suffer a similar fate at the hands of the Giants on Wednesday. The Giants jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first and led 6-1 until the fifth. However, eight combined runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings secured a much-needed victory.
It looked grim early when the Rox went down 4-0 in the first inning. Kyle Freeland started the game, but only lasted two innings before being lifted in favor of Chi Chi González. He started off the game by getting Donovan Solano to ground out, but then gave up a solo homer to newly anointed Rockies killer Mike Yastrzemski to make it 1-0 Giants. Freeland then allowed singles on four of the next five batters to put the Giants up 4-0. He walked Mauricio Dubon, but then was able to strike out Solano on his return trip to the plate to end the inning 43 pitches later. Freeland gave up two more singles in the second inning, but none came around to score. His final pitching line was 2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. He threw 61 pitches (44 for strikes) and his ERA now sits at 4.09.
Chi Chi González began the third inning in relief of Freeland. He also pitched two innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. With a short start on August 30 against the Padres and an off day tomorrow, Bud Black elected to have Ryan Castellani pitch the fifth and sixth. Castellani threw two scoreless innings, including the first 1-2-3 inning for Rockies pitching in this series in the sixth.
Mychal Givens made his Rockies debut in the seventh, pitching another scoreless inning with a strikeout. He hit Mauricio Dubon to begin his career in purple, but then retired the next three Giants to earn the win. Carlos “Wild Thing” Estévez came in to pitch the eighth and lived up to his name. He pitched another 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts of Pablo Sandoval and Alex Dickerson. Both strikeout pitches were 98+ MPH four-seam fastballs (98.9 on Sandoval and 98 on the dot for Dickerson).
Daniel Bard closed out the game, also with a 1-2-3 outing that included two strikeouts. The 35-year-old’s final strikeout pitch to Brandon Belt was 99.1 MPH four-seamer as well. Talk about heat! This was Bard’s fourth save of 2020 in as many opportunities.
The final three relievers did their jobs and held the Giants scoreless. But the offense also did their job and scored more runs than the opposition. After being outscored 29-6 through the first 14 innings of this series, the offense seemed to have had enough (plus they might’ve had some help from the game operations staff).
Garrett Hampson got the scoring started in Wednesday’s matchup with a solo homer in the second inning — his third in two days. Then they were held scoreless until the fifth inning until Trevor Story doubled to knock in Raimel Tapia, who was at first on a fielder’s choice.
They hung a crooked number in the sixth with some team baseball. After Blackmon struck out to begin the inning, Kevin Pillar got a base hit followed by a bunt base hit by Hampson. Sam Hilliard was able to drive in Pillar on a sharp single and Josh Fuentes hit a sacrifice fly to score Hampson.
Five in the seventh
The party really started in the seventh. Five runs were scored; a team cycle was hit for (in order); and a good time was had by all. It went down like this:
- Trevor Story walks, advances to second on a wild pitch
- Nolan Arenado singles to right field, Story to third
- Charlie Blackmon doubles to center field, Story scores, Arenado to third (6-5 SF)
- Kevin Pillar triples to center field, Arenado and Blackmon score (7-6 COL)
- Garrett Hampson lines out to shortstop
- Sam Hilliard homers to left, Pillar scores (9-6 COL)
- Josh Fuentes singles to center field
- Drew Butera strikes out swinging
- Raimel Tapia strikes out swinging
The Rockies are off on Thursday before heading to California for a six-game road trip against the Dodgers and Padres beginning Friday and culminating on Wednesday, which will be celebrated as Roberto Clemente Day. Antonio Senzatela (3-1, 3.32 ERA) will start on Friday against Dustin May (1-1, 2.83 ERA). First pitch is at 7:40pm MT.