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Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 4: The End

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The Diamondbacks were able to chew and gnaw their way back into the game and eventually the victory in a disappointing season finale.

In a disappointing cap to a disappointing season, the Colorado Rockies fell 5-4 to the Arizona Diamondbacks out in the desert. Despite a strong start from Ashton Goudeau and the offense busting open scoring early, the Rockies failed to keep the gas going. The offense became anemic and the bullpen let the Diamondbacks fight back into the game and walk it off in the ninth.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants have officially conquered the NL West, dethroning the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers will now play in the Wild Card game against Nolan Arenado and his St. Louis Cardinals. In the AL Wild Card race, the chaos was put to rest as both the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox won to extinguish the playoff hopes of the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays.

As Goudeau as it gets

Well-traveled journeyman Ashton Goudeau got the start for the Rockies in what would be a bullpen day to end the season. Goudeau put together one of his better performances of the season. Though he walked two batters, he allowed just one hit across three complete innings of work. The 30-year old rookie stepped up when needed to keep the Rockies ahead and try to send the season out on a high note. Unfortunately, the bullpen spoiled the season for the Rockies, as well as Goudeau’s win. In 2022, Goudeau will likely try and compete in spring training for either a bullpen spot as a long reliever, or a potential rotation spot if Jon Gray departs.

Going out with a whimper

The Rockies bullpen was extremely disappointing today, allowing the Diamondbacks to nibble and gnaw their way back into the game and eventually walk it off. Daniel Bard pitched two solid innings, only giving up one run to the DBacks. Lucas Gilbreath ran into some trouble by giving up two hits, but struck out two batters and kept any runners from scoring in another solid outing for the rookie.

The trouble began with Jordan Sheffield. The rookie, who has had a remarkably strong debut season despite injuries, got two quick outs. Unfortunately, he then gave up a double, a walk, and a single in order to give the DBacks another run. Tyler Kinley was called upon to end the inning, and did so... Until he ran into his own trouble in the eighth inning. Kinley walked a batter and gave up two consecutive singles for another run. The Diamondbacks then tied up the game on a groundout RBI.

In the final game of the season, the Rockies would need bonus baseball to eke out a victory. The duty to keep the board clean rested upon the shoulders of closer Carlos Estévez, who tallied two rapid-fire outs on just three pitches. He would need to battle Josh Van Meter to bring the game into extra innings. Van Meter came into the game hitting just .208 with only five home runs. After six pitches, the count was full, and Estévez delivered pitch number 7... a fastball over the heart of the plate. Van Meter lept on the opportunity and the ball sailed over the right field wall as the Diamondbacks walked off the Rockies.

Offense’s foot came off the gas

The Rockies bats started off strong, jumping out to a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning. They plated three runs in the second inning that started with a Sam Hilliard walk. Colton Welker followed Hilliard with a single, and Dom Nuñez struck a double past the right fielder to plate the two runners. Raimel Tapia then singled to get Nuñez home.

In the fifth inning, reliever Daniel Bard achieved his first major league base hit on a line drive to left field. Bard made his big league debut in 2009 with the Boston Red Sox. Brendan Rodgers, polishing off an excellent breakout campaign, tripled to bring Bard home for the pitcher’s first major league run.

Unfortunately, the Rockies failed to plate a single run after the fifth inning, while the Diamondbacks clawed their way back into the game. The Rockies went down in order in the sixth inning. In the seventh, CJ Cron pinch hit for a double, but wouldn’t score. In the eighth, Sam Hilliard would single but be stranded. When it all came down to the top of the ninth, Dom Nuñez drew a walk. Charlie Blackmon was called upon to pinch hit for his final at-bat of the season, and laced a first pitch single to left field. Now with runners on first and second, Raimel Tapia came to the plate with his league leading 67.5% ground ball percentage. With a full count, Tapia grounded into what ended up as a fielder’s choice. Garrett Hampson would ground out to cap off a hitless game for the speedster and put an end to the potential rally.

Coming up next

The season has drawn to a close, and the Rockies will once again have a long off-season to try and right the ship after a third straight losing season. Their final record 74-87 isn’t the worst in team history, or even the worst in recent memory. It is, however, a disappointing mark for the team.

The first pitch of the 2022 season will come on March 31st to kick off four game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pitchers yet to be announced.