After a very strong start to the 2021 campaign, Jon Gray came back down to earth and the normally-steady Rockies defense made some key errors in a 5-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.
The Rockies road record continues to fall, now to 1-10 on the season.
Bumgarner shaky to start, but settles down
Things were going so well at first... On the heels of one of the best starts of his career, Madison Bumgarner was faced with an early deficit. After getting quick outs on Garrett Hampson and Ryan McMahon to start the game, Trevor Story hit a long double and was brought home on C.J. Cron’s base hit to give the Rockies the early lead. While Colorado did make MadBum sweat a bit (he threw 81 pitches in his five innings of work), that would be the Rockies’ sole run until Raimel Tapia’s pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh inning. By then, unfortunately, it was too little, too late.
Pinch-hit RBI for Tapia in the 7th pic.twitter.com/98o9nP301P— AT&T SportsNet™ | RM (@ATTSportsNetRM) May 1, 2021
Gray Wolf barks, but lacks bite
Jon Gray had been the Rockies’ best starter through this early part of the season, but struggled against the Diamondbacks this evening. He went six innings and allowed five runs (four earned) against nine hits, one walk, and three strikeouts. Gray looked sharp the first two innings, working around the lone walk and two errors without much issue. His third inning, however, is where things went sideways. After allowing the first hit for Arizona to opposing pitcher Bumgarner, Gray got the next two outs easily before allowing four straight hits. Arizona batted around and scored four runs that inning, which was enough to seal the Rockies’ fate.
Of note, the Diamondbacks made a point to attack Gray early in the count. Of his nine hits allowed, six were on the first pitch of the at-bat. It was these quick at-bats that allowed Gray to work six innings despite all of the traffic on the base paths - in that crucial third inning, he threw just 23 pitches.
The ups and downs of defense
A Rockies team that ranked in the top eight fielding teams in MLB entering play Friday had an oddly rough night on the defensive end. They combined for four errors - one for C.J. Cron, one for Josh Fuentes, and two for Trevor Story. One of these missteps directly translated to a run, as a ground ball to Fuentes in the third inning that would have stopped the bleeding at three runs was dropped, allowing the fourth run to score. The Rockies had not made four errors in a game since September 26th, 2020 - also against Arizona.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom on the infield, though. Colorado did turn three double plays on the evening. They’ve turned 21 on the season in total.
5-4-3 double play— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) May 1, 2021
3rd double play turned by the Rockies tonight pic.twitter.com/xc4OaglfNm
The Rockies continue their four-game series against Arizona as Austin Gomber (1-3, 6.65 ERA) takes on Zac Gallen (1-0, 2.16 ERA).
First pitch is at 6:10 MDT.