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Dodgers 4, Rockies 2: Gomber faulters, offense sputters as Rockies lose opening series

Austin Gomber struggled immensely in his Rockies debut, while the offense failed to gain momentum

The Colorado Rockies were looking to pull even at .500 with a win to cap off the four-game season-opening series against the Dodgers, but fell short. The first trip through the rotation was challenging, with rough outings from Germán Márquez, Antonio Senzatela, and now Austin Gomber. Gomber had a woeful Rockies debut to put the Dodgers ahead early, and the offense ground to a halt. On the bright side, through the first three games the Rockies have scored 19 total runs and at least five per game. Unfortunately, though, they scored just two this afternoon, and end the series with a record of 1-3.

Somber Gomber

Today’s starter Austin Gomber had about as bad a Colorado Rockies debut as one could. Gomber struggled immensely to find the strike zone, throwing just 37 strikes in 73 total pitches while walking a staggering seven batters. Gomber had never walked more than four in his career, and walked only two during all of spring training. He also struggled defensively when, after walking Mookie Betts in the first inning, he had a chance to turn a double play on a come-backer to the mound. He had an easy double play set up, be he sailed the throw past second base and into center field for a throwing error. Gomber lasted just three innings and three runs had scored before he gave up the lone hit allowed. Broadcaster Ryan Spilborghs noted that Gomber appeared visibly upset going into the dugout after the first inning.

The bullpen is a relief

The Rockies finally had a quality day from their beleaguered bullpen in relief of Austin Gomber. Chi Chi González was exactly what was needed in long relief, pitching three scoreless innings while allowing no hits, walking two, and striking out two. Chi Chi’s extended outing helped the Rockies rest a bullpen that’s been heavily taxed this opening weekend. Carlos Estévez and Mychal Givens both had quality innings of relief as well. Estévez, who struggled during 2020 and spring training, allowed just one hit and struck out two batters. Givens bounced back from his poor outing last night with a 1-2-3 inning and a strikeout. The bullpen’s lone blemish came from Robert Stephenson, who allowed a solo home run in an otherwise solid inning.

Offense struggles to gain momentum

For the first time all weekend, the Rockies offense didn’t put up five or more runs. Dodgers starter Julio Urías held the Rockies scoreless through seven innings, striking out six and allowing just two hits until the bottom of the eighth inning while having the best outing at Coors Field of his career. Urías was pulled after a lead-off base hit from Ryan McMahon in the bottom of the eighth, and the Rockies were able to score two runs to avoid a shutout. However, they were unable to regain lost ground, and a quick 1-2-3 ninth would end the game with a 4-2 final score.

Another late inning push

Through the opening weekend series, the Rockies have scored a total of 13 runs in the seventh inning or later. This afternoon they attempted yet another late inning rally. Ryan McMahon drove Julio Urías from the game with a lead-off infield single. Yonathan Daza and Raimel Tapia struck out back-to-back, but then Chris Owings drew a four pitch walk from Dodgers reliever Jimmy Nelson. The inning culminated in a hard hit double to center field from Garrett Hampson to bring home two runs and put the Dodgers within striking distance.

Coming up next

The Rockies are off tomorrow before continuing the homestand on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The rotation will roll back to Germán Márquez, who looks to have a longer outing and find the command he was lacking in his bumpy Opening Day start. Colorado will look to have a fully recovered Raimel Tapia and Josh Fuentes back on the field against D-Backs righty Luke Weaver.