Austin Gomber was much-improved in his second start of the season, but Johnny Cuento was downright untouchable, and the Rockies were unable to mount any significant offense against the Giants on Friday.
Gomber and Cueto Go Toe-to-Toe
The contest was a pitcher’s duel, as both starters were just about unhittable for most of the game. Neither allowed a hit until the fifth inning, and both threw over 100 pitches in what were each effective starts.
Gomber’s curveball was incredibly effective. He used it to get ahead in counts and as a strikeout pitch, and it was every bit the plus-pitch it was projected to be. In his 6 1⁄3 innings, he allowed just one hit against four walks and two runs. Gomber clearly began to lose steam in the sixth and seventh innings, but while the number of walks was still a bit high, this was a much-improved performance from his last start.
Austin Gomber strikes out Austin Slater on 3 pitches pic.twitter.com/giGSw2cYWn— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) April 9, 2021
Walk on By
Walks were the killer in the pivotal seventh inning. After a fantastic start, Gomber faltered by allowing a leadoff walk to Darin Ruf. After striking out Wilmer Flores, Buster Posey nabbed a free pass as well. Tyler Kinley came in to relieve Gomber, but walked Alex Dickerson before grooving a 1-2 slider to Brandon Crawford, who launched it into center field for a two-run double. Kinley would allow one more walk before Ben Bowden finished the inning.
In all, Rockies pitching allowed a total of seven walks on the day.
Cueto Shimmies, Shuffles, and Shines
Johnny Cueto was just about untouchable, coming one out shy of a complete game. He allowed just four hits against one run, one walk, and seven strikeouts. Cueto kept Rockies hitters guessing all day, inducing eight ground balls and three flyouts. The only extra-base hit of the day was early-season MVP Chris Owings’ triple, which would turn into the Rockies’ sole run after he was brought home on Garrett Hampson’s sacrifice fly.
Blackmon Exits Early
No, it’s okay, he’s not hurt — he was just ejected. In the seventh inning, after being shut down offensively all day, Charlie Blackmon struck out looking on a fastball down and away in the zone. Upset with the call, Blackmon immediately argued, audibly saying “That’s not a strike, man!” before being tossed by home plate umpire Ben May. Manager Bud Black came out quickly after to protest, but remained in the game.
On review, the pitch did appear to be in the zone (though don’t tell Chuck I said that, please).
Coming Up Next
The Rockies will attempt to get back to their winning ways tomorrow as Chi Chi González (1-0, 5.40 ERA) makes his first start of the season opposite Logan Webb (0-1, 5.06 ERA). González gave up three runs in two innings on Opening Day versus the Dodgers but ended up collecting the win, and is coming off of three scoreless innings of work last Sunday. Webb took the loss in his last start against the Mariners, going 5 1⁄3 innings and allowing three earned runs.