San Diego wasn’t so sunny for the Rockies tonight, as they got clobbered by the Padres 7-0. The rainy weather in Denver was much more indicative of what happened, but it poured much harder at Petco Park.
Jon Gray not sharp
Jon Gray, despite being the Rockies’ best pitcher in 2021 so far, is having quite the Jekyll and Hyde season. Heading into tonight’s contest, Gray was 4-1 at home with a 2.00 ERA; on the road, he has an 0-2 record with a 6.30 ERA. Adding five more earned runs over 5 2⁄3 innings certainly didn’t help his road cause.
Gray got off to a rough start, allowing a leadoff triple to Trent Grisham immediately followed by a two-run homer to Manny Machado. Jake Cronenworth then singled before Gray even recorded an out, but then he retired the next two Padres. His first error of the night put Jurickson Profar aboard, but luckily Ha-Seong Kim flew out to eight to limit the damage to three runs in the first.
Gray came back in the second with back-to-back 1-2-3 innings (including a three-pitch third inning), including his only strikeout and the first of four double plays turned by the Rox defense. In the fourth, Gray gave up a leadoff walk and a single. Two batters later, Victor Caratini smacked a two-run double to make it 5-0 Padres. A leadoff double and hit-by-pitch in the fifth were erased by another double play, but back-to-back singles and an RBI double by the opposing pitcher (Darvish’s first hit of the year) would end Gray’s night.
Roller coaster defense
The defense giveth and the defense giveth away. That’s how it was for the Rockies tonight. They were able to turn four double plays (innings 3, 5, 6, and 8; 40 total on the year now), but also committed three errors — two by starting pitcher Jon Gray and the other by shortstop Trevor Story. Story nearly had two errors, which would have meant the Rockies left the yard with four hits, four errors, four double plays, and four men left on base. That would’ve been wild! But luckily it didn’t happen.
Yu Darvish baffles Rockies offense
Yu Darvish finally did it — he earned his first win against the Rockies in his seventh attempt. Darvish was outstanding, tossing seven innings of shutout baseball. In those seven innings, he allowed four hits and struck out ten Rockies. He also had two seven-pitch innings in the third and sixth. The Rox would strike out a total of 12 times throughout the course of the game.
Of the four hits, two came off the bat of Garrett Hampson. Hampson hit a double in his first at-bat, but was stranded when Dom Nuñez was called out on strikes. In the fifth inning, he led off with a single but was stranded again when Nuñez, Gray, and Tapia all struck out swinging. The other two hits belonged to Trevor Story (a leadoff single in fourth) and Josh Fuentes (a leadoff single in the seventh, and he now has a six-game hitting streak).
A bright spot
One bright spot in this game was rookie right-hander Antonio Santos, who came on in relief of Lucas Gilbreath in the seventh. Santos worked the final two innings, including a 1-2-3 seventh. In the eighth, he walked Kim but then got Caratini to ground into that fourth double play of the night. Jorge Mateo singled, but John Andreoli struck out swinging to end the Padres’ half of the game.
The Rockies will look to quickly wash this game away and bounce back tomorrow. Austin Gomber (2-4, 5.49 ERA) will take on Blake Snell (1-0, 4.19 ERA). First pitch is at 8:10pm MDT. See you then.