The road struggles of the Colorado Rockies have continued in agonizing fashion. San Diego capped off a 2-1 win on a walk-off errant throw.
Tuesday’s contest featured a combined 12 hits, 29 strikeouts, 2 earned runs and a whole lot of nothing on the offensive end. Austin Gomber and Blake Snell shoved, each tossing six innings of one-run baseball and combining for 18 of those 29 punchouts. Each bullpen persevered from the seventh to the ninth inning, working around a combined four total baserunners in those frames.
This contest had the inner workings of an extra-inning marathon until the high-leverage 10th proved to be the difference.
Colorado has now dropped to 2-16 on the road, and their current losing streak has extended to four.
The Rockies took advantage of three consecutive hits off Snell in the second inning. C.J. Cron returned from the injured list today and singled to left in his first at-bat. Charlie Blackmon would rip a double into right field immediately after, and a Josh Fuentes double to center would drive in Cron and put runners on second and third.
Snell controlled the damage after that, however. He struck out the side with his next three hitters.
Padres answer back in the 2nd
San Diego would immediately erase the 1-0 deficit with a Tommy Pham leadoff walk, a Ha-seong Kim double to right, and an RBI groundout by Jurickson Profar.
Gomber would silence the threat with a pair of strikeouts to close the frame, however—and the score would remain 1-1 for a while.
Snell punches out 11
The 2018 AL Cy Young winner showed why San Diego pays him the big bucks. Snell struck out Garrett Hampson, Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon twice as they batted one-through-three in the Colorado order. They accounted for six of Snell’s 11 punchouts on the night.
Snell threw an overwhelming amount of fastballs this evening (59 percent) compared to his season average entering tonight (43.7). He worked his heater up to 97.3 MPH and outside of the second inning, he kept Colorado bats off balance for 97 pitches.
Snell’s final line: 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 11 K
Gomber K’s seven
Gomber made his ninth start in a Rockies uniform and it was one of his best. He went toe-to-toe with Snell, matching his inning total at six, hit total at five, and earned run total at one.
Colorado’s lefty relied on a near-equal mix of sliders (23 pitches), changeups (19) and curveballs (17), which was a similar trend in his last outing. Gomber did a tremendous job spacing out his damage; all five of his hits allowed came in a different inning. He worked his heater up to 94.6 and threw 96 total pitches, his second-most this year.
Gomber’s final line: 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K
Colorado’s bullpen turns it around
Jordan Sheffield has been one of Colorado’s most dependable relievers, tossing five consecutive scoreless appearances entering tonight. Bud Black called upon the right-hander in the seventh; Sheffield recorded two strikeouts and a popup to Elias Díaz behind the plate.
Tyler Kinley came on for the eighth; he had allowed four earned runs in his previous three appearances. He allowed a one-out double to Jake Cronenworth but retired the other three batters he faced with a flyout and two groundouts.
9th inning threat
Padres closer Mark Melancon allowed some early traffic in the ninth inning. Cron hit another leadoff single and Blackmon drew a walk, but Colorado was unable to capitalize with two runners on and no outs. Melancon escaped the threat with a Josh Fuentes strikeout and a pair of groundouts by Yonathan Daza and Dom Nuñez.
Daniel Bard retired the side in the bottom of the ninth with two strikeouts, silencing the Padres in order and sending the game into extras.
Bonus ball: Colorado strands their runner on second
As part of extra-inning protocol, each half of the 10th inning began with a runner on second base.
Garrett Hampson and Trevor Story did little to help the cause, striking out consecutively to open the 10th. Ryan McMahon was intentionally walked with two outs, allowing Padres reliever Pierce Johnson to work to Alan Trejo instead.
Trejo would strike out to end the top half of the 10th. San Diego’s win probability jumped from 52 percent to 80.4 in that at-bat alone.
Bonus ball: The misery unfolds
The Padres opened the bottom half of the 10th with their runner on second, promptly moved over with a sacrifice bunt by Brian O’Grady. Daniel Bard was back for his second inning of work; with San Diego 90 feet away from a one-run victory, Bard looked on with Trent Grisham at the plate.
Grisham was 0-for-4 on the night with two strikeouts.
His bat wouldn’t have to leave his shoulders, as a wild breaking ball sailed off the fingertips of Dom Nuñez’s glove and up against the Petco Park backstop. Jorge Mateo broke from third base, touched home, and sealed the 2-1 victory.
Daniel Bard throws a Wild Pitch that gets away from Dom Nuñez to Score Trent Grisham and Walk Off the game for the Padres over the Rockies in the Bottom of the 10th pic.twitter.com/a4MNQyMD6v— MLB Walk Offs & Game Winning Plays (@MLBWalk_Offs) May 19, 2021
Chi Chi González will cap off the three-game set on Wednesday afternoon while the Padres will counter with Joe Musgrove. González is relishing his lowest ERA in four years, but at 4.79 he hasn’t garnered the attention Musgrove has with a 3.86 and a no-hitter on the year.
González dominated in his last outing, however, shutting out the Reds through seven innings on 88 pitches. Musgrove went five frames and gave up one run to the Cardinals in his last start.
The Padres will anticipate the return of Eric Hosmer after missing five days on MLB’s COVID list. The return of Fernando Tatís Jr. has not been confirmed but could also happen in the series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. MDT, and the Rockies will ride a getaway day into an off day on Thursday.