Game 1: Giants 12, Rockies 4
After a rainout on Monday, The Force was not with the Rockies in Game 1 of this doubleheader. 12-4 was a lopsided final score, but it doesn’t even tell half the story of “The Nightmare on Blake Street” that was Game 1.
Where even is the Márq?
Germán Márquez, touted as this season’s “ace” of the pitching staff, looked like a shell of himself. The Giants struck early with four straight hits, five in their first six batters (Brandon Crawford walked in his first plate appearance). Jason Vosler grounded into a double play that was challenged and overturned, but it took Germán seven batters to record an out and by that time, the Rox were down 4-0. Steven Duggar hit a double to make it 5-0 before starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez struck out. After issuing a walk to Mike Tauchman — who doubled to start the game — Márquez was replaced by Jhoulys Chacín. Unfortunately, that didn’t help.
Chacín entered the game with the bases loaded and Brandon Belt on deck. He was able to work Belt into a full count, but then Brandon belted one to right center field to put the Giants up 9-0. Buster Posey followed with a solo shot before Alex Dickerson mercifully grounded out to end the inning with the Rockies down 10-0. It was the seventh time the Rockies allowed 10+ runs in one innings, the second time they’ve done so in the first inning, and the first time they’ve done it in the top of the first. Hopefully that doesn’t happen again.
Márquez’s final line was ⅔ IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. In his 33 ⅓ innings this season, Márquez has issued 21 walks. Chacín’s line was 3 ⅓ IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 HR.
On a positive note, Raimel Tapia has been hitting really well. El Cangrejo was just 1-for-4 today, but he made it count with his third career grand slam to right center:
Right back in this ballgame! pic.twitter.com/b4BVmLByBL— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 4, 2021
In his last 15 games, Tapia is slashing .370/.417/.574 with three home runs, 13 RBI, 11 runs scored, five walks, and six strikeouts. That’s pretty crab-tacular!
★ ★ ★
Game 2: Rockies 8, Giants 6
It wasn’t looking good for the Rockies. They were down 6-2 going to into the bottom of the seventh. With two outs and Alan Trejo and Garrett Hampson on base after both singled, Story started the scoring rally with a two-run double down the left field line. Ryan McMahon followed with a single to cut San Fransico’s lead to 6-5, which also was enough to knock former Rockie Jake McGee out of the game for a nice bonus.
C.J. Cron followed by skying a bloop single to left to put runners at first and third with Charlie Blackmon coming to the plate. Blackmon was 0-7 on the day. He hadn’t homered since April 2. But he turned out to be the right man at the plate.
With a full count, Blackmon smashed a homer to right field for his fourth career walk-off home run and fifth career walk-off hit. After the game, Blackmon said, “It was a full count. Something was going to happen right there.”
Here’s what happened.
It's a CHARLIE BLACKMON #RockOff‼️ pic.twitter.com/OE38qNxzzu— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 5, 2021
After the game, Bud Black also said, “I had a feeling as the at-bat went deeper that something good was going to happen - just because of the swings. It looked like he was seeing the ball great.”
Castellani returns to MLB action; walks hurt bullpen
After giving up a two-run homer to Brandon Belt in the first inning, Ryan Castellani settled into pitch scoreless innings in the second and third, but then dished out two walks in the fourth, leading to his removal. The leadoff hitter got on in every inning, starting off with a double to Mike Tauchman in the first before the Belt homer. He also hit Mauricio Dubón, gave up a single to Wilmer Flores, and walked Steven Duggar. Castellani finished with a line of two runs on five hits with four walks and two strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings.
Command issues plagued Castellani in spring training and a bit on Tuesday, but luckily none of the walks came back to hurt him even though his strike-ball ration was 33-32. That wasn’t the case for the bullpen when Justin Lawrence walked two and Mychael Givens walked one before surrendering a two-run single to Duggar to put the Rockies up 4-2 in the fifth. Givens also gave up a two-run homer to Flores in the sixth as the Giants increased their lead to 6-2.
Some homers are gone as soon as they hit the bat. That was the case in the fourth inning with Cron. After McMahon led off with a single, Cron followed with a monster blast to the left field bleachers. The ball sped away from the bat at 113.3 mph and traveled 458 feet to help the Rockies tie the game at 2-all.
~ɴᴏᴡ ᴘʟᴀʏɪɴɢ~— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 5, 2021
"No Doubta" by C.J Cron pic.twitter.com/OxSBBSye9m
It didn’t last long as the Giants reclaimed the lead in the next frame.
Even though the offense wasn’t hitting, the Rockies gloves were making highlight plays. Raimel Tapia made the best defensive play of the night, fielding a single off the bat of Evan Longoria. He fired it in and cutoff man Josh Fuentes let it through so that Elias Díaz could tag out a sliding Flores. The next web gem came when the following batter, Austin Slater, hit a grounder to second baseman McMahon, who grabbed the ball, spun around to throw it to Trevor Story at second, who also spun around to throw it to Cron for a very impressive double play.
The spectacular D also came behind the plate as opposing runners should be learning an important lesson: Don’t dash on Díaz. He has thrown out four out of four would-be base stealers this season. The latest came in the second inning when Mauricio Dubón tried to swipe second and Díaz sent him to the dugout instead. Díaz also had numerous pickoff attempts from behind the plate that were close and kept the Giants on edge.
The Rockies and Giants will conclude their series on Wednesday with a day game featuring Jon Gray (3-2, 3.15 ERA) on the mound for the Rockies and Logan Webb (1-2, 4.13 ERA) getting the start for the Giants. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. MDT.