In the words of Denver nemesis Bill Belichick: “We’re on to Cincinnati.”
The Miami Marlins ended the second inning of tonight’s contest holding a win probability of 95.3. The dominant work of Miami left-hander Trevor Rogers kept the Rockies at bay for most of the contest, and Colorado was forced to close out their action in Miami with some low-leverage work.
Bottom of the second: Yikes
Adam Duvall, Jazz Chisholm and Starling Marte homered in the same inning. Miami ended the frame leading by six runs, and Chi Chi González was harshly welcomed back to the starting rotation. It was not a good outing for a pitcher returning to his home state.
González spoke after the game: “The big bats—the homer to Jazz [Chisholm] was a hanging breaking ball. The same thing to Duvall; a heater that got away.”
“He just missed spots,” said Bud Black after the game. “A lot of pitchers in this league cannot miss spots, and Chi Chi is one of them.” González’s ERA entering the second frame was 4.74, and three outs later it jumped to 5.72.
Trevor Rogers dominates
The coveted Marlins rookie was on full display: Trevor Rogers is for real.
His ERA+ entering the night was 202. (100 is considered average, while 150 is exceptional.) Rogers further cemented his 2021 successes with six shutout frames to kick off his 13th start of the year, and the Rockies were risking their 11th shutout on the road for much of the contest.
Bud Black spoke well of the young rookie: “You wouldn’t think he’s 23 by the way he’s throwing the ball.” Four of Rogers’ seven innings were three-up, three-down frames, and he allowed one walk and one hit to his first 20 batters.
Seventh inning streak: Rockies get on the board
About the only issue Rogers faced was some offense in the seventh inning. Tonight was only the third time in 12 starts that Rogers pitched beyond the sixth, and Brendan Rodgers was the first to take advantage of an increasing pitch count. He blasted his second-career homer just five days after his first.
The homer was promptly followed by a single from Trevor Story; he collected his first hit since returning from the injured list. Ryan McMahon followed with a double, and an RBI groundout by Yonathan Daza would plate the Rockies’ second run of the game.
Rogers would end the seventh inning threat with a strikeout and flyout. He departed with an 11-2 lead.
Eighth inning streak: Rockies tab Miami bullpen
Ross Detweiler came in relief of Rogers and was immediately welcomed with four consecutive hits. C.J. Cron, Raimel Tapia and Garrett Hampson loaded the bases with three consecutive singles, and Brendan Rodgers would move everybody up with an RBI single of his own. Detweiler would allow two runs in the frame as Ryan McMahon cashed in Tapia on a sacrifice fly.
Rockies’ bullpen posts two scoreless frames
It can be tough to shed light on low-leverage bullpen action, but sometimes it can be extremely difficult to pitch with the only purpose to “get your work in.” Ben Bowden and Robert Stephenson had particularly good results despite such fate, each recording a scoreless frame and taming some otherwise potent Miami bats.
Bowden did allow back-to-back singles in the seventh, but they came with two outs and he ended the threat with a flyout. He struck out his first two batters faced. Stephenson tamed a leadoff walk with a double play immediately after.
The bullpen wasn’t without issue, however. Jhoulys Chacín allowed three earned runs in a single inning. He pitched for just the third time in 26 days, and the rust showed.
Colorado will begin their yearly visit to Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark with Kyle Freeland opening up the three-game set. It will be Freeland’s third start of the year; he last pitched on Saturday against the A’s and allowed five earned runs in five innings. The Reds will answer back with Tyler Mahle (3.32 ERA/3.62 xFIP) in his 13th start of the year. Mahle has allowed two earned runs in his last 17 innings, and has allowed two or fewer runs in 10 of his 12 starts this year.
Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. MDT.