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Rockies 4, Brewers 5: A tough walkoff loss spoil’s Gray’s return

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Jon Gray was masterful in his comeback start from the IL, but a shaky bullpen gave up five unanswered runs in the loss

Jon Gray racked up the Ks in his return, but the bullpen faltered to give the Brewers the walkoff win in extras on Friday.

A Gray-t outing

Jon Gray hasn’t pitched in MLB in the last three weeks, so he made up for lost time. In his return to the mound he tossed five innings and allowed no hits, walks, or runs to go along with ten strikeouts. The Gray Wolf was dominant and rarely allowed the Brewers to threaten with a scoring opportunity. Arguably his most tense moment came in the second inning, where Avisaíl García grounded to short but Omar Narváez and Willy Adames followed with singles to put runners at first and third with one out. This would make any average pitcher sweat, but not the Oklahoma native, who struck out Jackie Bradley, Jr and coaxed a groundout from Keston Hiura to avoid any damage.

This was Gray’s 15th career 10+ strikeout game, tying him with Pedro Astacio for the most in franchise history. He also finished the game with 752 career punchouts, which puts him in sole possession of third place for the Rockies franchise behind Ubaldo Jiménez and Jorge De La Rosa.

Timely hitting on the road? Don’t mind if we do

If there’s one thing the Rockies have sorely needed this season, it’s offensive output away from altitude. While they didn’t set any records on Friday, they got some clutch knocks at opportune times. Colorado opened the scoring in the sixth inning via two of their young studs. Raimel Tapia hit a single to left and snagged second, then was knocked in by Yonathan Daza. In the seventh, Brendan Rodgers slapped a single to center, moved to second on a wild pitch, and was knocked in Elías Díaz, who himself scored on a pinch-hit homer by Joshua Fuentes. Those four runs were enough to seal the deal against the Brew Crew.... or so it seemed.

Bullpen’s gonna bullpen

It’s not exactly a hot take to say the Rockies bullpen has not been a highlight of the season thus far. After Gray’s dominant outing and with a 4-0 lead, it seemed Colorado was going to cruise to victory. It was not to be so, as Tyler Kinley, Carlos Estévez, and Daniel Bard all allowed home runs to Keston Hiura, Kolten Wong, and Willy Adames, respectively. The last was a two-run shot to tie the game in the ninth. Could the Rockies snatch back victory from the jaws of defeat?

Brewers walk it off

Nah.

Justin Lawrence and Lucas Gilbreath did an admirable job in extras, but the Brewers were able to comeplete the comeback and walk the Rockies off on Friday. Manuel Piña started the eleventh inning on second base with Gilbreath on the mound, and moved to third on Willy Adames’ single. After a walk to Jackie Bradley, Jr., Yency Almonte came in to relieve Gilbreath and do battle with Keston Hiura. Hiura lined out to Tapia in center, who threw to home but was off-line, and the Brewers took the victory.

Up Next

Game two of the series with Milwaukee takes place on Saturday as Antonio Senztela (2-7, 4.83 ERA) locks horns with Adrian Houser (4-5, 3.95 ERA). After Friday’s extra-innings affair, it will be interesting to see how the bullpen is utilized by Rockies manager Bud Black.

First pitch is at 2:10 MDT. See you then!