After averaging over nine runs per game in the six-game homestand prior to Tuesday’s game in Houston, the Rockies offensive road woes wasted no time in returning. The Astros shut out the Rockies, holding them to five hits in a 5-0 win. The quiet bats, combined with a short outing from Jon Gray, resulted in a game dominated by the Astros.
Fourth dooms Gray
Through three innings, Jon Gray looked great. He had six strikeouts and had only given up one hit and one walk. Despite surrendering two early singles in the fourth, Gray also recorded two strikeouts. But then things fell apart.
Chas McCormick hit an RBI single and Taylor Jones followed with a two-run double to put the Astros up 3-0. Gray struck out Martín Maldonado to end the inning, but the fifth didn’t go much better. Gray started the inning by hitting José Altuve in the elbow with a pitch before giving up a double to Michael Brantley as Houston stretched its lead to 4-0. Gray bounced back by forcing a ground out, but then ended his day after walking Yordan Alvarez (and he also had a wild pitch in the at-bat). He totaled 97 pitches in 4 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on six hits with two walks, but did finish with nine strikeouts. His seventh strikeout also happened to be the 800th in Gray’s career.
Gray ranks second in team history in 802 strikeouts. Jorge De La Rosa is tops at 985. Germán Márquez is third at 781.
Greedy or aggressive?
Ryan McMahon started the game off with a nice double down the right field line in the first inning. As McMahon headed to second, he saw the ball roll into the outfield corner and decided to go to third. Right fielder Kyle Tucker hurried the ball into Altuve, who then rocketed it to third to get McMahon. Instead of a runner on second with one out, there were two outs.
The new Barry Bonds? Maybe not yet.
Fresh off NL Player of the Week honors due to his 16 RBI, four homers, nine runs, and 10 hits, including one double, in five games, C.J. Cron drew two consecutive walks on Tuesday night in his first two at-bats. In his other plate appearances, he had an infield pop-up and a flyout to center field. He needed at least one homer to really be more like Bonds.
At least it wasn’t a no-hitter
McMahon had the only extra-base hit of the night, while Charlie Blackmon, Sam Hilliard, Garrett Hampson, and Elias Díaz added a single apiece. Outside of Cron’s two walks, Blackmon, Trevor Story, and Taylor Motter, in his Rockies debut, all reached base on a walk. On the dark side, the 5-0 loss marked the 14th time the Rockies have been shut out this season.
Tell me something good
In a night with little good news, there was one non-team-related highlight for the Rockies.
The first came when AT&T SportsNet showed six Colorado Rockies fans sitting in Minute Maid park not only in their Rockies gear, but in the “sick shades,” which were brought to the team by Sam Hilliard. The shades are an accessory that any Rockie who hits a homer gets to don in the dugout. Since the Rockies didn’t get to wear them, it was good to see someone could.
The Rockies and Astros will complete their two-game Houston series on Wednesday in a 12:10 p.m. MT game. The Rockies beat Houston in the two games the teams played at Coors Field in April, so the Rockies could still pull off a series win with a win on Wednesday. Antonio Senzatela (2-8, 4.73 ERA) will get the start for the Rockies, while LHP Framber Valdez (7-3, 3.22) will go for Houston.