It’s getting hard to find new ways to say the Rockies lost on the road again, but that’s what happened on Wednesday in Houston. The Rockies managed one run in 18 innings in Houston and showed why they are dead last in the MLB in road batting average (.210), homers (43), slugging percentage (.327), OPS (.612), runs (169), RBI (157), hits (380), and, of course, wins (13).
On Wednesday, the problem wasn’t that the Rockies didn’t reach base, it was that they couldn’t get home. The Rockies drew five walks and one HBP and added five hits, but they could only muster one run. Houston completed the two-game sweep and tied the season series against the Rockies.
Strong first inning
Connor Joe led off the game with a single and Story added another single one out later. Then C.J. Cron came up, and in what I am sure was a nice single, but I could not see because it came during a test of the emergency broadcast system, he drove Joe in to put the Rockies up 1-0. Just like that, the Rockies avoided shutout No. 15.
No shutout! That’s good news. The bad news is that the Rockies went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base. The first missed opportunity came in the first when Ryan McMahon walked to load the bases, but Taylor Motter grounded out to end the inning. Over the next three innings, McMahon added one single, but the Rockies offense wasn’t able to manufacture anything else against Framber Valdez, who went six shutout innings and gave up one run on four hits with four walks and eight strikeouts.
In the fifth inning, the Rockies had runners at first and second due to two walks, but Cron grounded out to end the threat. The Rockies had two runners again the next inning, thanks to McMahon being hit by a pitch and Motter walking with only one out. Then Garrett Hampson lined out and Sam Hilliard struck out.
Story hit a two-out double in the seventh, but Cron struck out in the next at-bat. Yonathan Daza struck out three times in the game and left two runners on, while Cron left three runners on and Motter left four. Motter is now 0-for-6 with two walks in two games for the Rockies.
Right from the start, the Astros were zeroed in on Antonio Senzatela. Three singles in the first led to erasing the Rockies' early 1-0 lead. Senzatela had recorded only one ground-ball out in the first three innings and didn’t seem to have command of his slider early on. The Astros put the ball in play on 13 at-bats in the first three innings against Senzatela and six of those connections had an exit velocity over 100 mph.
Senza changed to more curveballs and it led to five ground outs in the fourth through sixth innings and he finished with three strikeouts. It was one of those games that easily could have been worse, but also just didn’t seem like Senzatela was in the groove. Senza ended up giving up three runs on nine hits in six innings of work. Aledmys Díaz did most of the damage with two RBI singles and one RBI double in a 3-for-3 day with one walk.
All things must end
Going into Wednesday’s game, Jhoulys Chacín had a 12-inning scoreless streak going over his last 10 appearances. Dating back to June 28, Chacín had only given up four hits and five walks during the streak. Unfortunately, that streak came to an end on Wednesday when Chacín entered the game in the seventh to relieve Senzatela. He gave up three hits, including two hard-hit doubles, that resulted in two runs. Chacín finished the inning and can hopefully start a new streak his next appearance.
The great play that wasn’t
In the bottom of the sixth, Martín Maldonado flied out to right with Jake Meyers at third. Daza caught the ball and threw a laser to Elias Díaz at the plate. Díaz made a great effort to catch and tag Meyers and the call on the field was out. However, on a review, the call was reversed and the Astros went up 4-1.
The Rockies (51-63, 13-42 on road) go on to the next step of this challenging road trip, flying to San Francisco to face off against the best team in the MLB. The Giants are 72-41 going into Wednesday night’s game against Arizona. On Thursday, Germán Márquez (10-8, 3.42 ERA) will take the mound against RHP Logan Webb (5-3, 3.19 ERA).