Gomber’s bad luck (Fale)
Austin Gomber’s pitching line is okay - five innings with six hits, three runs, three walks, and three strikeouts - but it belies a really solid start. Like Dusty Rhodes, you can’t take it at face value. Gomber was wild but was doing alright, including escaping a bases-loaded jam in the second inning, until the third when he ran into some tough luck.
The frame opened with the Rockies up 2-0. A strikeout of Ketel Marte and a groundout of Asdrubal Cabrera were a nice start for Gomber. After walking Carson Kelly, Gomber threw a gorgeous 0-2 slider to Pavin Smith that caught plenty of the bottom of the zone, but was missed by home plate umpire Edwin Moscoso. Rather than ending the inning, Smith channeled his inner Edge and took advantage of the opportunity, singling on the next pitch. This led to a walk of Christian Walker and a base hit allowed to Josh Rojas to tie it up at 2-2.
It’s hard to say what would have happened had that pitch been called a strike and ended the inning, but it’s fair to say Gomber’s line would have looked a tad better.
Offense in sync like the Four Horsemen
Not since the Nexus has one unit looked more in-tune and operating well together. The Colorado hitters were all locked in and flowing together, each of them (including pinch-hitters) collecting at least one hit.
The Rockies opened the scoring in the second inning by way of an Elías Díaz single and Garrett Hampson home run. Hampson, known for his speed and quickness, showed off his power by launching a ball into the left field stands to give the home team an early 2-0 lead and showing that smaller guys have pop too. Daniel Bryan would be proud!
Sneaky Pull Pop™ strikes again pic.twitter.com/g9nOqW3cr0— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 21, 2021
The sixth inning was another prime example of chemistry. With the game tied 4-4, Díaz flew out before Hampson walked. Pinch-hitter Sam Hilliard then showed off his Rey Mysterio-like speed by tripling in a run, before himself scoring on a Connor Joe double and making it 6-4. That triple threat, like the New Day, is fun to watch and will hopefully be an effective trio for years to come.
Colorado defense strong as The Shield
There were two key defensive plays that sealed the victory for the Rockies on Friday.
The first came in the seventh inning. With Arizona threatening by way of having the bases loaded, Jhoulys Chacín faced down Rockie-killer David Peralta with two outs. Known for doing more damage than Andre the Giant, Peralta smashed a liner up the middle that would surely tie the game. Instead, Brendan Rodgers dove like Darby Allin and made a sensational catch to end the threat and get the Rockies out of the jam.
The other game-changing moment came an inning later, again with the Snakes in a position to score. Carlos Estévez started the inning coaxing a groundout from Nick Ahmed before walking Ketel Marte. David Peralta then took an 0-2 fastball and punched it out into right field for a double. The speedy Marte rounded the bases and headed for home, but was cut down by a throw from Charlie Blackmon to Rodgers to Díaz. After a replay review, the fantastic play was confirmed, and the Diamondbacks’ last scoring opportunity came and went faster than you can say “1-2-3!”
Charlie Blackmon ➡️ Brendan Rodgers ➡️ Elias Díaz pic.twitter.com/aZxcKJesrL— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) August 21, 2021
Game two is on Saturday as the Rockies again host the Diamondbacks. Everyone’s favorite Colorado native, Kyle Freeland (4-6, 4.40 ERA) does battle with Zac Gallen (1-7, 5.03 ERA) in what’s sure to be a slobberknocker.
First pitch is at 6:10pm MDT. See you then!