What was expected to be a pitchers duel of two team’s aces (well, Dodgers rotation is full of aces) turned out to be a scoring fest with the Rockies coming out comfortably on top 10-5. The win ends the five game losing streak at Coors Field, the longest of the season, and improves Colorado’s home record to 46-28. Perhaps most importantly, it creates some more work for the Dodgers in their pursuit of the Giants for the NL West crown.
The Rockies lit up the Dodgers for 12 hits (five of them for extra base hits) and ten runs (five of them coming with two outs). Most impressively, the Rockies notched five runs on Walker Buehler in just 3 2⁄3 innings, his shortest start of the 2021 season.
Here’s how it all went down:
Dodgers take advantage of Márquez’s mistakes
This game was mostly cruising right along through the first three innings as both pitchers appeared to be in complete control. Then, things changed in a hurry as they tend to do in baseball.
Germán Márquez, who’s struggled coming into tonight, gave up a single to Trea Turner with one out and immediately threw a wild pitch to the next batter putting the speedy Turner in scoring position. Gavin Lux would make him pay with an RBI single to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Márquez would compound the mistakes by leaving one up for Luke Raley to crush to center field, just his second career home run.
472 ft? That went Raley far. pic.twitter.com/3MPG0RKycl— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 23, 2021
Rodgers, Rockies answer back
Typically during this season, putting up three runs for Walker Buehler is enough to get the Dodgers a victory. However, today the Rockies had other plans. Specifically, Brendan Rodgers had other plans. He got the very next half inning started with a solo home run to left field, his 15th on the year.
¡SE VA, SE VA, SE FUE!— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) September 23, 2021
Going, going, GONE!
It didn’t end there, as it sparked the Rockies to hit four more consecutive hits off Walker Buehler. All were singles coming from Blackmon, Story, Cron and then finally Ryan McMahon who’s single came with the bases loaded to tie the game at three runs a piece.
All of this came with ZERO outs. There was still more opportunity to be had...
Márquez gives the Rockies the lead, forces Buehler out
And it ends up being Germán Márquez who seized the opportunity with a two out double to the right field wall that’d give the Rockies a 5-3 lead. It was Márquez’s 13th hit of the season and his 8th and 9th RBI’s. It was also the hit that forced the Dodgers to remove Walker Buehler from the game with just 3 ⅔ innings completed, his shortest outing of the year.
Márquez self combusts, gives back the runs
Unfortunately, the back and forth affair would continue into the next inning. Germán Márquez really struggled with his command in the fifth inning. He’d give up a leadoff walk to Mookie Betts, a single to Corey Seager, another walk to Trea Turner to load the bases and finally one more walk to voluntarily bring in a run before manager Bud Black would be forced to take out his ace.
Márquez finished the game with five runs allowed on six hits, four walks and two wild pitches, nearly all of which would come back to haunt him. An alarming game from the All-star pitcher that might be a signal that he may need to be given at least a start off or just completely shut down through these last two weeks of the season.
Story regains the lead for Rockies
This yo-yo-ing game through the middle innings continued in the bottom of the fifth. Facing off against the Dodgers’ Justin Bruihl, Brendan Rodgers got the party started again with a lead off hit for a single. Charlie Blackmon took a pitch to jersey for a hit by pitch allowing Rodgers to move to scoring position with no outs and Trevor Story coming to the plate. The upcoming free agent would not disappoint...
Trevor Story's 73rd RBI of the season pic.twitter.com/NncI6LfDs8— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) September 23, 2021
Hilliard puts the exclamation mark on the win
As the entire NL West knows, holding on to a one run lead against the Dodgers is no easy task at any point in the game. Boasting one of the best offenses in the sport, to take down the powerful Dodgers one usually needs needs to give yourself plenty of insurance runs. The Rockies knew this and kept their foot on the gas.
After laying out pitcher Alex Vesia on a race to first base, Charlie Blackmon would reach on what would be scored an error. C.J. Cron on his fourth hit of the game, would bring Blackmon around all the way from first on a double to put the Rockies up by two runs. A better position but definitely still no certainty that’d be enough against the Dodgers.
That’d change when Sam Hilliard came up to bat just a couple batter later.
The three run home run would give the Rockies a much more breathable 10-5 lead. It’s Hilliard’s 12th home run of the year and boosts his OPS to .734 while still hitting just a hair above .200.
The Rockies and Dodgers will wrap up their final series for the 2021 season tomorrow afternoon. Max Scherzer (15-4, 2.08) is set to take on Kyle Freeland (6-8, 4.50 ERA) with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 PM MDT. #BeatLA