In what was a long game due to a two hour rain delay, the Rockies defeated the Nationals in their 2021 home finale 10-5. The win gives the Rockies the series win and it also gives them the final home record of 48-33.
Trevor Story may have just played his final home game as a member of the Rockies. Peter Lambert struggled in his second game of the year. Ryan McMahon had a four RBI game and the bullpen threw seven shutout innings. Here’s how it all went down:
It wasn’t pretty but nonetheless encouraging that he’s even here
In just his second and possibly final start of the year, Peter Lambert ran into some more trouble. The 24-year-old would not record an out until he faced the fifth spot in the Nationals lineup. By the time that play for the first out ended, the Rockies were already down two runs and had two more runners in scoring position. Lambert would survive the inning without giving any more runs up but he’d run into even more trouble two innings later.
That third inning would get started with another leadoff hit from Josh Bell followed by a single from Yadiel Hernandez and a double by Luis García that’d bring the Nats within a run. That’d wrap up the day for Lambert, who finished with a line of eight hits and one walk for five runs in just two innings. If he is indeed done for the year like we expect, he’ll have given up more runs (7) this season than innings he pitched (5 ⅔ ). However, it was an extremely small sample size and the most important thing is that Lambert made it back to the big leagues and was able to get his feet wet heading into the offseason.
Rockies two out firepower
It’s been no secret that the Rockies offense has been much better at home than on the road. Coming into today, the team ranked second in all of the majors in batting average with a .276 average and third in total runs. After being down early in the top of the first inning, the Rockies responded to the Nationals.
With the first two batters out, Charlie Blackmon worked a walk that allowed Trevor Story to come up and hit a single. C.J. Cron added on to his magical season at Coors with an RBI single to put the Rockies within one. Then things got even better for Colorado when Ryan McMahon came to bat…
It was McMahon’s 23rd home run of the season, putting him just two away from a new career high in a season.
Rain delay on our parade
The weather in Denver is always a factor. Today was no different. During the third inning of this one, rain began to dump over Coors Field like we haven’t seen for some time. The heavy rain got so bad that Yency Almonte hit a batter when the ball slipped out of his hand completely. After the Nationals scored another run and during the middle of pitcher Paolo Espino’s second at-bat, the umpires finally called a rain delay.
The game would finally resume two whole hours later. Certainly not the longest rain delay we’ve seen but nonetheless, damped the mood and energy in this one. As we might expect, all pitchers were replaced including Espino who had a 2-2 count when the game was stopped. The pinch hitter struck out on one pitch, but the Nationals would retake the lead 5-4 by the time the top of the third inning finally ended.
Rockies return with some edge
They weren’t the only ones who came out hungry for runs, the Rockies returned to play and retook the lead the very next half inning. Charlie Blackmon picked up right where he left off with his second walk to leadoff the inning. Trevor Story would get another hit (more on him in a bit) and C.J. Cron angrily took a pitch near the face to load the bases with no outs. The runs were there for the taking and this time it was Sam Hilliard who snagged them with a two run single to return the lead to the Rockies.
Sam Hilliard's 2-run single pic.twitter.com/bnBivwHXEQ— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) September 29, 2021
Welker’s first career extra base hit
Colton Welker did not start or play defense in this game but his pinch hit at-bat might be among the important plays of this game. Welker was called on to pinch hit for Ashton Goudeau in the bottom of the fifth with two runners on. The 23-year-old corner infielder had only one RBI in his short MLB career leading up to this at-bat but Bud Black nonetheless liked the matchup. It turned out to be the right call as Welker drilled a ball near the left field corner for his first career extra base hit and his second career RBI.
Colton Welker's first career double scores Ryan McMahon pic.twitter.com/jNvuOjdlPc— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) September 29, 2021
Bullpen shuts down the Nats
The final score of this one may give you the impression that this was an easy or comfortable win for the Rockies but that wasn’t exactly how it felt. This was a shootout that felt like it would go on for five plus hours. The runs kept coming from the start of this one and kept coming even after the rain delay.
Thankfully for everyone’s eyes, mind and time, the Rockies bullpen kept this one in check. It took five of them but they got the job done. They threw for a combined seven innings, allowed ZERO runs and just ONE hit.
Story’s final game at Coors?
Nobody knows what will happen this offseason but if this was Trevor Story’s final home game at Coors Field, he finished with style. He finished 4-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored. Story nearly stole his 20th bag of the season for another 20-20 season but was called out upon review of the play. Nevertheless, Rockies fans were there to cheer for him extra loud every time he went up to bat. As he finishes up his sixth year of his career, Story has already carved out a special place in the hearts and minds of Rockies fans everywhere. Just as with Nolan Arenado, Rockies fans will always view him as one of their own no matter what jersey he wears the next time he steps into Coors Field.
The Rockies will enjoy a day off tomorrow before heading to Arizona to face the Diamondbacks in the final series of the year. It’ll be Jon Gray (8-12, 4.28 ERA) making his final start of the year on Friday against a yet to be announced D-Backs pitcher. First pitch is scheduled for 7:40 PM MDT.