Speaking about the Rockies’ three errors in their loss last night, Bud Black said “frustrating, for sure. That’s not how we play.” Unfortunately, it seems that is indeed how they’re playing at the moment, as more defensive miscues and a lackluster offensive performance led the Rockies to drop their second game to the Phillies in the series, falling 10-3 on Tuesday.
The Colorado Rockies have prided themselves on their elite defense over the last few seasons, but that kind of glove work has been sorely missing in the first two games of the series. After committing three errors in their previous game, the Rockies again had a tough outing on the field on Tuesday. This was shown chiefly in the bottom of the second inning, as Kyle Schwarber worked a one-out walk against starter Germán Márquez. Alec Bohm grounded a tailor-made double play ball to Ryan McMahon at third, but McMahon airmailed the throw past second baseman Brendan Rodgers and allowed both runners to advance to scoring position. A Didi Gregorius infield hit immediately made the error hurt as the Phillies took a quick 1-0 lead.
Odubel Herrera sent a hit towards right field, but C.J. Cron made a nice play to get the second out and keep a run from scoring. Márquez, with an opportunity to leave the deficit at just a run, then launched a wild pitch toward hitter Jean Segura. A second run scored on the play, and while fielding the ball near the backstop, catcher Dom Núñez haphazardly backhand-tossed the ball to the plate, way off the mark. As the ball rolled by, Gregorius scored all the way from second and gave Philadelphia a 3-0 lead.
This rough innning almost seemed to dampen the spirit of the Rockies dugout, as they were scarcely in a position to get competitively back in the game after this. José Iglesias had a pretty smooth play at short, though, so that’s something.
As mentioned, the Rockies lineup was pretty quiet all game. Mustering just six hits in the contest (one more than last night’s loss), they struggled against Zach Eflin all evening as he tossed his finest start of the young season. Charlie Blackmon, C.J. Cron, and Iglesias accounted for all of the Colorado hits with two apiece. Of note, Ryan McMahon was held hitless but did walk three times, including at the conclusion of an 11-pitch battle in the seventh inning.
Eflin (who has typically pitched better at home than away) was able to mix his pitches well and induce weak contact throughout his six-inning start, at one point retiring 14 of 15 batters between the second and sixth innings. Connor Joe and Randal Grichuk saw both of their hitting streaks end, while Brendan Rodgers continues to struggle to start the season. Rodgers, who went 0-for-3 and left four runners on base, is hitting .078 on the year.
Chuck struck (the ball)
The lone bright spot on the Rockies scoreboard game in the form of two solo home runs - both off the bat of one Charles Cobb Blackmon. Blackmon didn’t allow Eflin to have a fully clean line, as he took the righthander deep in the top of the sixth to net the Rockies their first run.
He wasn’t done, though. Blackmon struck again in the top of the eighth, depositing a fastball from reliever Andrew Bellatti into the right field stands for run number two.
Charlie Blackmon appreciation tweet.— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) April 27, 2022
-His 13th career multi-HR game
-Leads the Rockies with most HRs (10) at Citizens Bank Park pic.twitter.com/f4GG8IDUjO
In an otherwise rough game that the Rockies would like to forget, Blackmon’s two-homer night was a nice bright spot. He now owns more home runs at Citizens Bank Park than any other Rockie.
Young arms impress
It’s a small note after this kind of loss, but worth mentioning that after Márquez (3 2⁄3 innings pitched, seven runs, four earned) and Jhoulys Chacín (two innings, three earned runs) struggled, relievers Justin Lawrence and Lucas Gilbreath shined. Lawrence threw 1 1⁄3 innings and worked around two hits and a walk to keep the Phillies off the board, while Gilbreath (who recorded two outs around a walk last night) tossed a clean inning.
Justin Lawrence strikes out Kyle Schwarber and Odubel Herrera pic.twitter.com/AKbUwgAbC0— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) April 27, 2022
The Rockies can’t win the series, but they can avoid their first series loss of the season with two wins to close things out. That starts with tomorrow’s contest, which will see Ryan Feltner make his season debut for Colorado. Look for a corresponding roster move to be made tomorrow. The Phillies counter with Ranger Suárez (1-0, 4.38 ERA).
First pitch is at 4:45pm MDT. See you then!