Even though the Rockies cleaned up the sloppiness that had been pervasive the last two games, they failed to hit in the clutch and couldn’t make the plays a winning team makes on Wednesday night. With runners in scoring position, the Rockies went 2-for-10. José Iglesias got four hits and scored a run and C.J. Cron hit his seventh homer of the season, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with Bryce Harper & Co. Both teams got 12 hits, but the Phillies made them count.
Ryan Feltner was decent in his first action of the season in MLB and proved his strikeouts do translate to the Major League level as he recorded seven strikeouts in five innings.
Feltner shows promise
Odubel Herrera had a less-than-friendly welcome for Feltner’s 2022 debut, hitting a homer in the first at-bat. Feltner rallied to strike out Rhys Hoskins, but then surrendered a single and a walk before closing out the inning with two more strikeouts. The inning would set the tone for the rest of Feltner’s frames: some damage and some strikeouts.
In the second, another single and walk in the second led to a Herrera sac fly to put the Phillies up 2-0, but Feltner also got another strikeout. Harper, who went 3-for-4 with two runs, led off the third with a triple and scored on a ground out before Didi Gregorious hit an RBI double to put Philadelphia up 4-2. Feltner then finished strong with a one-two-three inning in the fourth and a fast fifth that included a Harper strikeout and Kyle Schawarber grounding into a double play.
“I liked the way that he hung in there. He showed some poise, which was great. He showed a little fire too as the game went on,” Rockies manager Bud Black said in the postgame press conference. “There was a couple situations where he made a couple bad pitches and I could tell his reaction was such that he knew he made a bad pitch and he was going to correct it. There is a will in there that I like. I like the stuff. There is just some stuff he has to clean up.”
Feltner left the game after five innings, having given up four runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. He threw 84 pitches, 54 of which were strikes.
The clutch is out
The Rockies had chances in the seventh and eighth, but could not cash in. In the seventh inning, the Ryan McMahon and Iglesias hit back-to-back singles with no outs, but the Rockies couldn’t capitalize as Alan Trejo struck out and Conner Joe hit into a double play. In the eighth, it was Charlie Blackmon and Randall Grichuk who led off with back-to-back singles. Then an odd, momentum-breaking play happened when Cron hit a long fly ball that was dropped by Herrera. At first, Grichuk went back to touch first, but slipped and fell on his way to second and was thrown out. Instead of being able to take advantage of an error and have the bases loaded with no outs, it was runners on the corners with one out. Elias Díaz then struck out, Yonathan Daza followed with a walk to load the bases, and then Ryan McMahon struck out. Even in the ninth, Iglesias led off with a single, but the Rockies went down in order after him.
The Rockies did produce when it matters in the third when Iglesias singled and Trejo walked before Joe and Randall both added RBI singles to tie the game at 2-all. In the sixth, with two outs and no one on, Cron hit his seventh homer of the year.
‼️HOME RUN #7 FOR C.J. CRON‼️ pic.twitter.com/GAYLSw6iG3— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) April 28, 2022
Mixed results in bullpen
Carlos Estévez gave up one run on two hits in the sixth and Robert Stephenson gave up two more runs on three hits and a run in the seventh. With the Phillies scoring in five innings and the Rockies not getting the big breakthrough hit, the bullpen’s struggles didn't end up making a difference in this one. In his first game back since April 19 when he hurt his back, Daniel Bard was in top form. He got Garrett Stubbs to fly out, then struck out Herrera swinging and Hoskins looking.
The Rockies and Phillies will end their four-game series on Thursday with a day game starting at 11:05 a.m. MDT. The Rockies are 2-4 on this road trip. Austin Gomber (1-1, 4.20 ERA) will take the mound for Colorado, while Zack Wheeler (0-3, 8.53 ERA) will get the start for Philadelphia.