The four-game sweep is official: the Rockies were shut down early and often on Thursday afternoon, and a single run on offense was not enough to tame a seven-run outburst at the mercy of the Phillies.
Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler got back on track, ladies and gentleman.
Perhaps the most surprising headline of today’s game: The Rockies outhit the Phillies and lost 7-1. Colorado’s five hits bested Philadelphia’s four. The Phillies also walked more batters (6) than the Rockies (5), proving that untimely errors were a culprit in a seven-run allowance.
A four-run bottom of the seventh was dismal for Colorado faithful, walk- and error-abounding. The club will take a somber plane ride back home to Denver this evening with hopes of cleaner baseball.
An Untimely Resurgence
Phillies starter Zack Wheeler placed second in National League Cy Young voting a year ago, but an 8.53 ERA entering Thursday was enough to suggest the Rockies weren’t about to face the Wheeler from a year ago.
Outside of some walks, they were.
Wheeler’s final line: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K
Colorado was allowed five baserunners by Wheeler: a triple and four bases on balls. The biggest offensive threat in that time came from a leadoff triple by Sam Hilliard to begin the third inning, but after a groundout to the pitcher, walk and double play, Hilliard was stranded on third and Wheeler escaped his biggest threat of the afternoon.
A leadoff walk was stranded in the fourth. A one-out walk was stranded in the fifth. Wheeler ended his day with a perfect six innings, striking out the final two batters he faced.
Gomber works around early error
Austin Gomber was tasked with fueling the Rockies back to their winning ways; he tossed a perfect first inning but kicked off the second with a base on balls. Trouble ensued with a misplay by third baseman Ryan McMahon, pushing runners to second and third with nobody out. Alec Bohm cashed in the first run of the afternoon on a groundout, and Gomber’s first run of the day was unearned.
The Phillies would earn one in the third with a leadoff single by Roman Quinn. He then stole second — and third. Quinn scored on a sacrifice fly by Rhys Hoskins.
One more earned run would be tabbed to Gomber, courtesy of a two-out solo home run by Alec Bohm in the fifth.
Gomber’s final line: 6 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 6 K.
Austin Gomber's 6 strikeouts pic.twitter.com/npfdtaEZgu— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) April 28, 2022
Rockies get on the board — once
Phillies closer Brad Hand was tasked with the seventh inning, largely because he wasn’t needed for saves earlier in the series. Colorado was able to score a run off him, courtesy of a Ryan McMahon single, Jose Iglesias single and a Sam Hilliard RBI fielder’s choice.
Three of Colorado’s five hits would come in the seventh inning.
Kinley’s hot hand turned... not so hot
Momentum quickly shifted back to the Phillies, however. The bottom of the seventh began with a walk, flyout and walk by Tyler Kinley — and errors proved costly once again.
First baseman Connor Joe misplayed a ground ball by Didi Gregorius, setting up a one-out, bases loaded situation.
Kinley then walked Roman Quinn, allowing a run to score.
Jean Segura followed with a single, moving everybody up 90 feet and pushing the Philadelphia lead to 4-1. Kinley stuck around for a foul tip to the catcher, but turned the bases loaded over to Justin Lawrence.
After throwing 23 pitches on Tuesday, Lawrence hit the first batter he faced today — scoring another.
Colorado finally stopped the bleeding with a ground ball by J.T. Realmuto, but not before all four runs in the seventh inning were tabbed to Kinley. Only two were earned.
Lawrence settles in with his own inning
Maybe Lawrence was rushed in the seventh as he entered mid-inning for Kinley. He struck out the side in the eighth:
Justin Lawrence strikes out the side in the 8th pic.twitter.com/xz9DoqqZpo— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) April 28, 2022
Cron boosts slugging percentage in low-leverage eighth
Colorado’s only remaining hit came by way of a C.J. Cron double to left. The Rockies otherwise went quietly into the Philadelphia afternoon, unable to capitalize on two late-inning walks.
It’s time to come back home.
Colorado has officially ended this seven-game road trip with a record of 2-5, returning home to face the Cincinnati Reds. They just finished a six-game homestand going 1-5, so it could be worse.
The Rockies will hand the ball to Antonio Senzatela for his fourth start of the year. He currently holds a 4.73 ERA but has been on the bad luck end of a high batting average on balls in play, so Friday could be a day where he breaks out by simply doing what he’s always done.
Cincinnati will open the three-game weekend set with fireballer Hunter Greene taking the hill. Greene currently averages 98.8 MPH on his fastball and has thrown it 65% of the time this year. The second-overall pick of the 2017 draft, Greene made his debut this year and currently holds a 5.93 ERA over 13 2⁄3 innings.
The series opener is scheduled for Friday night at 6:40 p.m. MST.