Just when it looked like the Rockies had their offense going and could notch a series win, and on the road nonetheless, the Pirates looted the Colorado bullpen and sunk any hopes of a victory. Instead, the Rockies blew a 5-2 lead thanks to Carlos Estévez giving up a three-run homer and then Justin Lawrence doing the exact same thing.
If you turned off your TV, slammed down your laptop, or buried your phone in your pocket to avoid seeing any more heartbreak, I certainly don’t blame you.
Bullpen blows it
When Ryan Feltner left the game, he had a 5-2 lead after five innings and was in position to get his first MLB win. The bullpen then erased that possibility in the sixth inning. Lucas Gilbreath started out strong by striking out Ben Gamel. He then walked Michael Chavis before getting Josh VanMeter to fly out. Bud Black then pulled Gilbreath to put in Carlos Estévez, who first gave up a single to Rodolfo Castro and then lost a nine-pitch battle to Jack Suwinski, who crushed a three-run homer over the right field fence.
The bullpen collapse wasn’t done there, however. Justin Lawrence entered the game in the seventh and started with a lead-off walk. Cal Mitchell followed with a single, and after one out, Gamel hit an RBI single to put the Pirates up 6-5. VanMeter then did one better, hitting a 403-foot, three-run homer to put the final demoralizing touches on the game.
Not to be left out, Ashton Goudeau then gave up more hits and a walk in the eighth, allowing the Pirates to get one more run.
Free rides are never free
Walks really hurt the Rockies on Wednesday. Feltner’s lone troubling inning started with a walk, which then led to a run. Gilbreath issued a one-out walk that came around to score in the sixth. Lawrence and Goudeau both allowed lead-off walks and both ended up as runs. All five Rockies pitchers gave up at least one run.
Cron Zone on the road
It had been nine road games without a homer for the Rockies. C.J. Cron smashed that streak with a 427-foot solo shot to left.
This is the 12th Cron homer we have posted this season…— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 25, 2022
Please enjoy as always. pic.twitter.com/BxJ4SzT5IV
It was Cron’s 12th homer of the year and third on the road. At the time, it put him tied for the lead for most in the NL with Mookie Betts. It could have been a two-run homer after Yonathan Daza led off the inning with a single, but then was erased when Charlie Blackmon hit into a double play.
Feltner feeling good
Ryan Feltner should feel good about this one. It wasn’t perfect and he got into more jams than he should have, but overall, in his second start of the season and fourth overall in the big leagues, Feltner pitched well. Three of his five innings were three-up, three-down and he struck out seven, to increase his season total to 14 in 10 innings. He gave up two runs on three hits with two walks and one HBP.
Both runs came in the third inning after Feltner issued a lead-off walk to Tyler Heineman. Bryan Reynolds followed with a double and a sac grounder from Ke’Bryan Hayes and RBI single by Gamel cut the Rockies lead to 4-2. Then he got VanMeter to fly out. In the second, one slider not only struck out Chavis, but also made him drop to a knee. After a single and a walk got a little rally going for the Pirates, Feltner squashed it by striking out Suwinski.
Finally! Some early offense
After barely managing three unearned runs in their last three games, the Rockies offense finally woke up for three earned runs in the second inning. Cron led off the inning with a single up the middle before Ryan McMahon and Randal Grichuk hit back-to-back doubles to put the Rockies up 2-0.
After José Iglesias moved Grichuk to third with a groundout, Brian Serven collected his first non-homer RBI with a single to plate Grichuk.
Grichuk finished the game with three RBI, Connor Joe got a single in the ninth and has now reached base in 22 straight games. Every Rockie except Garrett Hampson recorded a hit and Daza, Cron, McMahon, Grichuk, and Serven all posted two hits. The Rockies had 13 hits, but left eight runners on base and went 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
The Rockies (20-23) now head to the nation’s capital to begin a four-game series with the Washington Nationals (14-30). The first game is set for Thursday when Germán Márquez will face off against Patrick Corbin. First pitch is at 5:05 p.m. MDT.