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The Rockies and Nationals split the doubleheader, Nationals lead the series 2-1

The Rockies fell hard in the first game, but were able to take game two of the double header.

Game 1: Nationals 13, Rockies 7: That was tough to watch

The Rockies dropped the first game of their doubleheader against the Nationals. Austin Gomber allowed five runs in the first inning and squandered a 3-0 lead, Victor Robles had a career-high six RBI, and Rockies pitching overall had a rough outing.

About Austin Gomber...

Austin Gomber has been a steady force in the Rockies rotation. Coming into today’s game, Gomber had a 2-4 record and 4.11 ERA. He had also allowed five earned runs one time (May 9 @ SF). That all changed today when he allowed seven runs in just 1 13 innings.

In the first, he allowed five in 36 pitches. He allowed a leadoff single to César Hernández but then got Lane Thomas to fly out. Juan Soto hit a ground-rule double and then Nelson Cruz knocked both of them home with a two-run single. Josh Bell hit a single and Maikel Franco struck out swinging. Riley Adams walked to load the bases, and then Victor Robles hit a two-run single (just the start of his day). Alcides Escobar wanted to join the party, so he hit an RBI single of his own to put the Nats up 5-3. Hernández lined out to Ryan McMahon on his second at-bat to mercifully end the inning.

But that wasn’t the end of it.

In the second inning, Gomber issued a leadoff walk to Thomas. Soto flied out, but then Cruz also walked. Bell singled to load the bases and that was it for the lefty starter. Ashton Goudeau came in and immediately gave up a two-run double to Franco. A called strikeout by Adams and another Robles RBI single closed the book on Gomber. 8-4 was the score after two innings.

Final line for Gomber: 1 13 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 59 pitches, 33 strikes

Unpredictable pitching

Beyond Gomber, Rockies pitching was inconsistent for most of the game. Three was the number for Ashton Goudeau: three earned runs (on a three-run homer by Robles in the fourth), three walks and three strikeouts over 2 23 innings.

Jhoulys Chacín and Carlos Estévez held down the fort for three innings. They combined for one hit, one walk and two strikeouts.

Robert Stephenson, recently reinstated from the COVID-IL, was not so lucky. He gave up a two-run homer to Riley Adams (after a Maikel Franco double in the previous at-bat) to put the Nats up 13-7 in the eighth.

Overall, the Rockies pitching staff combined for 14 hits, 13 earned runs, seven walks, six strikeouts and two home runs in eight innings of work.

The Road Rockies have offense!

Despite the pitching woes, there was plenty of offense in today’s game! Unfortunately for the Rockies, it came on both sides. The Road Rockies scored seven runs — the most they’ve scored on the road this season — but they also allowed 13, tied for the most they’ve given up on the road this season. Luckily, they didn’t get shut out this time like they did on April 23 against the Detroit Tigers (also the first game of a doubleheader).

But that all being said, seven runs is great for the Road Rockies! The first inning had such promise with back-to-back singles by Yonathan Daza (as Drew Goodman says, “all he does it hit!”) and Charlie Blackmon. Then C.J. Cron came up to bat and obliterated a 78 MPH curveball for a three-run homer to left-center.

The Rockies have hit just three home runs on the road in their last 11 games, and Cron owns all three of them.

In the second inning, José Iglesias hit his 200th double to score Randal Grichuk, who singled in the previous at-bat.

It wouldn’t be until the fourth that the Rockies would score again. Brendan Rodgers extended his 14-game hit streak with a single. Grichuk hit another single and then Iglesias hit a sac fly to move Rodgers. Díaz also hit a sac fly to move Rodgers and score him. Grichuk stole second, which proved helpful when he was scored by Greatest Rockie Ever Connor Joe, who extended his 24-game on-base streak. Daza and Blackmon hit back-to-back singles again to score Joe, and that would be the end of scoring (and hitting) for the Rockies.

In total, every Rockies starter got on base except for Ryan McMahon and every Rockies starter had a hit except for McMahon and Elias Díaz (sac fly).

★ ★ ★

Game 2: Rockies 3, Nationals 2: That was a close one

The Washington Nationals started this game off with an early lead in the bottom of the first inning, but the Rockies decided to show up for the second game of today’s doubleheader.

In the top of the third inning Brian Serven reached on a throwing error, and was even able to advance to second on that same error. Yonathan Daza singled to bring home Serven and then was able to advance to second on yet another Nats throwing error. Charlie Blackmon was then able to single to bring home Daza and give the Rockies a one-run lead.

The score remained the same for quite a few innings despite the Rockies having a few situations that seemed promising.

The stranded men

In the fourth inning the Rockies had the bases loaded but were unable to score. José Iglesias singled, Same Hilliard and Connor Joe both walked, and with two outs Yonathan Daza grounded into a force out.

That wasn’t it for the Rockies leaving runners stranded either. In the sixth inning José Iglesias and Sam Hilliard both singled. Directly following that, Garrett Hampson was able to sac-bunt the runners both into scoring position. Brian Serven struck out and it left the final out in the hands of Connor Joe, who was unable to do anything. Stranded men seems to be the Rockies offensive theme.

The game keeps on keeping on

Yadiel Hernández came in hot in the sixth inning and launched a ball over the fence and tied up the game, but the Rockies weren’t done yet.

With two outs in the seventh inning, both CJ Cron and Brendan Rodgers were able to single. It felt promising again, but you just never know if they will strand runners again. In a positive turn of events, José Iglesias singled to give the Rockies the lead again.

In the top of the ninth, Charlie Blackmon singled and CJ Cron walked with two outs, but Brendan Rodgers was unable to bring home a runner for another insurance run.

The Nationals had a few hits, but were unable to score after the Hernández home run. Daniel Bard pitched a clean ninth inning and the Rockies were able to add another to the win column.

Up Next

The Rockies and Nationals will face off one more time tomorrow. The Rockies will hope to tie the series instead of taking another road series loss.

Kyle Freeland (1-4, 4.60 ERA) will face off against Josiah Gray (4-4, 5.44 ERA). First pitch will be at 11:35am MDT. See you then!