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Nationals 6, Rockies 5: Rockies continue to skid in the nation’s capital

The Rockies couldn’t get it done to avoid losing the series to the Nationals to end the road trip.

The miserable slide for the Colorado Rockies continues as they fall 6-5 to the Washington Nationals for the season series finale (3-4). They are 5-15 in their last 20 games, and have one of the worst road records in the league at 7-15. This seven game road stretch was likely their easiest of the season on paper and they went 2-5, losing the series to both the Pittsburgh Pirates and now the Nationals. The Rockies are five games below .500 with a 21-26 record. Something’s gotta give.

Frustrating for Freeland

Kyle Freeland wasn’t sharp in his start for the Rockies, but did manage to keep them in the game for the most part. He walked a season high four batters in his 5 23 innings of work while giving up seven hits. He was credited with five earned runs, the last of which came after he departed the game. Freeland’s velocity took a major dip today compared to his averages for the season. For example, his average sinker speed today was 87.4 MPH. That is almost a full three ticks down from his season average of 90.2 MPH. Freeland landed awkwardly after a pitch and had to be assisted off the field by teammates and trainers. He indicated it was his lower leg or ankle at the time the injury took place. Bud Black said postgame that x-rays were negative and the medical staff was calling it an impingementof his ankle. He is not expected to go on the IL at this time.

Two-Faced Bullpen

We saw both faces of the Rockies bullpen in this afternoon’s game. Robert Stephenson relieved Kyle Freeland after his injury and promptly put the game further out of reach for the Rockies. With two outs, a runner on, and an inherited 3-1 count, Stephen gave up a two-run home run. This is his second straight appearance allowing a home run as his ERA has climbed to 6.17 this season. The bright side of the bullpen showed up in Alex Colomé and rookie Chad Smith. Smith, 26, made his major league debut in the seventh inning and it was excellent. He touched 99 MPH on his fastball and set the side down in order. He also tallied his first career strikeout in three pitches for the final out. Colomé has now put together a string of seven outings without giving up an earned run. He pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning today, assisted by a stellar diving catch by Sam Hilliard in left field.

Too Little Too Late

After Charlie Blackmon’s leadoff homerun to start the game—putting him in ninth place all time for the statistic—you would think the Rockies would have carried the momentum to victory. Instead the bats fell quiet until the seventh inning. The Rockies put together some small rallies in the seventh and eighth inning, plating two runs in both frames, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Nationals’ lead. In the ninth inning the Rockies went down quickly and quietly for the loss. CJ Cron was the team’s only hitless batter. He struck out three times.

Coming Up Next

The Rockies will retreat home for Memorial Day to kick off a seven game homestand. Their first opponent will be the Miami Marlins in a three game set. Ryan Feltner is scheduled to start for the Rockies while Pablo López and his 2.04 ERA will start for the Marlins. First pitch is at 2:10 PM MDT.