Six innings pitched, two runs allowed. Thursday was a stark contrast to the Austin Gomber we have seen in his previous two starts: the left-hander has earned his added stability in the starting rotation.
The Colorado Rockies have capped off a series victory over the San Francisco Giants on the heels of a bullpen-taxing, 10-inning Wednesday. Even without bullpen leaders Tyler Kinley and Daniel Bard, the Rockies assembled three innings of scoreless, two-hit relief. It took an offensive outburst in the fourth inning to generate a lead, and it took three hits out of Charlie Blackmon to help get things cooking.
The Rockies outhit the Giants 10-7, but it was largely the error column — Rockies 0, Giants 4 — that tipped the scale in Colorado’s favor.
That treacherous slope in the fourth inning is where it turned ugly for the Giants. From there, it was no turning back for Gomber, the bullpen and the series W.
Giants Strike First; Gomber Answers Back
Gomber’s outing wavered early, however, after a second-inning, one-out walk to Luis Gonzalez. It was followed by an RBI triple by Thairo Estrada, with Austin Wynns following that up with a single to right field. These at-bats would account for both of the Giants’ runs.
It wasn’t the heart of the Giants’ order, but rather the bottom that saw the most success today. San Francisco’s one-through-six hitters in their starting lineup went a combined 3-for-23, while their seven-through-nine went 4-for-9.
After the second inning, Rockies pitchers faced 24 batters and retired 21 of them.
Fourth Inning Hits, Fourth Inning Errors
After three complete innings, San Francisco starter Logan Webb had allowed just two baserunners. Both did not reach second base. He would allow five runners in the third inning, although two of them were no fault of his own.
Blackmon began the fourth with a liner to second base, misplayed by the Giants’ Estrada. From there, the Rockies would go on an outburst of consecutive production:
- C.J. Cron immediately followed with a single to center field.
- Brendan Rodgers would immediately follow Cron with a single of his own, scoring Blackmon.
- Ryan McMahon reached on an error to second base — again committed by Estrada — allowing another run to score.
- Yonathan Daza singled on a line shot to right field, cashing in Rodgers.
Colorado ended the frame with a 3-2 lead, setting the table for Gomber’s final three innings. Gomber sat down nine of the next 10 batters in Giants uniforms.
Joe, Blackmon, McMahon add insurance
There were nothing but zeroes posted from the middle of the fourth until the top of the seventh. A leadoff walk to Connor Joe kickstarted that seventh frame, while a Blackmon double set the table for a bonus run.
Ryan McMahon plated the Rockies’ fourth run of the day on an infield single. A 4-2 lead at the seventh inning stretch was then placed in the hands of Rockies relievers.
Bullpen Shuts It Down
First things first: there was minimal chance we were going to see Daniel Bard or Tyler Kinley in this game. In situations where they would have been clearly used, their pitch counts in each of the previous two days did not make them available:
Robert Stephenson was tasked with the seventh, allowing one hit but otherwise facing the minimum. Carlos Estévez was then given the eighth, just hours removed from a tough-luck loss in Wednesday extras. He posted one of his best outings of the year, striking out two in a perfect frame.
Bud Black made the call for Alex Colomé in the ninth. Despite pitching in each of the past two days, Colomé four pitches on Wednesday were not enough of a deterrent for Black to get him warm.
Colomé got it done.
One hit off the bat of Brandon Crawford would make it interesting, but a game-ending double play put the Rockies in the win column — clinching a series in San Francisco for the first time in nearly three years.
The Rockies will fly down the coast of the Pacific tonight where the 35-22 Padres await for a three-game set. Joe Musgrove (1.64 ERA/2.76 FIP, 66 IP) will look to continue his career season in his 11th start of 2022. He will face off against Chad Kuhl, riding high after six shutout innings against Atlanta.
The series is scheduled to open Friday night with a first pitch at 7:10 p.m. MDT. San Diego will be rested after a Thursday off day, while the Rockies will likely have Daniel Bard and Tyler Kinley available again out of the bullpen (if needed).