After multiple lead changes, the Rockies were within one pitch of putting the game away and starting off the second half with a win. Instead, they saw the lead and the game slip away as their 15 strikeouts (11 of which came from C.J. Cron, Brendan Rodgers, and Ryan McMahon) and 1-for-18 with runners in scoring position came back to haunt them on the way to dropping the first game of their series with Milwaukee 6-5.
Corbin Burnes is one of the preeminent starters in the National League, but he hates playing the Rockies. Colorado’s batters made Burnes work throughout his start, working into multiple full counts and forcing him to throw over 100 pitches in just five innings. The Rockies also struck first in the game, as Kris Bryant singled in the top of the third inning and scored on Charlie Blackmon’s 15th home run of the season.
The blast put the Rockies up 2-0 early, but the lead was not to last. In the bottom of the frame, Antonio Senzatela recorded the first two outs harmlessly before former top prospect Willy Adames took him deep to right field to make it 2-1. A Rowdy Tellez double and Andrew McCutchen home run then put the Brew Crew up by one before Senztela finally recorded the elusive last out.
Díaz ties it up
Things remained at 3-2 until the top of the 6th. With Burnes out of the game, reliever Trevor Gott recorded the first two outs of the frame before walking José Iglesias. Elías Díaz then delivered a double into a right field that Iglesias was able to round the bases on, tying the game up at three apiece.
Díaz has now recorded five straight multi-hit games and has seen his batting average jump up recently.
Senzatela’s start was... okay. The two home runs aside, “Senza” worked around a fair bit of traffic - seven hits and a walk in five innings - but was able to limit the damage to three runs. There were some hard-hit balls (especially the very first out of the game, in which Christian Yelich bounced a comebacker off Senzatela’s side) but overall a very solid start coming back from his shoulder injury. The right-hander recorded four strikeouts as well, which is something to celebrate.
Antonio Senzatela— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) July 23, 2022
5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K pic.twitter.com/wjMtnzo1BJ
Senzatela did leave with runners on first and second with no outs, but Lucas Gilbreath pitched a clutch inning (partly thanks to the aforementioned team of Iglesias and Díaz cutting down a run at the plate) and kept things even. He, Alex Colomé, and Daniel Bard combined to toss four scoreless innings, and on to extras we went.
Elation and disaster in the tenth
With Garrett Hampson on second due to the extra-innings rule, Blackmon faced down Milwaukee reliever Jandel Gustave with one out. He singled to right, scoring Hampson to put the Rox back up by a run.
Blackmon would make it to third and score himself on Brendan Rodgers’ sacrifice fly, putting Colorado up 5-3.
Robert Stephenson would then enter for the save. After recording two outs, Stephenson had two strikes on Hunter Renfroe. Just one pitch from ending the game, he instead gave up a two-run home run that re-tied the long-running affair.
Now 5-5, the contest would stay deadlocked until Luis Urías walked Colorado off with an RBI single in the bottom of the 13th. After having victory literally one pitch away, the Rockies instead dropped the first game of the second half in heartbreaking fashion.
The Rockies will dust themselves off and try to get their win back against Milwaukee in game two of the series tomorrow. That game will see José Ureña (1-1, 2.05 ERA) take on the team that released him earlier this season as he opposes Brandon Woodruff (7-3, 3.93 ERA) With both teams having gone deep into their bullpens on Friday (Colorado used seven pitchers, Milwaukee eight), we’ll see what the relief situation looks like.
First pitch is at 5:10pm MDT. See you then!