José Iglesias reached base three times, Ryan Feltner and the bullpen pitched great, and the Rockies put together a ninth-inning rally. Unfortunately, all of that wasn’t enough to complete the comeback against the Dodgers as the visitors bested Colorado once again, this time a 5-4 victory.
Since Chad Kuhl shut out the Dodgers to finish off June, he has started to really struggle in his starts, and that was true again on Friday. All hopes of a repeat performance were dashed early in the top of the first inning when Will Smith smacked a low-and-in sinker into the left-center field stands to put the visitors up 2-0. The long balls continued into the next frame when, following a Cody Bellinger double (or, more accurately, a Kris Bryant error in left field), Trayce “Klay’s brother” Thompson took the first pitch he saw from Kuhl out into center field, doubling LA’s lead.
Kuhl would continue to labor on the mound - after allowing another run in the third by way of three walks and error, he was removed with two outs in the fourth inning and relieved by Ryan Feltner. Kuhl’s final line was 3 2⁄3 innings pitched and five earned runs by way of six hits and four walks while recording three strikeouts.
Down 4-0 early, the Rockies needed something to inject some life into their bats. That life came in the form of José Iglesias, who doubled with one out in the bottom of the second to at least get them in a spot to get back in the game. Randal Grichuk then followed up with a long fly ball to center that fell in for a hit, and he wheeled around the bases for an RBI triple, his first three-bagger of the season.
A sacrifice fly from Ryan McMahon in the next at-bat put things at 4-2. The Rockies were clawing back, at least for now.
As Chad Kuhl exited the game, the Dodgers stood with the bases loaded and two outs, poised to add on to their 5-2 advantage and put the game firmly out of reach. Enter Ryan Feltner, who quickly recorded the last out and went on to throw 3 1⁄3 innings of shutout relief, keeping things square until the late innings. He dealt with traffic - three hits and two walks in that span - but was able to keep LA off the scoreboard, utilizing his fastball-slider-curveball-sinker combination to great effect throughout the evening.
Ryan Feltner— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) July 30, 2022
3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K pic.twitter.com/5q0JklH41W
While Feltner kept things quiet in the Dodgers’ lineup, the Rockies needed to figure out Julio Urías is they were to remain competitive in the contest. Unfortunately, they were unable to do so as the southpaw settled in following his second inning. After that run-scoring frame, he locked in and retired eight of the next ten batters he faced - and it would have been nine if not for an error by Trea Turner.
The Rockies had somewhat of an opportunity in the bottom of the seventh as Iglesias laced a one-out single to set Grichuk up again, but he was unable to come in clutch a second time as he grounded into a double play to end the threat. In all, Urías’ seven innings of four-hit, two-run ball was enough to keep the Rockies down.
The Rockies were flashing some leather on Friday. Iglesias got in on the action by taking an RBI single away from Turner by way of a leaping snag of his line drive in the third inning.
Connor Joe also made a nice run-down grab on Turner’s fly ball to right in the seventh inning. The best of the evening, though, was a gorgeous 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Jake Lamb in the eighth, started by a Brendan Rodgers sliding snag before a flip to “Iggy” at short to finish it off.
This 4-5-3 inning-ending double play— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) July 30, 2022
*chef's kiss* pic.twitter.com/UrdUq3LhlZ
Robert Stephenson and Carlos Estévez would add scoreless innings of their own, but the ninth inning approached. Craig Kimbrel entered to close things out for LA. He allowed two runs, both on an RBI single by Grichuk. As he stood on first, and with Iglesias at second, that brought Ryan McMahon to the plate with a chance to win the ballgame. Sadly, he flew out to left to finish the contest at 5-4. The Rockies lost their second straight to LA, and have lost seven of their last ten ballgames.
The fight to stay out of the National League West basement continues as the Rockies and Dodgers duke it out again on Saturday. Two lefties will face off when LA’s Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.49 ERA) duels Colorado’s Kyle Freeland (5-7, 4.64 ERA).
First pitch is at 6:10pm MDT. See you then!