Sunday’s contest was best enjoyed with Rockies allegiance aside. James Outman of the Los Angeles Dodgers had himself a debut.
“As soon as I took the swing, I blacked out,” Outman said in a postgame on-field interview with SportsNet LA. “I just wanted to relax and let what I’ve been doing for 20 years take over.”
His three RBI on the afternoon matched the Rockies’ entire run output. Through his home run, double and single, the Dodgers were able to find serious value out of their ninth spot in the batting order.
Colorado was able to answer back early, claiming a 3-2 lead at one point in the third inning. Momentum was quickly slowed in the fourth, however, and it remained on the Dodgers’ side through Outman’s RBI double in the eighth.
Márquez tosses six frames, allows four runs
Germán Márquez retired six of the first seven batters he faced. It was the bottom of the Dodgers’ order that burned him the most, however.
Cody Bellinger opened up the third inning with a single to center and Outman’s debut homer promptly followed. Márquez responded with three consecutive groundouts to the top of the Dodgers’ batting order, and no serious damage would ensue until the fourth inning when the eight-hitting Bellinger stepped to the plate again. His two-RBI double in the fourth surrendered the early Colorado lead.
Márquez worked through the top of the order again in the firth, allowing just one runner on a Freddie Freeman ground-ball single. The fifth-hitting Jake Lamb would open up the sixth with a double, and an eventual Max Muncy sacrifice fly tabbed another run to Márquez’s afternoon.
Márquez’s final line: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 4 K. 91 pitches.
Velocity peak: 98.6 MPH (Fourth-inning foul ball to Max Muncy)
Gonsolin posts decent showing after recent struggle
Entering today, L.A. starter Tony Gonsolin had allowed nine earned runs in his previous 11 regular-season innings. The 2022 All-Star didn’t have an All-Star-caliber start today, but he certainly regained some momentum in a tough pitching environment.
Colorado was held off the scoreboard until the third inning, courtesy of this blast by Brian Serven:
Brian Serven's 4th HR of the season pic.twitter.com/WjtawLDoXZ— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) July 31, 2022
Gonsolin’s third inning would prove to be his biggest challenge. After Serven’s blast, a one-out hit-by-pitch to Jose Iglesias was followed by a Kris Bryant walk. Brendan Rodgers then hit a ground-ball single back to Gonsolin, and a Randal Grichuk single to right would cash in two runners from the bases-loaded jam. (Grichuk’s third-inning at-bat featured the highest leverage index of the day.)
The threat was then ended by a ground-ball double play by Ryan McMahon, which was perhaps Gonsolin’s most important pitch of the day. It cut his expected labor significantly, helping lead to a perfect fourth and fifth inning before his departure.
Gonsolin’s final line: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 6 K
Velocity peak: 96.0 MPH (Fifth-inning called strike to Kris Bryant)
Old friend Almonte carves
Yency Almonte had not pitched in this series entering today, so his appearance was presumed at some point. His sixth inning statement — strikeout, groundout, groundout — reminded Rockies fans of the latest status in the departed-to-L.A. pitching saga.
Almonte remained for one more batter, striking out Connor Joe to open the seventh.
Rockies bullpen allows six hits, two runs in three innings
Three relievers were used by the Rockies on Saturday (Gilbreath, Colomé and Bard), and none of them pitched today. A one-inning-a-piece trio of Robert Stephenson, Jake Bird and Jordan Sheffield threw 56 combined pitches, allowing a combined two runs on six hits.
Stephenson was first in relief, allowing three of those hits to his first four batters faced. Bird opened his eighth inning with a walk, and the Outman double in the eighth cashed in the Dodgers’ seventh and final run of the day.
Sheffield (the Rule 5 draft-departed once-Dodger) pitched the ninth and worked around a Freddie Freeman one-out single. He allowed another single to Will Smith immediately after, putting runners on the corners with one out, but a ground-ball double play by Jake Lamb helped Sheffield post a zero against his former organization.
L.A. bullpen tosses four scoreless
After Almonte’s four outs, the Dodgers turned to Phil Bickford for a scoreless inning, and Alex Vesia for two-thirds of a scoreless frame. The trio delivered 45 pitches in a combined three shutout innings.
(It is also reported that Vesia picked up Outman’s home run ball and held it in safe keeping.)
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts elected to throw closer Craig Kimbrel in a non-save ninth after throwing 29 pitches on Friday. Despite a one-out double by Joe and 26 pitches today, a pair of game-ending strikeouts by Kimbrel would seal the L.A. win and series victory.
Colorado will open up the month of August with a five-game (!) set in San Diego. Tuesday’s matchup will be a day/night doubleheader, so many eyes can be fixed on the Monday night bullpen use to see how the squad can navigate 27 innings in 48 hours.
Antonio Senzatela (4.90 ERA/3.99 FIP) will start for the Rockies on Monday, facing off against San Diego’s Mike Clevinger (3.38 ERA/3.85 FIP). First pitch is scheduled for 7:40 p.m. MDT; between this upcoming series and a weekend set in Arizona, we’ve got plenty of West Coast start times on the horizon.