Carson Kelly Diamondbacks 3.
Chase Field has been far more favorable to the Rockies than Dodger Stadium. The roof was closed, the early lead was comforting, and Daniel Bard is back.
Randal Grichuk is a doubles machine, too.
10 hits were recorded by the Rockies in a four-run effort, with a multi-hit showing by Grichuk leading the way for Colorado run production. A two-out double by Grichuk in the fourth inning would set the table for the Rockies’ third run of the night, and his one-out double in the ninth would prove decisive in an otherwise deadlocked contest.
Colorado’s bullpen was dominant: four innings, one hit, no runs. It took late-inning heroics to seal the deal — something a two-run first inning may have not suggested — but the bookends of Friday’s contest helped the Rockies snap a three-game skid.
Rockies draw first blood with big first
Back-to-back doubles kicked off tonight’s ballgame; the one-two punch of Connor Joe and Kris Bryant quickly posted a one on the scoreboard.
A one-out single by Brendan Rodgers kept the offense rolling for Colorado, cashing in Bryant and posting an early 2-0 lead. The Rockies’ win probability jumped as high as 68.5% before the Diamondbacks even stepped to the plate.
Grichuk, McMahon piece together a third
A two-out, line-drive double by Grichuk was nearly stranded, but there was just enough english on this Ryan McMahon single to push across the Rockies’ third run of the night:
Randal Grichuk scores on Ryan McMahon's single— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) July 8, 2022
3-2 Rockies pic.twitter.com/ND8kA4G4Ig
Keuchel tosses season-high seven innings
It was a rocky first inning for Dallas Keuchel, but the ensuing 18 outs featured some of his finest work of the year. Four of Keuchel’s seven innings were three-up, three-down frames, and he allowed four hits from the second inning on.
Keuchel’s seven innings of three-run work were met with a 3-3 tie at the seventh-inning stretch, however, pushing him out of the decision.
Gomber allows three in five innings
Tonight was Austin Gomber’s second start after a brief stint in the bullpen; it was a five-run, six-hit, three-run showing that 1. didn’t turn significant heads, but 2. kept the Rockies in it for some interesting late innings.
After a perfect first inning, Gomber allowed a one-out double to Buddy Kennedy followed by a home run by Carson Kelly. This would be the first of three RBI by Kelly; a two-out single in the fourth cashed in Arizona’s third run of the night.
Gomber’s 99 pitches on the night tied the most he has thrown in a start all year. His ERA (now 6.46) has now marginally declined in each of his last three appearances.
Arizona’s Kelly puts his team on his back
Kelly added 26% of win probability to the D-Backs; in other words, that guy put his team on his back tonight. He ended the night going 2-for-3, driving in all three of Arizona’s runs.
Stephenson, Gilbreath, Estévez post consecutive one-inning zeros
The most-rested relievers on the Rockies’ card tonight were Robert Stephenson and Carlos Estévez. Each posted a scoreless frame and preserved a 3-3 tie, while Lucas Gilbreath anchored an interesting seventh inning for another scoreless frame.
Stephenson’s sixth inning was kicked off with a walk, but the threat quickly disappeared with a ground-ball double play. Gilbreath worked around a one-out walk and some heads-up baserunning by Josh Rojas, swiping second base on an unaware middle infield. A comebacker to Gilbreath off the bat of Geraldo Perdomo was just inches from a single into center field, which would have given Arizona a 4-3 lead. It instead deflected off Gilbreath’s glove, and a toss over to first preserved a tie into the eighth inning.
Carlos Estévez took over in the eighth inning and quickly posted a groundout and flyout. A two-out walk to Ketel Marte was followed by a single by Christian Walker, but the two-runner threat was shut down by an Alek Thomas strikeout.
Colorado kid Melancon gives Colorado the lead
With a 3-3 tie in the ninth inning, Arizona manager Torey Lovullo called upon his closer Mark Melancon for the third time in four davs. Perhaps even more interesting: none of those three appearances have been save situations.
Melancon allowed a leadoff single to José Iglesias, and another Randal Grichuk double would quickly ensue. This was all the offense Colorado would need; Grichuk was stranded on third, but a 4-3 lead was handed over to Colorado closer Daniel Bard.
Bard lowers season ERA to 2.27
Here we have a lesson in why closers should have a short memory: just 24 hours from taking a loss and not recording an out against the Dodgers, Bard returned to the hill with Arizona’s hottest bat of the day waiting for him. Carson Kelly was retired on a groundout to second, and the closer momentum was promptly retained.
Bard tossed a Josh Rojas flyout immediately after. A great battle by Daulton Varsho gave Arizona some life with a two-out walk, but a flyout by Geraldo Perdomo ended the contest — and put the Rockies back in the win column.
Chad Kuhl (3.83 ERA/4.03 FIP) and Zac Gallen (3.40 ERA/3.57 FIP) will take the mound on Friday night for the second game of this four-game set. Friday’s pitching matchup is a copy of last Sunday, a 6-5 Rockies victory.
Both pitchers currently hold the best ERA among starting pitchers on their team, but both have shown varying momentum in the past two weeks. Gallen has allowed nine earned runs in his last 11 innings (two starts). Kuhl allowed five runs in five innings in his last start, but tossed a complete-game shutout against the Dodgers one start prior.
First pitch on Friday night is scheduled for 7:40 p.m. MDT, and with a projected high of 112 degrees in Phoenix, the roof at Chase Field will definitely remain closed.