Eleven strikeouts. A 1-for-11 performance at the plate with runners in scoring position. Not a lot happened at the plate for the Rockies on Wednesday.
The Rockies offense totaled seven hits, just two fewer than the Cardinals, but only one was for extra base hit and two double plays ended would-be rallies. After winning the series vs. St. Louis at Coors Field, the Rockies will now try to prevent a sweep and break an 11-game losing streak at Busch Stadium.
Cards jump out first
Germán Márquez walked the first batter of the game — Lars Nootbaar — and it gave the Cardinals the fuel they needed to take a 2-0 lead. Brendon Donovan followed with an infield hit, but the Rockies caught a break when Paul Goldschmidt hit into a double play. The Cardinals, who are third in the majors in runs scored in the first inning at 76, then took advantage with two Nolan ground-rule doubles: the first was by Arenado to score Nootbaar and the second was by Gorman to plate Arenado.
Márquez bounces back for quality start
After giving up two in the first, Márquez got stronger as the game went. There was still drama and Márquez didn’t get his first one-two-three inning until the sixth, but he settled in. Despite having baserunners in the second and third, he escaped without more damage and ended each of the first three innings with strikeouts. In the fourth inning, Corey Dickerson led off the inning with a double, which marked the fourth out of five in the game for the Cardinals. Even though he threw a wild pitch that allowed Dickerson to reach third, Márquez got a ground out, fly out, and foul pop out to end the inning unscathed. The Cardinals led off the fifth with back-to-back singles by Brendon Donovan and Goldschmidt. Arenado then lined out to McMahon and Gorman appeared to have hit into a double play to Cron, but the ball just wasn’t hit hard enough to turn two and the Cardinals scored another run to make it 3-1. Márquez finished the game giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
The bullpen struggled as Jake Bird hit a player with a pitch, walked a batter, and gave up a single to surrender a run in the seventh. Justin Lawrence took over for Bird and got out of the inning before it got worse, but also had a hard time with command, walking two players and also giving up a run in the eighth.
Montgomery dominates Rockies in first matchup
In his first showdown against Colorado, Jordan Montgomery sunk the Rockies. In 5 2⁄3 innings, the lefty totaled eight strikeouts. The first three all came on sinkers, but then Montgomery showed off his arsenal by using his fastball, changeup, and curveball to keep the Rockies off balance. José Iglesias got two hits off of him, including a double in the second inning, but neither resulted in a run. Montgomery only gave up one run and that happened in the third when Elehuris Montero and Brian Serven started the inning with back-to-back singles. After Connor Joe struck out, Charlie Blackmon hit a merger grounder to the left side, but it snuck by the shift, allowing Montero to score.
Charlie Blackmon gets the Rockies on the board in the 3rd pic.twitter.com/vDRMimD4cU— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) August 18, 2022
Brendan Rodgers then ended the promising inning by grounding into a double play. In the sixth inning, the first two Rockies reached base again with Blackmon being hit by a pitch and Rodgers connecting for an infield hit. C.J. Cron then squashed a would-be rally by hitting into a double play, which also ended Montgomery’s night. Blackmon was stranded at third as the Rockies went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position through six innings.
McMahon flashes leather, struggles at plate
Ryan McMahon didn’t have a good night with the bat. He struck out in all four of his at-bats, including with two runners on to end the game. He did try to make up for it on the field, twice robbing former Rockie third baseman Arenado. In the fifth, with runners on first and third, McMahon nabbed a Nolan liner to keep the runners in place. In the seventh, with two runners on again, Nolan again hit a hot shot to the hot corner and McMahon made a great diving catch.
Ryan McMahon makes a diving grab to rob Nolan Arenado pic.twitter.com/F5svhzTG7s— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) August 18, 2022
The Rockies will conclude their series with the Cardinals in a day game on Wednesday at 11:15 a.m. MT. Antonio Senzatela (3-6, 4.67 ERA) will take the mound for the Rockies, while Adam Wainwright (8-8, 3.27 ERA) will be on the bump for St. Louis.