The San Francisco Giants were once again too much for the Colorado Rockies to overcome on Tuesday. Their bullpenning effort kept Colorado’s bats quiet (minus C.J. Cron), and the Coors faithful were once again left wanting as their team fell 6-3.
An odd opening salvo
Kyle Freeland allowed the game’s first run, but it was one in which the box score would be deceiving. Joey Bart led off with a high, towering fly ball to left-center field. Yonathan Daza settled under it, but it seemed he was somewhat worried he may collide with Randal Grichuk in the outfield, and the momentary lapse saw the ball bounce off of the heel of his glove and down for a hit.
Bart motored all the way to third on the error. Mike Yastrzemski then followed up on the very next pitch, sending it out to center field for an RBI single that put the Giants up 1-0. With San Francisco’s “bullpenning” strategy at work and Kyle Freeland pitching well, that score would remain for the first half of the evening.
Sixth inning starts scoring
The sixth frame saw each team’s offense come alive. First was the Giants, who added two more runs to their lead after consecutive doubles by Austin Slater, Thairo Estrada, and Evan Longoria to stretch their advantage to 3-0. Freeland’s night ended after finishing that inning, and his final line score read as a very solid six innings pitched with three runs (two earned) allowed on five hits, a walk, and four strikeouts. His 50th career win will have to wait for another day.
Colorado would finally break through and get on the board in the bottom half thanks to a familiar face. C.J. Cron’s team-leading 29th home run of the season put the Rockies within two, and put him one RBI shy of the century mark.
TO THE CRON ZONE!— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) September 21, 2022
C.J. Cron's 29th HR of the season pic.twitter.com/nEd4YyImSZ
Unfortunately, the visitors would get that run right back when David Villar led off the top of the seventh with his sixth homer of the year, a solo job off of reliever Jake Bird. Down 4-1 heading into the game’s latter stages, Colorado would need to find some offense quickly.
Cron in the zone
In the bottom of the eighth and the score now 5-1, it seemed the Rockies’ hopes of a comeback were quickly waning. Giants reliever Sean Hjelle had kept Colorado’s bats quiet for most of his outing, but Alan Trejo’s leadoff single led to manager Gabe Kapler’s decision to remove him in favor of Thomas Szapucki. A walk to Ryan McMahon and Daza groundout brought Cron back to the plate with a chance to once again trim the deficit.
He did just that as he sent a ball to the very deepest part of straightaway center field. Falling just barely short of a home run, the two-run double scored RBIs 100 and 101 for Cron, bringing the score to 5-3 and keeping Colorado’s comeback hopes alive.
C.J. Cron's two-run double pic.twitter.com/83ZkC4ahUM— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) September 21, 2022
San Francisco added a run in the top of the ninth and the Rockies were unable to make up the difference in the bottom half despite getting the tying run to the plate. With two on and two outs, Austin Slater made a nice diving grab of Ryan McMahon’s blooper to seal the deal for the visitors.
Tuesday’s loss is the 11th straight game with the Giants that was decided by three or less runs - Colorado is 5-6 in those contests.
The Rockies will try to salvage the last game of their series with the Giants in Denver. After their bullpen day, San Francisco will look to Logan Webb (13-9, 3.02 ERA) for a lengthy start. Colorado, meanwhile, goes with Germán Márquez (8-11, 5.14 ERA).
First pitch is at 6:40pm MDT. See you then!