One thing you know for sure when you go to Coors Field is that you are going to have some long, crazy, exciting, and draining games, and this three game set was no exception. Here’s how the Coors Ball went down:
- GAME #1 – Stults vs. De La Rosa: Great pitcher’s duel…no, I’m not kidding! The two starters both posted 0’s for the first four frames. Finally in the 5th the Rockies plated a run, but they needed the help of a Padres error to do it. Meanwhile De La Rosa did not allow a single hit until the 7th. Colorado scored another in the 7th, and another unearned runic the 8th to make it 3-1. The Friars finally got a rally going in the 9th off the closer Hawkins, and scored a run, but came up short with the final being 3-1. Shame to see a great effort by Stults go unrewarded, and also to essentially lose the game due to 2 unearned runs. 1-0 Rockies lead the series.
- GAME #2 – Erlin vs. Lyles: After the close low scoring contest in the opener, this was a more traditional Mile High game. The Pads scored 2 runs in each of the first three innings of the undefeated Lyles to take an early 6-1 lead. No lead is safe here however, and sure enough it started to fade, by 1 int eh 4th, 1 in the 5th, and finally 2 in the 6th to cut it to a 6-5 game. The Friars had multiple opportunities to open the game up but stranded runners, allowing the Rox to hang around – usually a recipe for disaster. FInally slugger Carlos Quentin came off the bench to hits 2-run bomb and give the Pads bullpen some berthing room 8-5, and that was the final with Street closing it out for his 13th save of the season. Series tied 1-1.
- GAME #3 – Roach vs. Nicasio: Roach was making his first MLB start, and although eh offense gave him an early 1-0 lead thanks to a Smith HR, he showed some nervousness early walking the first two batters he faced. Fortunately both attempted to steal, and both were originally called save, but both calls were overturned by Buddy IR challenges. Roach got through the 2nd ok, but the 3rd things started to unraveled the way they can at Coors. A blooper and ground ball singles got the inning started, followed by a solid single lined to center, and then a 2-run HR to finish it and give the Rox a 4-1 lead. The Pads answered back immediately with 2 of their own thanks to run scoring hits by Rivera and Venable pinch hitting for Roach in the 8th spot (strategy of pitcher hitting 8th worked perfectly), to stay within one, 4-3. The Rocks pushed another across in the 5th to make it 5-3, but Rivera answered right back the next inning with a solo HR to make it 5-4. Colorado plated another in the 7th to make it 6-4, and the Pads were down to their final 3 outs, but came back yet again, this time thanks to Cabrera with a 2-run HR to tie it. Unfortunately they couldn’t score in the 10th, but the home team did with a 2-run HR on a pitch down low from Thayer that Morneau just went down and drove to center for the walk off game winner, and series winner. Tough end to a tough fight on the diamond a mile high.
Some tough losses for sure. Game one giving away the winning runs. Game 3 working hard to come back, then to drop it on a pitch that was pretty good…but that’s baseball, and that’s especially baseball in Colorado. So, a .500 road trip. Most teams can live with that. The good news is the team is basically playing good baseball, the pitching continues to be solid, and the hitting is starting to show signs of life averaging 4.7 runs over past 10 games. Time to bring it home for a quick day off to recharge, and then take on the Twins who have won 5 of their past 7, and 9 of 15. The match ups will be as follows:
- Game #1 (Tues. 7:10 p.m.) – Kennedy vs. Correia
- Game #2 (Wed. 6:10 p.m.) – Ross vs. Hughes
Andrew Cashner is expected to have his MRI on the elbow on Monday, and of course we’ll keep you updated if we hear anything. Enjoy the day off!