The Colorado Rockies concluded their seven game homestand with a series against the San Francisco Giants over the weekend. The Rox and Giants traded wins in the first two contests, but the series finale scheduled for Sunday afternoon was postponed due to inclement weather.
Game 1- Rockies 6, Giants 4: Eddie Butler started for the Rox in the series opener. After playing with fire with a high walk rate in his last few starts, Butler settled down and had a decent outing. He lasted six innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits. He walked only two and struck out three while earning the win for the Rockies.
But it was the bats that really won the game for the a Rox. After the Giants opened up the scoring with two runs in the top of the second inning, the Rockies answered right back with two runs of their own in their half of the inning thanks to RBIs by catcher Nick Hundley and second baseman DJ LeMahieu.
Down, 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth, LeMahieu hit a double to right field to score outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. Pinch hitter Rafael Ynoa then batted for Butler and hit another double, which scored LeMahieu. Finally, a single by outfielder Corey Dickerson plated Ynoa and the Rox went up 6-4, which would conclude the scoring for both teams.
After Butler exited after six innings, the bullpen came in and held strong. Adam Ottavino, who has yet to be scored upon this year, came in and closed the door on the Giants, earning his third save of the year.
Game 2- Rockies 4, Giants 5 (11 innings): The Rox were bested by the Giants in extra innings in game two of the series. Starter Jorge de la Rosa, after a disastrous first start of the season versus the Padres last week, looked like his normal self. His velocity and command were both good as the veteran went five innings, allowing two runs on four hits while walking only two and punching out seven.
After de la Rosa exited, rookie Scott Oberg came in to pitch the sixth inning. But the Giants got to him immediately when outfielder Justin Maxwell hit a two run blast after catcher Buster Posey led off the inning with a single. Oberg recorded only one out and was relieved by Christian Friedrich, who finished the inning without allowing another Giant to tag home plate.
Down 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, with one out and runners on first and third, outfielder Drew Stubbs came up to bat and delivered. He hit into a force out that scored Hundley from third to tie the game and force extra innings. Stubbs was caught stealing second to end the ninth.
After a quiet 10th inning, the Giants scored a run off the Rockies’ Brooks Brown in the 11th with a sacrifice fly by infielder Joe Panik.
The Rox attempted another rally when first baseman Justin Morneau led off the bottom of the 11th with a base hit, but third baseman Nolan Arenado hit into a double play and CarGo grounded out to end the game.
Game 3- Postponed due to inclement weather. Make up game TBD.
Series Positives: Lemahieu continues to hit consistently. The Rockies’ second baseman is leading Major League Baseball with a .419 batting average and has been huge hitting at the bottom of the lineup. He’s also second on the team with 12 RBIs.
Starter de la Rosa’s performance Saturday was reassuring that the Rockies’ ace last season will bounce back from a bad first start. Although he only pitched five innings, he looked comfortable and confident, and management hopes his ugly first start was a mere fluke.
CarGo is starting to get his swing back. Although he’s still hitting under the Mendoza Line (.200), he recorded hits in both games and did not strike out once. A productive Carlos Gonzalez will be a much welcomed boost to the Rox’ offense.
Series Negatives: After his first two relief appearances went well, rookie Scott Oberg has struggled as of late, which was highlighted by his rough ⅓ inning of work during Saturday’s game. The 25 year-old has a 13.50 ERA and in 3.1 innings pitched, has given up nine hits and five earned runs. Opposing batters are hitting .474 off of him.
The Rockies travel to Arizona for a three game series with the Diamondbacks, starting tonight. Tyler Matzek takes the hill for the Rox and first pitch is scheduled for 7:40pm MST.
Contact CU Independent Rockies Beat Writer Justin Guerriero at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo