Dodgers 3 Rockies 7: Coors Field is Dumb
By Alex Campos
The Dodgers dropped game one in Colorado as their offense didn’t show up until the eighth inning.
Brandon McCarthy had a great terrible first inning today. The great part was that he somehow escaped without allowing a run. The bad, he needed 38 pitches to get out of it and it was interrupted with a 30 minute rain delay. He wasn’t sharp or efficient, but he followed up his 39-pitch first with a nine pitch second, aided by a double play.
The Rockies scratched in the third after they began the inning with a walk and a single. Carlos Gonzalez grounded out with runners on the corners and tried to get in a pickle between home and first, but the run scored and McCarthy stranded a runner at second.
Meanwhile, Jon Gray had a no-hitter going through three, but was broken in the fourth on a Justin Turner double. Josh Reddick got his first RISP opportunity and grounded him over to third, but he was left there.
McCarthy came out for the fourth, but walked the first two batters and was pulled before recording an out. He finished at 85 pitches, only 48 of which found the zone. His main issue was a lack of command on his cutter. He usually has the offspeed stuff to work around that, but that won’t fly up at Coors Field. It was miraculous that he only gave up the one run (while he was in) despite giving up three hits and five walks.
Luis Avilan came in and gave up a clean single to give McCarthy a second earned run. Gray laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line, and Avilan slipped while fielding it and couldn’t get an out. Avilan then hit Charlie Blackmon with the bases loaded (not recommended) for a third earned run to close the book on McCarthy. Avilan got a strikeout and a groundout, but the Dodgers couldn’t turn a difficult double play and the fourth run scored. Avilan then intentionally walked Nolan Arenado to re-load the bases, but struck out David Dahl to end the frame.
Gray wasn’t efficient either, but he allowed just two hits and two walks through five innings and kept the Dodgers off the board. Gray had a rough start to the season, but he’s far from a scrub. He allowed seven runs in five starts last month and had gone at least six innings in 11 of his last 12 starts before today. He needed 96 innings to finish five innings, so he was pulled earlier than he deserved, but he completely shut down the Dodgers, who failed to consistently hit the ball hard.
J.P. Howell tossed a clean fifth inning, but allowed a walk in the sixth and was pulled for Jesse Chavez. The local product struggled in his Dodger debut, allowing a walk and a two-run double. He allowed two more singles and a walk to load the bases, but got a double play to get out of the inning.
Allowing seven runs at Coors Field isn’t something to be overly concerned with, especially when a team gets three innings out of their starter. The bigger concern was the zero runs and two hits through seven innings.
The Dodgers mounted a comeback in the seventh on a Howie Kendrick double, Corey Seager walk and Justin Turner two-run double. Yasmani Grandal crushed a solo homer in the ninth to continue his extremely hot hitting, but the Dodgers fell short in their comeback attempt.
Chavez had a nightmare of a Dodger debut, but Josh Reddick’s was slightly better. He took an 0-4 at the plate but hit the ball hard once (unfortunately, it was aimed at Nolan Arenado. He needs to learn not to do that). He also made a diving catch in right, so while he didn’t do much at the plate, he gave fans a little reason to be excited.
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The Phillies scored eight off MadBum (four unearned) only to see the Giants come back and have new reliever Will Smith blow the lead, so my schadenfreude is at an all-time high right now. The Dodgers remain two back and the Rockies are slowly creeping back in the race, as they move to 7.5 behind the Giants and 5.5 behind the Dodgers. They’ve been the best team in baseball since the All-Star break, so this will not be an easy series at all. It’s Coors Field, so literally if the Dodgers come home without any injuries I will be satisfied.
They look to stay healthy and get a win tomorrow with Brock Stewart making his return to give Kenta Maeda an extra day of rest. He’s been bumped to Thursday’s game.