Scoreless Rockies swept by Giants
Colorado shut out in final game before heading to Los Angeles
There were plenty of reasons why most baseball pundits predicted that the Rockies would finish last in the National League West, and why many envisioned a 100-loss season.
A lot of those reasons were displayed over the weekend in San Francisco where the Giants swept a three-game series, finishing it off with a 4-0 shutout on Sunday afternoon.
A shaky bullpen, a tepid road of fense and an inability to come up with big hits have cost Colorado (3-7). And don’t look now, but a three-game series at Dodger Stadium against the defending World Series champions begins Tuesday.
Sunday, it was that failure in the clutch that doomed the Rockies.
“What baseball comes down to is usually a couple of at-bats in some big spots,” said all-star shortstop Trevor Story, who was 2-for-3 with two walks. “Who comes through — or not — is usually who wins that game.
“We just didn’t do that this series. (But) there’s no panic in our clubhouse. There’s, obviously, a little frustration here. You don’t want to lose three like that. But
of fensively, we’ve just got to be a little bit better.”
Clearly. Colorado scored four runs in three games.
The Rockies’ best chances Sunday came, and went, in the sixth and seventh innings.
In the sixth, Story led off with a double to center and Charlie Blackmon followed with a single that found a hole on the left side. But Giants star ter Anthony DESclafani struck out Josh Fuentes on a nasty knuckle curve and then blew Sam Hilliard away with a 3-2 fastball.
In the seventh, the Rockies loaded the bases against Jose Alverez and submarine right-hander Tyler Rogers, putting the pressure on with singles by pinch-hitter Yonathan Daza and Raimel Tapia and a walk by Story. But Blackmon hit the first pitch he saw back to Rogers, who tossed it to first to end the would-be rally.
“We had our chances to get closer, and we had our chances to put runs on the board and just couldn’t get that big hit today,” manager Bud Black.
The Rockies, who hit .248 with runners in scoring position last season (second-lowest in franchise histor y), went 1-for-8 with RISP on Sunday and 2-for-15 in the series. Fittingly, the game ended with Story grounding out after Garrett Hampson and Raimel Tapia drew two-out walks in the ninth.
Black, however, discounted the idea that the Rockies are in danger of repeating last year’s sins. He believes some of the younger players just have to gain experience.
“It’s still early, but some guys who are still lesser-ser vice-time players, are learning how to hit in the big leagues, right?” Black said. “It’s a dif ferent ballgame for a number of these guys.”
Desclafani pitched six scoreless innings, giving up six hits, striking out eight and walking one.
“He’s effective, man,” Story said. “He showed some good stuf f today. I think that (was) some of our guys’ first time facing him. So it’s kind of a little dif ferent. He made his pitches, located pretty well and just kept us of f balance.”
Rockies right-hander German Marquez served up a solo home run to Alex Dickerson in the Giants’ two-run first, as well as a solo blast to Brandon Belt in the sixth. But overall, Marquez pitched a gritty game. He gave up six hits, struck out seven and walked three in 5M innings.
“That was a long first inning,” said Marquez, who needed 36 pitches to get through it. “But all the way through (I was) good and I battled with my stuff. I thought it was a pretty good outing.”
The Giants added a run in the seventh off struggling right-hander Carlos Estevez, whose ERA rose to 8.31. Mike Yastrzemski hit a one-out double and scored on Evan Longoria’s single up the middle.