The top two teams in the National League West didn’t disappoint. In front of a sellout crowd at Dodgers Stadium, fans were treated to a remarkable pair of pitching performances.
Unfortunately for the Rockies, they ended up on the losing side of things for the fourth time in as many tries this season against their rival, 4-2. Dating back to the onset of the 2009 season, they’re now 76-115 against the Dodgers.
Ahead are takeaways from the loss.
Bullpen drives through Bellinger, falls soon after
Cody Bellinger made his hay early in the game with a home run. After grounding out in the ninth inning, it appeared Jairo Diaz had escaped unscathed.
Max Muncy’s walk with two outs set the table for youngster Matt Beaty. A fastball down the middle served as the proverbial nail in the coffin:
NOBODY PUTS BEATY IN A CORNER. pic.twitter.com/BH17d2Osa7
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 22, 2019
With the crowd going ballistic behind him, Beaty trouted the bases following his first-career walk-off bomb, sending the fans home happy.
The late-inning adds insult to injury for a club that’s endured bullpen turmoil often in recent weeks. Diaz has now allowed seven earned runs in his last four innings.
Chavez Ravine enables highlight-worthy pitcher’s duel
German Marquez and Walker Buehler are no strangers to one another. Last season, their primetime matchup came in the form of a tiebreaker to decide the National League West champion. Their latest showcased the two’s talents even more.
For the hosting starter, Buehler, the stuff was near its apex Friday night.
Through the first nine hitters, Buehler had already piled up six punchouts. Amidst the whiffs, he had yet to yield a single baserunner, bringing about memories of Clayton Kershaw’s no-hit effort against the club in 2014.
His outing fell short of history but drew rave reviews nonetheless.
Across a career-high nine innings, he allowed two runs and struck out 16, also a career high. The lone blemishes for Buehler came on a pair of pitches up in the zone that both left the park. Neither eclipsed 370 feet.
Not to be outdone, Marquez went toe-to-toe with the Dodgers’ up-and-coming ace. After allowing 19 earned runs in just his last three chances, the hurler was once again in fine form.
Marquez matched Buehler inning for inning until the end, with the two’s efficiency at an elite level. He finished with eight frames of two-run baseball – one earned – and struck out eight. Between the two, there wasn’t a single walk given up.
For the Rockies, it was the first time since 2015 that both their starter and an opposing starter went at least eight innings. Ironically, the last time was also against the Dodgers.
The start was arguably the finest of the year for Marquez outside of his complete-game shutout against the Giants. Subsequently, his road earned run average again plummeted, now at 3.02 on the year.
Fresh off All-Star finalist bids, Rockies’ sluggers carry the load
Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado are a competitive duo. With their team in desperate need of help, the two shouldered the burden.
First, on his home run, Arenado ensured that the club wouldn’t be on the opposite side of history again. He mashed a hanging slider that barely ascended the wall in the midst of a perfect game attempt by Buehler.
The long ball was the team-leading 19th of the year for Arenado. With a sore toe that the third baseman admitted was a problem, he battled through.
While Arenado’s struggles proved fruitful again, Blackmon made sure his hot streak continued as well.
Since returning for the 10-day injured list with a calf strain, the outfielder has been on a tear. Prior to the game, he was 27-for-59 since the ailment, adding to his numbers with a 2-for-4 night.
The biggest dividends came down the right-field line for Blackmon:
— MLB (@MLB) June 22, 2019
The knock extended his hitting streak to 11 games, as well as his NL-leading on-base streak to 31.
Mistakes are seldom made when a pitcher is carving up a lineup like Buehler. If given a pick of who would come through, the Rockies would likely choose their pair willingly.
Dodgers provide a dose of rarities
There’s seldom a bigger enemy in the eyes of the Rockies than the Dodgers. No new friendships were formed early in their loss.
Max Muncy, caught leaning off first base on a lineout, enabled the frustration. While scurrying back to first, he entered grass and flailed his arms. In his attempt, Brendan Rodgers nailed the infielder in the back with the throw.
The ball careening away, allowing Muncy to reach third. He subsequently scored on a sacrifice fly from Chris Taylor.
At 52-25, the Dodgers are playing the role of villains often these days.