Wasted opportunities. As the chances for success added up for the Colorado Rockies, so too did their failures in their latest 7-1 loss.
While the San Diego Padres came through in the game’s biggest moments, the visitors once again went silent. Even with a solid pitching performance, the Rockies were simply unable to make themselves competitive in the contest.
The loss dropped the Rockies to 52-64 – a full 12 games under .500. The even dozen games in the red is the furthest from a winning record that the club has been since the end of the 2016 campaign.
Ahead are takeaways from the letdown.
In the midst of his comeback, Freeland outdueled by Quantrill
Cal Quantrill is hardly a household name. Kyle Freeland – after a fourth-place finish in the 2018 NL Cy Young race – has seen his notoriety raise. With his struggles, the latter’s moniker has grown sour.
Once again in the loss, Freeland was unable to overcome his opponent.
Though the southpaw only allowed three earned runs, it was clear that Freeland wasn’t feeling like his old self. The “stuff” was simply not at its apex. In turn, the Padres nailed 11 different balls over 95 miles per hour.
Throughout the start, Freeland also dealt with a myriad of stressful situations. In five of his six innings, he allowed at least one baserunner. There were multiple in three of those frames.
Inversely, Quantrill went a career-high seven innings and didn’t yield a single run. Armed with a four-pitch mix, the rookie was able to keep the Rockies’ battery on its toes all night.
Of his five hits allowed, Quantrill allowed only one for extra bases. He was also able to rack up five punchouts.
The losing effort for Freeland lowered his season earned run average to 7.06, a far cry from his 2.85 mark from last year. In the long-term scope of things, however, Bud Black and company can ill afford to complain about a quality start from one of their starters.
Tatis makes a statement in battle of young shortstops
The National League West boasts three of the brightest shortstops in the game. Though Corey Seager was absent from Petco Park, both Fernando Tatis Jr. and Trevor Story were in attendance.
In the Rockies’ loss, Tatis made his presence felt.
In just the first inning, the Padres’ phenom made a sliding play to his right on a ball that was scorched:
— MLB (@MLB) August 10, 2019
Coming into the matchup, Tatis had already accrued 4.1 wins above replacement, good for 10th in the NL. Adding to the allure is the fact that the shortstop had only played in 79 games this year – 23 fewer games than Story who had a 4.7 mark entering the contest.
With a fielding highlight to his name already, Tatis yanked a two-run double to center field in the third frame. The two-bag effort was his 13th of the year and extended his hitting streak to an identical 13 games.
In all, Tatis reached base in three of his five chances. Intertwined in his triumphs was a pair of stolen bases.
Opposing him, Story was unable to get things going for the Rockies’ offense. In four at-bats, he went hitless with a pair of strikeouts.
In both of his first two chances, Story came to the plate with Charlie Blackmon on base, failing to advance him in either opportunity.
The battle of Story and Tatis will be one to watch for several years to come. For Friday’s round, the edge went to the latter.
Rockies fall flat with runners close to home
The opportunities for the Rockies were there, but the call has simply gone unanswered in their trip to San Diego.
In five chances with runners in scoring position, the club’s only success came on a run-scoring groundout in the final inning. The latest blunder added to their two-game total that sits at 4-for-20 with the Rockies on the brink of being swept once again.
The lack of success with runners in scoring position continued what has been a miserable track record on the road in recent weeks for the club.
Dating back to their series in San Francisco June 24-26, the Rockies have yet to win another road series despite a bevy of chances. Since then, they’ve also been outscored 112-59.
Oberg faces his day of reckoning in career-best year
Scott Oberg was merely tasked with getting some work in while keeping the Padres at arm’s length for a possible ninth-inning comeback. Instead, he imploded.
In his single inning of work, the reliever faced seven hitters and allowed four of them to reach base. In turn, he allowed four earned runs – three on a home run off the bat of Josh Naylor.
Prior to his 47th appearance, Oberg had allowed a mere nine earned runs all year en route to a minuscule 1.53 ERA in 53 innings. Due to the late-inning turmoil, that astounding mark rose to 2.17.
On a night where things were ugly throughout, having their best reliever suffer his worst appearance of the year in a low-pressure situation was merely salt in the wound for the Rockies.