Some games, the final outcome is fairly certain early on.
On a night when the Colorado Rockies welcomed their fans’ dogs for their annual Bark at the Park, they were left seeing only red. More specifically, Sedona red – the primary color of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In the 9-3 rout, each wayward facet of the Rockies’ lost season came to the forefront, with few bright spots. It was the club’s 22nd loss of five-or-more runs in 2019.
Ahead are takeaways from the loss.
Hoffman shelled in spot start, ousted after two frames
Jeff Hoffman wasn’t supposed to start. Jon Gray was slated to oppose Diamondbacks’ rookie, Zac Gallen. After an ankle injury sidelined the latter, the former was given the nod.
Much like his previous eight starts, things didn’t go smoothly for Hoffman.
In just the first inning, he allowed three home runs – two with a runner on base. Hoffman was greeted with loud boos after he set his season-high in home runs given up in a start after just a single frame.
The second frame was improved, though the youngster allowed yet another two-run homer.
Unfortunately for the club, the two innings were all that Hoffman was able to make it through. He allowed six hits, seven earned runs and struck out three.
In his nine starts with the Rockies, Hoffman has allowed multiple runs in all but two of them. Across those same seven starts, he’s allowed three-or-more runs in each. The start brought his season earned run average up to 7.81.
It’s not often that two teams can lose a trade simultaneously, but it appears the Troy Tulowitzki trade was likely one to forget for both the Rockies and Blue Jays.
Pair of youngsters claim their first hits
After Hoffman’s blunder on the mound, Jesus Tinoco was called upon to both eat innings and hold the deficit.
For his efforts, Bud Black and company can hardly complain.
With the momentum against him, the young reliever went three scoreless innings, working around three walks in the process. Of the four baserunners that reached against Tinoco, only one registered a hit.
The blemish-free chance on the mound was a much-needed one after Tinoco had allowed seven earned runs in just his last 5.2 innings.
Adding to his great outing, Tinoco also tallied his first career hit on a fourth-inning single. It was only the third plate appearance of his career in the majors:
First career hit for Jesus Tinoco!
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 14, 2019
His backstop, the recently promoted Dom Nunez, made sure his night didn’t go unnoticed either. On a 2-0 count, he took a fastball from Yoan Lopez 417 feet:
When your first career hit is a homer… you've earned the nickname #BombNuñez 💣
Congrats Dom! pic.twitter.com/Gn5Pkfs7Tx
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 14, 2019
Nunez became just the seventh Rockies’ rookie to hit a home run in his debut. The last was Trevor Story in 2016.
Adding to the firsts, Nunez also gunned down Josh Rojas for his first caught stealing.
Blackmon does his thing, sullies splits even more
There are few things crazier in baseball this year than Charlie Blackmon’s home-road splits. In the comfort of Coors Field, he’s been an upgraded version of Tony Gwynn. On the road – merely average.
Stats be damned, Blackmon once again added to his home totals Tuesday.
Two doubles and a single made up a 3-for-5 night for the veteran. Of his trio of hits, Blackmon nailed each over 100 miles per hour.
The outburst brought Blackmon’s home average up to an astounding .417. Across the majors, his average at home leads all hitters with 150-or-more plate appearances. He also leads the league in on-base percentage (.467).
Coors Field will always be an avenue to downplay Rockies’ accomplishments. Blackmon’s year has merely added fuel to the fire.
In actuality, the outfielder is just good at hitting a baseball.
Arenado’s subtle struggles continue
After his latest 0-for-4 night, Nolan Arenado’s numbers have become ones that are uncommon for the five-time All-Star.
Across the season’s first four-plus months, he’s topped his career average of .293 in only one of them. For August, his mark sits at .278 after the hitless performance.
The outlier month was May. In 26 games, the third baseman hit .425 – a catalyst to his season numbers being somewhat comparable to his career marks.
Arenado’s under-the-radar down year has been a large reason for the club’s offense going through its dry spells. On the road – where the Rockies score two fewer runs per game – he’s gotten on base at a mere .331 clip. At home, that tally jumps to .400.
With opt-outs in every year of his contract after the 2021 season, many have already begun to expect his departure. Though the thoughts are likely premature, acknowledging that Arenado has played a role in the club’s losing ways is not.