It’s become a broken record for the Colorado Rockies. Just when they appear to have come back from their slump – the way they seemed to with a walk-off win by Ryan McMahon – the fall back to earth is harsh.
The visiting Boston Red Sox made sure to provide the push that caused the fall in a 10-6 loss. A catastrophic inning played a large role, but a mediocre debut from Rico Garcia didn’t help either.
Offensive firepower was also muted as the club racked up 15 hits but failed to come through in big moments, especially in the field.
Ahead are takeaways from the win.
Garcia grinds through major-league debut
It was a night of firsts for the Rockies. One of them was Rico Garcia’s debut. The outing exemplified a player that was likely called up too early.
With Triple-A Albuquerque, Garcia failed to put up numbers that were indicative of a big-league pitcher. In all but two of his 12 starts with the Isotopes, he allowed the opposition to score en route to a 7.16 earned run average.
Once again at Coors Field, the young hurler hit a myriad of bumps.
In just the first inning, he enjoyed both the spoils and rigors of facing the defending World Series champs. After a strikeout of Mookie Betts, the rough patch appeared. A walk and bloop single led to a run for the Red Sox – their first of the game.
A trio of home runs later in his outing – in the second, fourth and fifth innings – served as the real blemishes. The first was a record-setting blast from Jackie Bradley Jr.
The definition of a no doubter. pic.twitter.com/tYf8bsWKZe
— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 28, 2019
The long ball, at 478 feet, was the longest for the visitors in Statcast history.
Across five innings, Garcia allowed six earned runs and seven hits. With nerves in abundance, he also walked five hitters.
It would be easy – and irrational – to label Garcia a bust after a rough first start. Instead, it was merely a product of a team looking to give the most players an opportunity as the season winds down. Facing the third-best scoring offense in the league at Coors Field is hard to overcome.
Rockies fall apart with self-induced wounds
Far too often this year, the Rockies have made mistakes that used to be foreign. Errors, misplayed balls in the outfield and wayward throws all used to be rare. Now, they’re commonplace.
Those miscues were most evident in the seventh inning. Only down 6-2, the Rockies watched the game fall out of range. They committed two errors – a fielding error by Sam Hilliard and a throwing error by Ryan McMahon.
Jake McGee’s inability to get outs before the miscues only added to the deficit.
Among the five hitters that the southpaw faced, he failed to garner a single out. Three hits and a walk made up the majority of the wounds, with the aforementioned errors only adding salt.
It was only the third appearance of the year for McGee in which he allowed multiple runs. He departed with four runs allowed – three earned – and had Bryan Shaw allow a fifth after he entered the game in relief.
The frame put all hopes of a comeback from the hosts on ice. It was an all-too-familiar sight for the Rockies.
Blackmon finds renewed life at the plate
A slump for Charlie Blackmon is rare. One that’s 0-for-16 is nearly unheard of. Against the Red Sox, the veteran reminded pundits why.
Start with a leadoff double to start the game, Blackmon enjoyed a 3-for-5 day at the plate in the loss. In each of his first three at-bats, he was able to tally a hit. His third hit – a single – even broke the Rick Porcello shutout effort.
After the breakout, Blackmon is hitting .320 on the year.
Few hitters have produced at the heights of Charlie Blackmon in a Rockies’ uniform at home. Even in a lost season, the club has needed every bit of it to keep from plummeting to the bottom of the entire National League.
Hilliard continues wrecking spree in debut
There aren’t many ways to start a career better than Sam Hilliard did. In just his third at-bat, his first hit came on a 455-foot home run:
The new guys seem to be making this a habit!
Congratulations on your first career hit AND home run, Sam Hill-YARD! pic.twitter.com/yXNwrhSoHv
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 28, 2019
Before his promotion, Hilliard had nailed 35 home runs this year – the third-highest total for any player in the Pacific Coast League.
The long ball was the only hit of a 1-for-3 night for Hilliard that included a walk and strikeout. He became the eighth Rockies’ player to hit a homer in his debut.
It has been a rough year for the Rockies. Stories like Hilliard and Dom Nunez roping a home run for their first hit is a bright spot. Having large families in attendance for each only added to the sweetness for the rookies.