Rockies defeat Nationals as familiar faces haunt Washington

May 17, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Colorado Rockies first baseman Ian Desmond (20) reacts after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies managed to pull out a comeback victory versus the Washington Nationals Thursday evening, winning by a score of 8-7.

The win improves the Rockies’ record to 48-55 this season.

Ahead are takeaways from the victory.

Familiar faces hurt Nats

Things were looking grim for the Rockies after they squandered a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning.

Between the Rockies offensive woes and poor pitching, Colorado was on track to get swept by the Nationals in the nation’s capital.

The Rockies found themselves down by a run in the top of the ninth inning in search of heroics from within their lineup to prevent yet another loss.

Ian Desmond, who played for Washington from 2009-2015, was due up to leadoff off the ninth inning for Colorado.

Desmond proceeded to crank a solo home run to center field off of pitcher Fernando Rodney to tie the game at seven runs apiece.

Daniel Murphy, also a former National, solidified the victory for Colorado, scoring Charlie Blackmon from third base after grounding into a force out that allowed the winning run to score.

Murphy also hit a home run earlier in the game, a solo shot to right field in the eighth inning off of Nationals’ pitcher Tony Sipp.

Hoffman sputters

The Rockies’ starting pitching woes returned less than 24 hours after Kyle Freeland pitched a stellar game.

Jeff Hoffman was the Rockies’ starter in the club’s series finale versus the Nationals.

Hoffman has bounced around between Triple-A and the big leagues this season, owning a 6.75 earned run average for the Rockies in 2019.

Colorado’s offense managed to provide Hoffman with a three-run lead entering the fifth inning.

Despite the cushion, Hoffman fell into some trouble, allowing two batters to reach base with just one out in the inning. With the National’s pressing, Hoffman buckled and surrendered a devastating three-run home run to National’s third baseman Anthony Rendon.

Hoffman made it through the fifth inning before being pulled from the game. Although his start ended on a sour note, Hoffman pitched well through the opening portion of the game, hurling four innings of scoreless ball out of the gate.

Hoffman departed a line of five innings pitched, allowing three runs on four hits while walking four batters and striking out four.

Rockies get to Mad Max

Nationals’ starting pitcher Max Scherzer was activated off the injured list ahead of Thursday’s game versus the Rockies.

It was Scherzer’s first outing since July 6. The former Cy Young award winner was sidelined with a mild back strain that forced him to miss nearly a month of the season.

Scherzer has been dominant this season for Washington, logging a 2.30 earned run average in 129 1/3 innings pitched entering his start versus Colorado.

Scherzer has been a power player in the strikeout department this season. His 181 punch outs lead the National League, even after missing a majority of July.

Despite his stellar performance this season, Scherzer was clearly a bit rusty on the hill.

Colorado put the pressure on Scherzer and the Nationals early, plating three runs in the third inning.

Ryan McMahon got things started by ripping an RBI single to right field to bring home the first run of the game for Colorado.

Infielder Garrett Hampson followed McMahon by crushing a two-run blast to right-center field, establishing a 3-0 for the Rockies.

The Rockies managed to chase Scherzer out of the game after five innings. The veteran starter allowed three runs on four hits while striking out eight batters.

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