The momentum from an adversity-spurning comeback win could only last so long. For the Colorado Rockies, it was a mere seven innings.
In their lastest 6-5 loss, the Rockies held the lead for much of the game, ceding it late due to key mistakes. The burden of losing plays have befallen the club often, a key reason for their fall down the standings.
Ahead are takeaways from the loss.
Late miscues prove costly
Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee combined to hurl 3.1 scoreless innings. Sam Howard even chipped in with a scoreless 1.1 innings.
With a majority of the bullpen coming through, other parts of the roster failed.
Carlos Estevez, tasked with moving the 5-4 lead into the bottom of the eighth failed to get a single out. Of the four hitters he faced, two got on with a hit, two with a walk. The end result was two runs and a blown chance at a win for the club.
To make matters worse, the baserunning of the Rockies went wayward in the bottom half.
After a single to put a runner on, Ian Desmond was picked off by Tony Watson with Garrett Hampson at the plate. Adding insult to injury, the latter tripled on the very next pitch.
The blunder, in hindsight, cost the Rockies a run after Tony Wolters grounded out to end the frame.
With a veteran on base in a one-run game, winning clubs find a way to score runs, not subtract them with baserunning mistakes. For the Rockies, it was just another example of a club failing to make the winning decision.
Gray takes a step back, endures uneven outing
In Jon Gray’s last two starts before Saturday, he allowed a total of two earned runs in 12 innings. Due to a lack of command, the Giants made sure to put forth a better effort.
All of the trouble for the Rockies’ resurgent starter came in the opening frame.
A walk, double, single and home run off the bat of Scooter Gennett summed up the four-run stanza. In only the first inning, a usually-efficient Gray threw 35 pitches. Among them, he three allowed hits on came on four-seam fastballs.
The lack of command was merely a continuation of past starts. Even though Gray only two earned runs across his last two starts combined, he walked eight.
In his start against the Giants, the lack of command resulted in hitter’s counts, rather than walks. Across four-plus innings, he allowed nine hits and threw 96 pitches, including 58 for strikes.
For his efforts, Gray’s season earned run average rose to 4.03. In five starts against the Giants, he’s registered a 4.50 mark.
With all of the problems the Rockies have endured in recent weeks, a tailspin from Gray would be one of the worst in his rebound year.
Story continues to add new chapters
Trevor Story is no stranger to home run binges. Heck, the blooming shortstop hit seven in his first six games in the majors.
With the club grasping for answers, Story is doing his part once again. After homering in the series opener, he made it back-to-back contests on a third-inning cutter that went 449 feet:
A not too long time ago, in a seat far, far away …
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 4, 2019
The long ball was the 24th of the year for Story and the 111th of his mere three-plus-year career. Coincidentally, the pair of homers in the series against the Giants are on the heels of a season-long, 12-game streak without one.
He finished the game 1-for-5 and moved to 3-for-8 in the series. The effort has been a much-needed bounceback after the shortstop went 1-for-12 against the Dodgers in a three-game set.
Going further back, he went a mere 9-for-37 on the team’s season-long road trip out of the All-Star break.
Rockies take advantage of a peeved Bumgarner
Of all the starting pitchers in the majors, few get hotter than Madison Bumgarner. Whether it’s something as big as Max Muncy doing a slow jog around the bases or merely a tight strike zone, he’s prone to frustration.
Bumgarner was unable to keep his cool once again in his club’s win.
Several close calls went against Bumgarner, including a possible strike-three call against Ryan McMahon that had him fuming. Following the third frame, he even discussed the zone with the home-plate umpire, Adam Hamari.
The boiling point came in the fifth and final inning of his outing as an error, bloop hit and home run resulted in a game-reversing, two-run inning. On the error by Gennett, Bumgarner failed to cover home plate, allowing a savvy sprint to home by Nolan Arenado to break the 4-4 tie.
In all, the Rockies tacked five runs and eight hits on the former World Series hero.
For the Rockies, their effort was a vast difference from their last time facing Bumgarner. In his second-to-last start in June, he hurled six, two-run innings and struck out 11.
In his career, Bumgarner has posted a 4.56 ERA at Coors Field in his lengthy career.