Cinco De Mayo is a day of celebration for many across Colorado. In the spirit of the day’s events, the Rockies rallied late to avoid a sweep and ignited a raucous holiday crowd against the Arizona Diamondbacks, 8-7.
Things looked bleak after another Rockies’ starter was outdueled. Down 7-3, the club took advantage of a rattled Archie Bradley, finalizing their win through the efforts of closer Wade Davis.
Ahead are takeaways from the late-inning Rockies’ victory.
Rockies batter Diamondbacks bullpen
The eighth and clinching inning for the Rockies started slowly. A single and error allowed both Trevor Story and Daniel Murphy to reach, setting the table for Nolan Arenado. The third baseman added yet another single to load the bases.
David Dahl, with the chance to tie the game with one swing, stayed patient and walked to drive in a run. Raimel Tapia made sure the fans’ wait would end swiftly:
TAP it in..TAP it in…@RaimelTapia is ice cold 🥶 hits game tying triple in the bottom the 8th to tie the game 🙌 @Rockies lead as we head to the 9th, @ATTSportsNetRM has the conclusion 🤘 pic.twitter.com/BhrNP7PvAc
— AT&T SportsNet™ | RM (@ATTSportsNetRM) May 5, 2019
The hit was yet another crucial hit for Tapia against the Diamondbacks, a tally that includes a grand slam to win in Arizona last July.
The youngster has made his presence felt this year and leads the National League in triples (4).
Marquez’ day a tale of bad luck early, struggles late
As 2019’s worst rotation in the NL, the Rockies needed a shutdown outing from German Marquez. His best efforts, though solid early, faltered late.
A clean first inning gave way to a leadoff long ball in the second, a ball that just barely made it out of the park off the bat of Eduardo Escobar.
The same reigned true in the next inning as David Peralta shot a double that barely escaped a sliding McMahon, a hit that started the visitors’ rally. Marquez’ pitch on the hit was well below the zone.
The Diamondbacks went on to tally a pair of runs to take the 3-1 lead.
With 84 pitches already, Bud Black allowed Marquez to hit in the bottom of the fifth, an at-bat in which he hit a run-scoring double. His sixth and final frame on the mound caused regret though as he allowed a two-run homer to Blake Swihart to break the tie.
While Marquez’ day could’ve been better, he continued a chain of lackluster starts for the club in his six-inning effort, giving up five earned runs. He also struck out nine with a pair of walks.
Greinke’s familiarity pays off
No other team in the majors has seen Zack Greinke more than the Rockies. In his 16-plus year career, he’s started 29 games and tossed 182 innings against the club.
On Sunday, he added six more frames to his career ledger and allowed three runs with four punchouts. Greinke’s quality start was his seventh in a row after a lackluster opener. Outside of two innings, he was dominant.
Following a leadoff double from Charlie Blackmon both Trevor Story and Daniel Murphy put the ball in play, the latter on a sac fly to score him in the first.
Greinke settled in, setting the Rockies down in order in both the second and third frames, but once again showed cracks in the fifth. A pair of opposite-field shots from Ryan McMahon and Tony Wolters set the table for a Marquez run-scoring single to tie the game at three apiece.
The Diamondbacks’ ace continued a quality weekend from the club’s rotation. In all, they totaled 18.2 innings and allowed only five earned runs. The remainder of the damage came against a plethora or relievers.
The National League West hasn’t been friendly
At their current pace, the Rockies are likely to drop multiple tiebreakers inside their division.
Against the quartet of NL West clubs, they’ve now gone 4-8 on the year with their lone winning series coming in a two-game set against the San Diego Padres.
Both pitching and hitting have switched off as the leading hindrance. In their four-game series with the San Francisco Giants, they only managed to score eight runs. Conversely, both the Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers were able to pile on 9.3 runs per game in a pair of three-game sets.
The Rockies’ latest losing series by a division opponent put them back six games in the division through the early part of May. By no means is their deficit insurmountable, but as the underdogs, a hot start would’ve aided their chances.