Rockies’ road struggles continue in latest loss to Cardinals

Aug 24, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Harrison Bader (48) is congratulated by shortstop Paul DeJong (12) after hitting a two run home run off of Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez (not pictured) in the second inning during an MLB Players' Weekend game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Colorado Rockies Saturday night at Busch Stadium 6-0, backed by timely hitting and a bit of help from Colorado’s pitchers.

Ahead are takeaways from the shutout loss.

Walks cripple Colorado

While the Rockies played a poor game collectively, they did not do themselves any favors with the number of free passes they handed out.

The Rockies’ issued a whopping eight walks with six coming from starting pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez and one each from relief pitchers DJ Johnson and Bryan Shaw.

Entering the night, Colorado had issued the fifth most walks in the National League with 444.

Additionally, the Rockies have punched out the fewest batters in the Nationa League; however, they have induced the third-most double plays which has helped them escape some tough jams.

Colorado’s eight walks are tied for the second-most walks they have allowed in a single game this season. The Rockies allowed a season-high 10 walks April 7th against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 12-6 loss on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast.

Early runs haunt Chi Chi 

Chi Chi Gonzalez took the mound for the Rockies Saturday in St. Louis seeking his first professional win since the 2015 season.

Gonzalez was not in command of his pitches from the get-go, issuing a walk to former Rockies’ outfielder Dexter Fowler to open up the ballgame.

Kolten Wong then hit a single on the second pitch of his at-bat. Gonzalez was able to fend off slugger Paul Goldschmidt, but Marcell Ozuna provided the Cardinals with an early lead by smacking a single to left field, scoring two runs.

Gonzalez nearly duplicated the first inning to a tee in the second frame, starting with a walk to Tommy Edman. Harrison Bader then jumped on a 1-1 pitch, cranking a two-run home run to left field, extending the Cardinals’ lead to 4-0.

Gonzalez struggled with command throughout the night, departing after 4.1 innings pitched, allowing five runs on three hits while walking six batters.

The Rockies signed Gonzalez to a minor league deal to add depth to their pitching staff following a slew of injuries. Gonzalez spent a portion of the season in Triple-A with the Albuquerque Isotopes. The 27-year-old posted a 5.66 earned run average in 14 starts this season in the minor leagues.

Since joining the big-league club, Gonzalez has pitched to a 5.87 ERA in seven starts.

Rockies’ offense is nonexistent 

The Rockies’ offense was a no-show at Busch Stadium Saturday night.

Colorado failed to provide Chi Chi Gonzalez with any form of run support throughout the evening, collecting just four hits.

Daniel Murphy produced the Rockies’ first hit of the game in the second inning — a double to right field.

Following the hit from Murphy, the Rockies were unable to log a hit for three consecutive innings before Trevor Story ripped a single to right-center field.

The Rockies had a prime scoring opportunity in the top of the seventh inning after Ian Desmond and Tony Wolters collected back-to-back hits. The two hits forced Cardinals’ pitcher Tyler Webb from the game.

Giovanny Gallegos was summoned from the St. Louis bullpen and proceeded to set down Yonathan Daza on strikes, preserving the Cardinals’ lead.

Colorado continues to struggle on the road 

The Rockies have had a tough time this season, most notably away from 20th and Blake. Following their most recent loss, the Rockies record on the road dropped to 25-43.

Colorado’s offense ranks within the bottom third of most statistical categories on the road, including runs and hits. Most notably, the Rockies offense ranks last in batting average while leading the league in strikeouts.

The Rockies are 18-38 since June 21, with a winning percentage that is the lowest in the National League and only second to the Detroit Tigers in the sport during that span.

Colorado has not won a series on the road since July 26-28 when they won two of three over the Cinncinati Reds.

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