San Francisco’s Oracle Park has historically been a house of horrors for the Colorado Rockies, even in years when the team was good. In 2021, with the road version of the Rockies looking like one of the worst teams in major league history, the trips to the Bay Area have been no different.
The Rockies dropped three of four over the weekend to the San Francisco Giants, who are in control of the National League West at an impressive 76-42 following a 5-2 victory in the series finale. The Giants in that game got to a good Rockies starting pitcher relatively early for the third time in the series, setting the tone for the rest of the game. On Sunday it was Jon Gray who took the loss, giving up three runs–all in the fifth inning–on seven hits. Gray failed to get out of that inning, recording just one out in the frame.
Germán Márquez was the first of the Rockies’ starters to struggle in the series, allowing seven runs–including a three-run homer–in four innings in Colorado’s 7-0 loss in the opener. That game marked the 15th time the Rockies have been shut out on the road this season. Austin Gomber had similar issues the following night, when he was tagged for five runs–while also giving up a three-run dinger–in his four frames of work. The Rockies rallied late in that one, getting a two-run homer off the bat of Connor Joe in the ninth inning, but ultimately lost 5-4.
The Rockies were able to get out of Oracle Park with one victory, a 4-1 decision on Saturday. C.J. Cron homered and drove in a pair of runs to help Kyle Freeland, who held the Giants to a run on five hits in six innings. Over his last 10 starts, Freeland has looked an awful lot like the pitcher who got some considerable Cy Young attention in 2018. The 28-year-old left-hander during that span owns a 2.53 ERA with 51 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 57 innings. Sadly, the Rockies are just 5-5 in those games.
After somewhat of a woeful stretch during the Rockies’ last homestand, the bullpen stepped up in a big way on the road trip, particularly in San Francisco. Colorado’s relievers surrendered just one earned run in 13 2/3 innings against the Giants, keeping a couple of the contests closer than they maybe should have been given the overall poor performance of the starters and the non-existent offense.
Cron and Trevor Story carried their weight offensively during the Rockies’ road trip, posting respective OPSes of .967 and .861. But the rest of the team struggled mightly against the Astros and Giants. Joe led the team in plate appearances during the trip but hit just .208/.296/.333, and Elias Díaz, who has performed extremely well since roughly the beginning of June, went just 3-for-19 and failed to draw a walk on the trip.
In all, the Rockies were shut out twice and scored a total of 11 runs in six games. The offense as a whole hit .196/.278/.258. The club is now 14-45 on the road.
The Rockies return home for six against the division-rival San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks. Colorado, which is 38-21 at home, owns a 9-3 record against those two teams at Coors Field this season. In the series against the Padres, which starts on Monday, the Rockies will send Antonio Senzatela, Márquez, and Gomber to the mound.