The pressure of the National League West race has been immense all year.
With the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres all jumping ahead of the Colorado Rockies in the race, a win against the Diamondbacks was crucial.
The hosting Rockies did just that, once again tallying the final run in their 4-3 victory under the haze of Colorado’s incoming bevy of tornado threats in the 11th inning.
Ahead are takeaways from the win:
Hosts continue trend of walk-off wins
There were chances aplenty for the Rockies to enact Memorial Day, late-inning fireworks.
After a two-run eighth inning, courtesy of a Nolan Arenado run-scoring single, the club was knotted up heading into the ninth inning. With a runner in scoring position and only one out, the club failed to bring Trevor Story in.
In the following frame, the Rockies once again had a runner in scoring position with one out, this time it was Ryan McMahon. After a lineout by Tony Wolters, McMahon got a late jump on a passed ball and was thrown out at third, ending the threat.
After a hard-fought game against their division foe, the club finally broke through in the 11th.
Ian Desmond hit a ball off the top of the wall, drawing boos from the crowd when it remained a double after a review. Then, Raimel Tapia hit a single up the middle, ending the controversy.
The walk-off hit was the second of Tapia’s career and marked the third different hitter to tally a walk-off hit for the Rockies in four days.
Gray loses pitcher’s duel on 20th and Blake
Some things are simply out of Jon Gray’s control. Being forced to tangle with Zack Greinke, one of the best pitchers in the National League just happened to be one of them.
On any other day, Gray’s outing would’ve been more than enough. He went 5.1 innings, allowed only two earned runs and lowered his season earned run average to 4.52 in the process. His blemishes, though few, were magnified.
In four of his five-plus innings, Gray was able to face the minimum number of hitters, carrying a perfect game through the first three. The fourth and sixth innings for the flamethrower were the problem.
Of the 23 pitches Gray threw in the fourth, 13 were strikes. The loss of control also included a wild pitch. Amongst his command issues, he let in a run on a sacrifice fly by Ketel Marte.
The same rang true in the sixth stanza as Gray misplaced several balls and allowed three singles in a row before being taken out of the game.
While Jairo Diaz was able to in and limit the damage to one run, the final frame for Gray served as the one that clinched his downfall against Greinke who spun six innings and allowed only one run.
Arenado continues his historic pace
It’s now been a full week’s worth of games since Nolan Arenado failed to garner multiple hits in a game. His latest effort, a 2-for-5 day, was capped by a two-run single to tie the game against Archie Bradley in the seventh inning.
The streak of seven consecutive games with multiple hits marks the fourth time in franchise history that the feat has been accomplished. Larry Walker was the last Rockies’ hitter to garner the same streak back in 2002.
Andres Galarraga is the only hitter to register a longer spree with his eight-game run in 1996 reigning supreme.
After yet another outburst, Arenado is on pace to collect a career-high 197 hits and 131 RBI’s. The 130-or-more RBI’s in a single season would mark the fourth time he’s done so in his career, a franchise record.
Dahl’s power outage finds a remedy
It’s been a while. Dating back to May 2nd, David Dahl had failed to hit a home run across 18 games. A hanging Greinke changeup solved his woes:
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 27, 2019
The long ball was the fourth of the year for the outfielder and came on the same day the team announced the loss of Charlie Blackmon. With their leader out, the club will be forced to rely more heavily on Dahl and Raimel Tapia to shoulder the load.
On the year, after a hot start, Dahl has struggled to garner extra-base hits. Including his latest contest, Dahl’s total in the last month is seven after he amassed eight in just his first 14 games.
Conversely, Dahl’s barrel percentage prior to the game was at a career-high 14.7 percent, a sign that the hard hits are happening, but failing to fall. A hot streak is likely on the horizon.