It was a tale of two games for the Colorado Rockies, with a similar ending in each.
After a 19-2 battering earlier in the day, the Rockies’ pitching staff bounced back. Despite their best efforts, the Giants came through once again thanks to a pair of home runs in the hosts’ 2-1 loss.
The pair of losses ensured, at best, a series split against the last-place Giants who are now only one game behind the Rockies in the National League West.
Ahead are takeaways from the loss.
Offense endures rare stagnant spree at home
In the first game of the day, the Rockies only registered two runs. Though the margin was smaller in the nightcap, the offense remained missing.
Outside of Raimel Tapia’s 2-for-3 day, the Rockies’ battery combined for three hits, including a 1-for-11 combined mark from Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story.
Even in the final frame, with Story, David Dahl and Arenado up, a leadoff walk resulted in no runs for the Rockies against All-Star reliever, Will Smith.
Across two games Monday, the Rockies only scored three runs after scoring nine-or-more in each of their last two respective contests. In 46 home games before their latest doubleheader, they’d scored 6.9 runs per game.
Gonzalez gives much-needed innings
Few people will peg Chi Chi Gonzalez as the next savior of the Colorado Rockies’ rotation. In the second game of a day-night doubleheader, his efforts were worthwhile nonetheless.
Across five-plus innings, the right-hander allowed five hits, two earned runs and struck out four. The blemishes for Gonzalez came on back-to-back homers by the Giants in the fourth, courtesy of both Brandon Crawford and Stephen Vogt.
On the day, the control for Gonzalez was subpar. Though he was able to limit the damage, a trio of walks in his outing exemplified an overall lack of command:
A bevy of pitches met the middle of the plate, while others missed the mark altogether.
Through three starts with the Rockies, Gonzalez has gone 14 innings, allowing eight earned runs. He’s yet to allow more than three runs in a single start while failing to get through more than five innings in each.
After German Marquez allowed 11 earned runs in the morning portion of the two-game slate, Gonzalez going multiple quality innings was crucial.
While it wasn’t perfect, Bud Black and company got what they needed from their starter.
Rodriguez efficiently stifles Rockies
With his Hall-of-Fame father in attendance, Dereck Rodriguez dazzled for the Giants.
For much of the year, the youngster has pitched out of the bullpen, bouncing between the minors and majors. Tasked with just his ninth start of the year, Rodriguez evoked memories of his sterling 2018.
Outside of fielding faux pas by Austin Slater, Rodriguez allowed little traffic throughout his outing. When the chances did come for the Rockies, they often failed to convert, including a stumble by Garrett Hampson on his way home that resulted in an out.
Across five innings, Rodriguez allowed one earned run and four hits. He also struck out six without a single walk.
Of the 66 pitches thrown by Rodriguez on the day, the Rockies swung and missed seven times, including four on curveballs. The start was the most efficient of the year for the second-year hurler at only 13.2 pitches per frame.
Estevez emerging in the face of turmoil
Don’t look now, but Carlos Estevez is becoming a difference maker. In the middle of a bullpen that has become a proverbial war of attrition, the youngster has strung together a career-best run.
Last year, Estevez was relegated to Triple-A Albuquerque for the entire year, limping to a 6.35 earned run average in 28 appearances. Now, with the confidence of the organization behind him, the results are brightening mightily.
In his last four appearances, including Monday night’s, Estevez hasn’t yielded a run. In that same span, he’s lowered his season ERA from 4.58 to 3.89.
The latest outing for Estevez came in one of the game’s most pivotal moments. With a pair of runners on and no outs in the sixth, he came in, getting the next three hitters out in succession to halt the traffic.
As one of the last men standing in the club’s battered ‘pen, Estevez has accrued 44 appearances on the year, good for the second most on the club behind only Bryan Shaw (46).
Runs allowed in each of his first three appearances to start the year put Estevez in an uphill climb in regards to his ERA. In recent weeks though, only Scott Oberg has been better for the Rockies.