A solid pitching performance by Chad Bettis along with a clutch hit from Ben Paulsen went to waste on Wednesday afternoon as Tucker Barnhart was able to hit a walk off single to win the game.
Back to back home runs in the second inning off of Chad Bettis from Jay Bruce and Adam Duvall put the Reds up 3-0 early. From there, Bettis was terrific, not allowing another man on base. For Bettis, he finished a string of terrific starts for the Rockies and their staff. De La Rosa on Tuesday and Bergman against the Cubs were the only non-quality starts of the road trip and Bergman’s start was still good. It is a good sign for the Rockies and their pitchers as they were able to pitch pretty well as a team all around throughout the whole road trip.
The Rockies were able to get back into the game in the fourth. DJ LeMahieu singled to start the inning and Cargo followed two batters later to drive him in with a double. Gerrardo Parra would then follow that two more batters later with a single to dtive Cargo in and put the game at 3-2.
The score would remain at 3-2 until the 7th inning when Justin Miller would come in and give up two more runs. This is one of the instances on the road trip where the Rockies bullpen faltered. Three back-to-back doubles by the Reds would put them up 5-2.
The Rockies were not out of it however and came storming back in the next inning. DJ singled for his second hit of the afternoon and Trevor Story and Cargo walked to load the bases. Arenado popped the ball up on the infield and the Reds got a break for a batter to keep a run from scoring. Parra then grounded to second baseman Brandon Phillips, but fortunately the Reds were unable to turn two. Mark Reynolds then walked bringing up the most clutch hitter of the series for the Rockies. With two out and the bases loaded, Paulsen blooped a double to left field that diving left fielder Tyler Holt was unable to come up with. The hit would score two and tie the game at 5-5. Then the bad luck would strike for the Rockies (again, I’ll get to that later). On a pitch that got through Barnhart, Reynolds attempted to score, but the ball ricocheted right back to him and Reynolds was thrown out at third as he tried to get back to base, ending the inning.
The game would go to the bottom of the ninth with the same score and Christian Bergman would take the mound. With a runner on first and third and one out, Barnhart walked to the plate. On the first pitch of the at bat, he lined a ball into right and ended the game. It was a questionable move keeping Bergman in the game with lefties in the pen, Jake McGee specifically, but hindsight is always 20/20 and had the Rockies kept the Reds off the board and scored later in the game, they would’ve wanted their closer to finish the game out.
It was a tough series loss for the Rockies, especially given their bad luck in the game. Along with Reynolds getting thrown out on the passed ball, Ryan Raburn was called out after the Reds appealed to third to see if he had touched third base. After watching the replay, it is hard to see if he may have grazed the bag with his toe as passing it, but the umpires made the call and that kept the run that would’ve put the Rockies ahead from scoring.
The Rockies will be back at home on Friday and Jon Gray will make his 2016 debut. It will be against the Dodgers so he will not have an easy task, but it is a great opportunity for him to start his season by proving himself against a good team.