The Rockies came back from a seven run deficit to make it a game on Wednesday night, but they still fell in the 12th. Jon Gray did not pitch well. He went only 3.2 innings and gave up 6 runs, all earned. He failed to finish the Pirates hitters off, though in his defense, the Pirates have been drawing long counts all series long and have kept fouling pitches off.
The scoring started early again for the Rockies opponent and put them behind in a game for what seems like the nth time on this home stand. The run came from a questionable play regarding the new slide rule. With runners on first and third, Jordy Mercer grounded the ball to Trevor Story who flipped to DJ LeMahieu for the first out. Here is where the slide rule was brought into play. Josh Harrison slid into the bag to break up the play, completely legal, but he slid past the bag on his attempt. Under the new rule 6.01(j) the runner has to be “…able to and attempting to remain on the base at the completion of the slide (except at home plate)…” Josh Harrison did not do this and according to the rule, whether the runner would’ve been out at first or not, should be called out for interference. They would review the play and the umps in New York confirmed the call on the field. The explanation they gave was questionable at best, but that is what the call was.
The next inning things started to unravel for Gray. Three singles to start the inning, a walk, a sac fly, and finally another single, would plate three more runs for the Pirates. This would put the game at 4-0 and it was not looking good for the Rockies. The next inning saw the end of Gray’s night after allowing a couple more hits and another run. Eddie Butler would come on for his first appearance of 2016 and allow two more runs, one credited to Jon Gray, to put the game at 7-0.
The Rockies were determined to fight their way back into the game however and the next inning would start their comeback. Trevor Story started the inning with his ninth home run of the season, a rookie record. Nolan Arenado followed that up two batters later with a home run of his own. The next four batters would all reach base, capping off the rally with a LeMahieu single to put the game at 7-4. From there the Rockies would chip away at the lead for the next few innings. They scored a run on a ground out in the sixth, and two more in the seventh. The Pirates did score in this stretch of innings, but only one run. The game was at 8-7 and it was Gerrardo Parra’s time to shine. Parra swatted a home run to center field that tied the game up at 8-8. The Rockies had finished the comeback and had a chance to win.
Unfortunately for them, the offense seemed to halt after the home run. They had some chances with runners reaching base in extra innings, but the key hit never came up while the Pirates did find the key hit. In the 12th inning, Jordy Mercer hit a ball to deep center that caromed off of the wall and let Gregory Polanco score from first. Mark Melancon would come on the next inning and close the game out.
The Rockies have one more game against the Pirates in this series and I could not be more happy that this series is almost over. The Pirates are the Rockies kryptonite and facing another opponent will hopefully let the Rockies string together some wins to get out of this horrific slump.