The Rockies lost 2-1 on Monday night against the Padres in what was a duel of the pitchers. James Shields was able to get some keys outs, and the Rockies failed to hit with runners on base it what was ultimately a game they should’ve won.
Jon Gray was spectacular Monday night after the first four batters of the game. Three straight hits drove in the only two runs for the Padres and a walk to the cleanup hitter put two on with nobody out in what looked to be a long night for the Rockies. From there, Gray absolutely shut the Padres down. Gray would retire the next 16 batters straight until a sixth inning single from Matt Kemp. Gray retired the next two batters and would finish his night with a line of 6 innings pitched, one walk, and a career high 11 strikeouts. It was a rocky start, but Gray buckled down and with the best stuff that we have seen of Gray in his Major League career, he looked like a true ace.
The Rockies offense failed to pick him up however, as they went 1-7 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base. Getting men on was not the hard part, but some base running mistakes and costly ground balls kept any momentum from building. The Rockies had a player reach base in each of the first seven innings and had the leadoff man reach four of those innings, but from there they couldn’t string together hits.
The Rockies grounded into three double plays in the first four innings, two of them inning ending. In the fifth inning, with DJ LeMahieu on second and Trevor Story on first, Carlos Gonzalez was at the plate. In what was a costly base running mistake, DJ tried to steal third, but was thrown out. Taking the bat out of Cargo’s hands with two runners on is not the right move and the Rockies were certainly hitting themselves for it.
The only run for the Rockies came in the fourth. Starting the inning with two straight singles from Cargo and Nolan, Gerrardo Parra stepped to the plate. He promptly hit into a double play in a situation where he probably should’ve bunted. That put two outs and and a runner on third for Nick Hundley. Hundley had the only clutch hit of the night as he drove a two-out double to right center field that allowed Cargo to trot home.
The Rockies just couldn’t put this one in the bag. A strong performance from Gray is a good sign going forward, but the offense fell flat and couldn’t earn Gray his first major league win. The Rockies will send Eddie Butler to the mound on Tuesday night and look to even the series.