AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
There is not getting around the fact that Jon Gray struggles in the first inning. On Friday, he allowed two runs in the first and his pitch count got way up for what would eventually be a quick start. With not much going on offense, the Rockies were far off from a win in this one and the Dodgers got within a win and a Giants loss of clinching the division. The final score was 5-2, even though both teams had eight hits.
The first inning saw the Rockies with a prime chance to score, but they couldn’t get anything from it. Charlie Blackmon started the inning with a single, but was called out after a fielder’s choice. The fielder’s choice did allow Nolan to reach first and he advanced to second on an error. With Cargo up, Nolan had a chance to score on a single, but was thrown out by Andrew Toles at the plate.
That play at the plate gave the Dodgers some momentum for the bottom of the first. Gray started the inning with a strikeout, but walked, hit a batter, and walked another to load the bases. Yasmani Grandal then singled in two runs to continue Gray’s first inning trouble. Gray then struck out the next two batters to strike out the side.
The next inning would see Gray strike out the side again, earning the first six outs by K. Gray did walk another batter in the second and while he had good stuff, he was not finishing batters as quick as he could have. This brought his pinch count up quickly and he was only able to get through four innings.
He ran into trouble again in the fourth inning by allowing back-to-back home runs to Joc Pederson and Andre Ethier. Gray finished the inning and struck out ten total Dodgers in only four innings (earning all but two outs via the K). So while it wasn’t a good start for Gray, it was a dominant one in the respect of earning the strikeout.
The Rockies didn’t get any offense until the sixth and it starter with Nolan Arenado. Arenado launched his 40th home run of the year, but it was not nearly enough to make the game close. It is still a feat nonetheless and Arenado should be proud of the fact he has homered 40 times in back to back seasons.
The Rockies will try and win on Saturday, but it will be no easy task as Clayton Kershaw takes the mound against them. Kershaw is obviously the most dominant pitcher in the game and the Rockies will have to hope Chad Bettis has his best stuff on Saturday if they want to win.