It took until two and a half months into the season, but the Rockies finally lost a road series and it came at a place they have struggled at for most of the 21st century. PNC Park and the Pirates have not been kind to the Rockies and Tuesday was just history repeating itself. Tyler Chatwood was strong, but Gerrit Cole was stronger and the Pirates homered their way to the victory.
Chatwood was strong again, but it was a road start so most fans have come to expect strong road starts from Chatwood. He went 6 innings while striking out five, allowing only one run. The run came on a solo shot from Andrew McCutchen, one of three home runs for the Pirates and two for Cutch. The strong start by Chatwood keeps the Rockies bullpen in check, as does the loss because they didn’t have to pitch the ninth, but you would always rather pitch the ninth away as it means it is tied or the away team is ahead.
The Pirates scored four more runs in the game, with those coming from two, two-run shots. One was by Cutch in the eighth and the other was a pinch hit homer by John Jaso in the seventh. Both home runs came off of the bullpen with Jordan Lyles again struggling, possibly leading to his exit from the pen.
This series has become a loss and with one more game, it will end the Rockies road trip, either at 4-3 or 3-4. It also sends the Rockies into a stretch of 16 straight games against NL West teams. There are two series against Arizona and another series coming against Los Angeles. This becomes a key stretch for all three teams atop the West for games where they can makeup ground or take big early season leads.
The Rockies would love to take this stretch as a time to start playing better at home, but they play good teams and teams that know them well, Of course, this plays both ways so whatever happens will be hard to predict. Getting some of the guys who are struggling going, Cargo and Story, would really benefit the offense, what happens will remain to be seen.