Jeff Hoffman was not great on Thursday in the series finale, going five innings while allowing four runs. But the real trouble came in the Rockies bullpen when a couple of pitchers relinquished their first runs since July. That, paired with a solid start by Braves starter Lucas Sims, gave the Rockies a split series with the 54-65 Braves.
While the Braves scored the first run of the game on a Tyler Flowers home run, the Rockies did take the lead right back with a two-run second inning. However, the Braves took over from there scoring one in the third and two in the fifth. Their big day was capped when they scored six runs in the seventh, split between Dunn and Ottavino.
Those were the two pitchers who had been good since August started, but this was really the worst day for the Rockies pitching staff in quite some time. Games like this happen, and as the Braves broadcast liked to point out, this was a Coors Field series, but the Rockies have been good at home pitching wise, something that has never really happened.
While the Rockies have pitched better on the road, they still have a sub 5.00 ERA, their lowest home ERA since 2013 when they posted a 4.43 ERA. The young pitchers have had some bumps, but ultimately, this season has been fueled by rookie starters. Both Kyle Freeland and German Marquez have been terrific, Jeff Hoffman has had his solid starts, and Senzatela is proving to be a valuable piece both in the rotation and bullpen. Along with some other guys like Chris Rusin dominating and Greg Holland being as shutdown as he had been, the Rockies have one of the better pitching staffs in history.
The Rockies will now take on a big series with Wild Card implications as they face the Brewers for three games at home. Milwaukee is currently 4.5 games back of Colorado and Arizona for a wild card spot, so this would be a good chance for the Rockies to lengthen their lead. It seems now that the threat for the second wild card spot will come from the central with St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Chicago being the main teams to watch. One of them will win the central, but if two get hot over the final month and a half of the season, the Rockies or Diamondbacks could be threatened.