AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
Having your starter go out and get ten strikeouts, while allowing only two runs over seven innings, is often a recipe for success. Then having a hitter hit two two-run home runs is a great way to back your starters excellent outing. Between Jon Gray and Cargo, the Rockies found themselves a game closer to the Dbacks and streaking at exactly the right time.
In the second inning with nobody on and nobody out, JD Martinez kept up his stellar run with the Dbacks. He destroyed a solo shot to deep center field to get the Dbacks up early, but the lead would quickly turn to a deficit as the Rockies best hitter in September continued to heat up.
With one on, Cargo demolished a ball to the pool in right-center for a two-run homer, only his 11th of the year. The homer was just a sign of things to come as Cargo did the same thing four innings later in the seventh. With one on again, Torey Lovullo opted to face Cargo with a righty and for the second straight game, it appeared he made the wrong decision. Just as Arenado hit the game winning home run on Monday, Cargo hit the game winning home run on Tuesday due to questionable managing by the Dbacks skipper.
Obviously no Rockies fans are complaining as they took home the win, but Dbacks fans have to be questioning the managing in what are huge games with playoff implications. The Rockies on the other hand, had excellent bullpen management in a game where the couldn’t use their closer.
After Gray got through seven, the improving Scott Oberg worked a flawless eighth inning and worked a couple batters into the ninth. He allowed a double to JD Martinez on a ball that nearly got out, but then retired AJ Pollock without allowing the runner to advance. Chris Rusin came on to face the next two batters and continued to show why he is one of the best and most underrated bullpen arms in baseball. Rusin got two easy outs to earn his second career save and finish the game off for Colorado.
What is really amazing about Rusin is how he gets batters out. He is crafty unlike most pitchers that are in the game today. He doesn’t have a high 90s fastball or a slider that breaks a foot and a half, but he knows how to pitch and has excellent control. He pitches out of the bullpen like a prime Mark Buehrle and does so as a fourth round draft pick that was never pegged as a prime bullpen arm.
The Rockies send German Marquez out to the mound for what is essentially a try out for the wild card game that, if things remain steady, will be played against the Dbacks at Arizona. Gray showed what he can do so now it is time for Marquez to show off.