Kershaw Chased, Rockies Fall Short


Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

In perhaps the most entertaining loss of the season the Colorado Rockies fell to the LA Dodgers by a final score of 10-8. The Pitching match-up alone was enough to write the game off: Chad Bettis (0-3) vs. Clayton Kershaw (13-8). Then we could talk about the fact that the Dodgers have only lost one series since June 14th, have won 80% of games in that span, and have gone from 9.5 games back to an 11.5 game lead in that time. Then again, between a combination of early season success and too much youth, the Rockies have yet to be intimidated and came into the game with a 7-6 season record against the Dodger Blue.

The game started as one might expect, seven batters would hit for the Dodgers in the opening half inning, but Bettis would escape with only one run crossing the plate. Then came the surprising stuff. In the Rockies’ half of the first three runs would score. Kershaw had allowed only four total 1st inning runs all year. The 1st inning set the tone for the game.

Bettis would leave after 4.2 innings and 105 pitches, giving up five runs. Kershaw would also give up five runs, a career high, and would complete his fifth inning of work before getting pulled. The All-Star Lefty was not hit hard, he was just hit, and gave up eleven hits in those five innings. Surprisingly enough the only Rockies pitcher to leave the game unscathed was Jeff Francis. Francis pitched two perfect innings of relief before being pinch hit for by Corey Dickerson, who drove in a run in an eighth inning rally that would bring the Rockies to within one run at the time.

Had it not been for the front end of the Dodgers bullpen Colorado could have completed the comeback. The Rockies were held scoreless in the 6th and 7th innings, but managed to score on the Los Angles setup man and closer. That included a Wilin Rosario ninth inning home run off of closer Kenley Jansen, who has struck out 100 batters in just 68.2 innings while walking just 13. That would be that last run scored by Colorado once Jansen caught his breath.

It was a mix of the usual suspects for the Dodgers and the usual bad luck for the Rockies. Outfielder Andre Ethier drove in three runs to bring his career total against the Rockies to a nice round 60. As for that lack of luck, Kershaw also drove in two runs to make up for his uncharacteristic performance.

Offensively Rosario is the only Rockies player to have driven more than one run, and that was for a whopping grand total of two RBIs. However that means Colorado had tremendous team hitting against one of the leagues best pitching teams. Five other Rockies drove in a run and each starting position player collected at least two hits, the one exception was Charlie Culberson, who still collected one hit. Although it was not the pitcher, the nine-hole did collect two hits. Those were thanks to a Jonathan Herrera pinch hit as well as Dickerson’s pinch hit RBI double.

The game was still a loss, and a loss to the team I wish had stayed in Brooklyn. As for a long-term positive take away from the game: Tyler Chatwood pinch ran in the eight inning, after being pulled from yesterday’s start with a bruised right thumb, perhaps indicating he will be back in his normal spot in the rotation without missing any time.

Game two of the three game series continues at Coors Field Tuesday with Jhoulys Chacin (13-7) vs Ricky Nolasco (11-9) on the mound.