Facing the possibility of a three-game sweep, the Colorado Rockies broke a four-game losing streak as Jon Gray pitched the squad to a much-needed 10-2 win against the rival San Diego Padres in the series finale at Petco Park.
Sunday night in San Diego, the Colorado Rockies finally put together a complete game to end their latest losing streak … and possibly some frustrations in the clubhouse. Starting pitching as of late has been inconsistent to say the least, and Rockies rookie Jon Gray has been a microcosm of that. Rockies fans never know what they are going to get with Colorado starting pitching … Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. In any game, it’s up to the starting pitcher to set the tone, and set the tone Mr. Gray did on Sunday.
Heading into the bottom of the first and sporting a two-run lead thanks to a Carlos Gonzalez bomb, Gray started off the home half of the game by striking out Jon Jay. Gray then faced Wil Myers, who absolutely scorched Colorado on Saturday night, and struck him out. Power hitter and Colorado nemesis Matt Kemp then took a shot at Gray, only to be sat down on strikes. You noticing a trend? And then, because Jon Gray is awesome at baseball, he went on to strike out the first two batters of the second inning just for fun.
Obviously equipped with absolutely filthy stuff, Gray even did a little growing up right before our eyes. With no outs and a man on first in the fourth, Myers drove in the runner with a deep double. Sporting only a 3-1 lead at the time, Gray battled through the heart of San Diego’s lineup to limit the damage. Myers would had a home run off of Gray in the sixth, just because he has a point to prove or something I guess. Needless to say, Myers was the only one could touch Gray tonight.
Gray’s final line: seven innings pitched, five hits, two earned runs, and a career-high 12 strikeouts with only one walk. Gray became only the eighth Rockies pitcher to ever punch out 12+ batters in a single game. And just on a fun note, Gray singled and then showed off his base running skills by wheeling from first to score on a double by Trevor Story.
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Accord to the Elias Sports Bureau, Gray is the second Rockies pitcher ever to strike out the first five+ opposing batters of a game. The first to do so was Bruce Ruffin on June 13, 1993 against the Houston Astros. Rockies bullpen coach Darren Holmes, Rockies first base coach Eric Young, Rockies special assistant Vinny Castilla, Padres broadcaster Mark Grant, and Padres analyst Steve Finley all played in that game with Ruffin.
Gray is the first pitcher in the majors this season to strike out the first five+ opposing batters of a game.
Offensively, CarGo and Nolan Arenado mashed homers, and leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon extended his 31-game on-base streak by slapping another two hits. CarGo actually collected two two-run home runs on the night and collected five RBIs.
Anytime your leadoff hitter has an on-base streak, and the middle of your order is racking, you stand to have a great night offensively. Only Robinson Cano has a longer on-base streak than Chuck Nasty this year.
In a very sloppy seventh inning for San Diego, Arenado would steal his first base of the year (a rare sighting indeed) and scored on an outfield error.
Leaving San Diego on a high note, Colorado will head north to take on the Dodgers on Monday night.