Colorado Rockies: 4 Takeaways From the Final Game in LA

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Rockies will be happy to leave LA after getting swept in the worst offensive series of the year. Sunday’s 4-1 loss was more of the same as the offense struggled once again. Here are some takeaways from today’s game, and not all of them are bad after a really rough series.

Jon Gray is on the cusp of being the ace we need

Sunday looked like it could be a disaster for Gray with a terrible second inning. It started with a leadoff home run by Trayce Thompson to center field. From there Gray, appeared to loose all command hitting Howie Kendrick and walking the next three batters, including a bases-loaded walk to Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy forcing in a run. This was the low point, but Gray stopped the damage getting a pop up, strike out and help from Brandon Barnes who threw Yasmani Grandal out at home for the third out.

After allowing these three runs in the second inning, Gray settled in nicely. He was effective and efficient for the next four innings, allowing three hits and giving up no walks. His final line was 6.0 innings, 6 hits, 3 ER,  3 BB’s and 4 K’s. Clearly not Jon’s best game as a big inning once again doomed him.

It was encouraging that he was able to battle through some command issues and found something that worked for him as he racked up his ninth quality start of the year. Gray once again showed the ability to keep the team in the game without his best stuff, a true sign of maturity. He’s always had ace type stuff and it is encouraging to see him growing on the mental side of things as well.

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The offense continued to struggle

After managing only one run the first two games, the offense was anemic again Sunday, managing only four hits with the one run being a solo home run from Daniel Descalso in the seventh.

Brandon McCarthy started for the Dodgers and was brilliant in his return from the DL, pitching 5 innings and striking out 8. The Colorado Rockies struck out 15 times in all, bringing the series total to 41, more than half of the outs in the series.

Walt Weiss said it best after the game with, “Bad series offensively, we just didn’t perform.” Not necessarily what you are looking for especially with the Rockies avoiding Clayton Kershaw after he was placed on the DL.

Nolan Arenado is still good at baseball

Arenado had a rough day at the plate, going 0-4 with one strikeout but still made a difference. Nolan made a highlight play in the fourth inning with Yasiel Puig on second base. When Yasmani Grandal hit a high pop up down to third, Nolan roamed under it and started acting as if he was struggling with the sun. Puig saw this and got a little too far off second and Nolan calmly caught the ball and rifled a throw to second to fool him into a double play. Admittedly, very poor baserunning by Puig but it is just another example of #28 making being a Rockies fan a lot of fun.

Trevor Story could be ready to go

After getting hit with a pitch last Sunday and aggravating the injury on Tuesday against the Blue Jays, Story has missed the past 4 games. Walt Weiss subbed Story into the game in the 7th inning with a double switch and he was comfortable batting in the 8th. His at bat ended in a strikeout but still a very encouraging sign for the Rockies and an offense that desperately needs a spark.

Next: 5 Things You Didn't Know About the Rockies in June

The Rockies are limping into the All-Star break, now 7 games under .500. They are at it again tomorrow at 2:10 p.m. (MT) in San Francisco on national television (!) with Tyler Anderson set to take on Jake Peavy.