Bullpen Dooms Colorado Rockies Again in 6-4 Loss

Aug 23, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (8) scores a run behind Colorado Rockies catcher Nick Hundley (4) during the seventh inning at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 23, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (8) scores a run behind Colorado Rockies catcher Nick Hundley (4) during the seventh inning at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Rockies continued their series in Milwaukee taking on the Brewers Tuesday night.

After losing Monday by a score of 4-2, the Rockies turned to Jon Gray for a win. The Brewers started Chase Anderson, who the Rockies are familiar with from his time with the Diamondbacks. He was traded to the Brewers as part of the deal that brought Jean Segura to the Snakes during the last offseason.

The offense and Gray did their part but the bullpen let the Rockies down once again leading to their second consecutive loss. Here’s how it happened:

The Injury Bug

It was a good news, bad news situation when the Rockies revealed the starting lineup for today’s game. Charlie Blackmon was in the lineup for the first time since last Wednesday as he has been battling a big toe contusion. The bad news was DJ LeMahieu, his partner at the top of the lineup, the bench as he is suffering from wrist inflammation.

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Nolan Arenado Stays Hot

Coming into the game, Nolan had six hits in his last eight at-bats, including two home runs and six RBI. He also had three homers against Chase Anderson last year alone. Therefore, what he did today can hardly be seen as a surprise.

Nolan gave the Rockies a 3-2 lead when he crushed a homer to deep left field with Blackmon and David Dahl on base. He added a rope to left, and a blooper to center to give him three hits on the day. Nolan now has three homers in Colorado’s past three games. His 33 homers were good enough for the lead league for about a hour and a half before Kris Bryant tied him with a bomb against the Padres.

Nolan’s 107 RBI are enough to give him sole possession of the league lead in that category.

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Gray Wolf

Jon Gray has been struggling coming into Tuesday’s game failing to pitch through 5 innings in his past four starts. He hasn’t been able to put batters away secondary to a lackluster slider and an inability to miss bats.

There was cause for concern early in the game for Gray. The Brewers were able to score twice in the second inning using a leadoff walk, a single and a Martin Maldonado double off the center field wall to score the games first run. Gray’s wild pitch to his counterpart Anderson allowed Kirk Nieuwenhuis to rush in for the Brewers second run. With the two runs today, Gray has given up 34 runs in the first two innings of the game. That’s a high percentage of his 72 runs allowed so far this year.

However, he returned to the Jon Gray we have grown accustomed to this season, cruising through the next four innings. Gray at one point struck out five Brewers in succession in the midst of 10 straight outs. The Brewers loaded the bases with one out in the sixth but Gray retired the next two with no damage. He left the game with a 4-2 lead.

Gray reached 10 strikeouts for the fourth time this season. He also passed Jhoulys Chacin‘s mark for most strikeouts by a Rockies rookie and now sits at 142 with over a month left in the season.

Gray’s final line gives him his 14th quality start of the year. He threw six innings, allowing only two runs, four hits and three walks while striking out 10. Gray added his second RBI double in as many games to cap off a strong all around performance.

Disaster in the 7th

The Rockies turned to the bullpen with a two-run lead after Gray’s stellar start.

Jake McGee started the inning but was only able to get one out as Walt Weiss removed him after giving up a double to Orlando Arcia. Boone Logan came in and was unable to get Jonathan Villar out, who also doubled scoring Arcia. Logan got the next guy with a strikeout and was asked to intentionally walk Ryan Braun putting two runners on. Carlos Estevez was then brought in to face Hernan Perez. In a two-strike count, Perez was able to stroke a line drive into the right field corner, scoring both Brewers for a 5-4 lead.

Another ugly outing by the Rockies bullpen ruined Gray’s performance and cost the Rockies a win. Matt Carasiti continued his big league struggles, allowing the Brewers to tack on their final run.

Next: David Dahl Continues to Show Versatility

The Rockies and Brewers wrap up their series tomorrow afternoon with Tyler Anderson facing off against Zach Davies at 12:10 MDT.