Tyler Chatwood‘s struggles with pitching at Coors Field continued tonight, but the Colorado Rockies‘ offense battled back against the Padres.
It was a bizarre beginning for Chatwood and the gang. Travis Jankowski hit a double on the first pitch of the game and Jon Jay followed that up with a comebacker to the mound. Jankowski was caught with too big a lead off second and found himself in a rundown. Nolan Arenado tagged him and then turned his attention to Jay, who took second in the confusion. Jankowski apparently didn’t think he had been tagged, so he took off for third. It was chaos for a moment, but eventually Jankowski was ruled out and Jay safe. The next batter, Wil Myers, hit the ball into the Padres’ bullpen, so getting that out mattered.
Luckily, the Rockies’ offense woke up in the second inning, partly thanks to Chatwood.
At first it looked like Christian Friedrich, who completely stifled the Rockies last week, might shut things down again. However, after a lot of ugly swings and misses up and down the lineup, Stephen Cardullo finally hit a two-out double. Cristhian Adames walked, and then Chatwood laced an RBI single to left. Charlie Blackmon walked to load the bases, and DJ LeMahieu worked a terrific at-bat that ended with a bases-clearing double and a two-run lead for the good guys.
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From there, Friedrich pitched three clean innings and Chatwood only one. He faced one batter in the seventh, Luis Sardinas, to whom he surrendered a solo home run before Walt Weiss called for Chris Rusin.
It was an inauspicious outing for Chatwood: 5 IP, 7 R, 8 H, 2 BB, 7 K, 97 pitches. He continues to be so-so at home and bafflingly good on the road.
The bullpen did their part after that, which is rare enough these days. However, it feels like they always do whenever the starter has a great outing. We can never fire on all cylinders. In the meantime, the offense tried, tacking on one more run when CarGo grounded out with Blackmon on third. It almost wasn’t enough.
The ninth took a while to come around thanks to a visit from Mother Nature in the form of lightning, hail, and brief heavy rain. Boone Logan shut down the Padres in the top of the inning, and then the Rockies came to bat in the bottom.
LeMahieu continued his stellar night in a stellar season with a double, and CarGo singled him home with two outs. Nick Hundley and Daniel Descalso each took a great at-bat, fouling pitches off and waiting for just the right one. Both were rewarded with RBI singles that tied and then won the game.
It’s tough to get too excited about a win like this when the Rockies just got brutally swept by the Diamondbacks. However, a walk-off is a walk-off no matter how you look at it. These days, we’re back to taking it one game at a time and enjoying each win.