Colorado Rockies Morning After: Jon Gray vs. Clayton Kershaw Recap
By JD Jensen
The Colorado Rockies pulled off a huge win against the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday by a final score of 4-2. The Rockies now are 5-1 on the season, while the Dodgers fall to 3-3. That’s right. The Rockies won a game featuring a future ace and an all-time great. Here’s how it happened:
Once again, Nolan Arenado has been a deciding factor in last nights’ game.
Nolan was, once again, being Nolan. The superstar third basemen got the Rockies off to a 1-0 start in the first inning from a solo home run to deep center field. That seemed to really throw off the rest of Kershaw’s game. For one, it is a true testament to the greatness of Kershaw on how he was struggling, but still put in a really good performance. However, Arenado gave the Rockies a major momentum swing early to start off the game. He was also on base when Mark Reynolds launched a home run into the seats in left center. The effect Arenado had on the game was huge, offensively and defensively.
Home runs as a whole played a huge part in this ball game. In fact, every run scored was due to a home run. Besides the bombs from Arenado and Reynolds, Gerardo Parra also hit a solo home run late in the game to cushion the Rockies’ advantage. The Blake Street Bombers have always been reliant on the mile high air to win games. Tonight, even against one of the best in the game, was no different.
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Jon Gray outpitched Clayton Kershaw.
Jon Gray has suddenly become a future ace in the minds of baseball analysts everywhere. Last night, those people have gained evidence in their argument. Gray threw 5.1 innings with one earned run and only four total hits allowed. That’s much better than Kershaw’s four earned runs on eight hits in only 6 innings.
To be more specific, Gray had excellent command of his fastball. He did a particularly good job at keeping the ball low and forcing a lot of ground balls. That is especially important to do in Coors Field. Planning in the near future, Gray’s ability to keep the ball in the lower half of the zone can make him a really effective pitcher even when pitching at home.
Gray was pitching to contact tonight, and the defense stepped up. With well planned defensive schemes and shifts, Gray was able to have an effective outing while only recording one strikeout. Many expected Kershaw would win the pitching duel, and the Rockies would have to come back from behind to win the ball game. However, Gray has done excellent keeping the Rockies in the lead and giving them the advantage late in the game.
To be completely transparent, this performance was not expected by me or almost any other baseball analyst.
Gerardo Parra made a potential game-saving catch in the 4th inning.
Sure, it was only the fourth inning … but Parra made a spectacular catch that could have altered the entire game. With two outs and runners on first and second, Parra made an amazing catch, going in on a line drive and laying out to end the inning.
You could tell Parra had a moment where he had to decide what to do. If he doesn’t lay out, the runner on second will probably make it home to tie up the game at 1-1. Diving became the more likable possibility.
Then, the game changes in that fraction of a second. If he makes the catch, Gray gets out of the inning unharmed. If he missed it, the ball goes to the fence, scoring two and possibly having another runner on third. Then Los Angeles has the lead.
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In other words, that catch meant two runs, the exact number of runs the Rockies ended up winning by. In conclusion, this catch really did save the day. Add that to a great day at the plate, which included a home run, and Parra now looks like one of the most important players in last night’s game.