Colorado Rockies: Takeaways after Opening Day loss in Arizona

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 29: Relief pitcher Chris Rusin #52 of the Colorado Rockies is removed by manager Bud Black #10 during the sixth inning of the opening day MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on March 29, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 29: Relief pitcher Chris Rusin #52 of the Colorado Rockies is removed by manager Bud Black #10 during the sixth inning of the opening day MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on March 29, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Rockies just went through the first game of the season. May I say it probably wasn’t how they wanted it go either but now, with the game over and finished, we can take a look at what happened. Now I won’t be analyzing what went wrong to a tee, but I will look at major factors that played a part.

Jon Gray has a dilemma

The Colorado Rockies decided to go with Jon Gray as their ace and the Opening Day starter. I’m not saying Gray isn’t a good pitcher, but I get very skeptical. The reasons being exactly what happened last night. It felt like the terrible nightmare that was the NL Wild Card game though, this time, Gray did last longer as he went 4 innings. He did, however, give up 6 hits and 3 runs (all earned) along with 3 walks. On the bright side, he did get 4 strikeouts. For someone that is the ace of the team, most would expect a longer more stable outing than we got last night from him.

I’m not sure if Gray just gets the jitters or if he was haunted by the thoughts of the Wild Card game. It appears that something alters his repertoire and the batters get past his wall. If the Rockies truly want to continue going all in on this young pitching core, Jon Gray has to be the one to set the stage for the rest of the rotation. I’ve actually gone over someone who I believe may be a better fit at the helm of the rotation. But, let’s not forget it’s the first game there’s still 161 left.

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Where were the bats?

So the Rockies scored two runs…and? DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado (no surprise there) both hit homers and that was it. This entire game gave me Wild Card game vibes despite in that game the Rockies did have more runs. Everyone was sad when Charlie Blackmon struck out in the very first at-bat of the new baseball season. Though it was Trevor Story I was truly disappointed in watching, he only got one hit and struck out three times. Altogether for the Rox, they struck out a total amount of 11 times and only put up 8 hits.

Where was the pitching?

I’ve already talked about Jon Gray, but the super bullpen was in serious action last night. Usually when the bullpen gets called in, the manager wants you to stop the bleeding. That did not happen last night. Chris Rusin put out the fire in the fifth when the bases were loaded with nobody out but it went downhill from there. Rusin was roughed up a bit and the Rockies brought in three more relievers to stop the Diamondbacks, but they just kept adding as they would eventually by a score of 8-2 win. The best outing had to be from Adam Ottavino who got three K’s and just one hit in his one inning outing.

Altogether, the Rockies bullpen wasn’t looking to hot. Combined, the bullpen gave up 6 hits, 5 runs (all earned), and 3 walks. The bright side is the 7 strikeouts that they recorded. The super bullpen was one of the most hyped up things that Rockies fans could look forward to. As of now I’d say it got hit by some kryptonite. Now we didn’t see every reliever (thank goodness), but as of now this super bullpen isn’t looking so super. It also should be noted that not one of the relievers acquired this offseason (Jake McGee, who was resigned, Bryan Shaw, or Wade Davis) made an appearance.

Injuries before we even get deep into the season

This has got to be one of the scariest things that could possibly happen on Opening Day. This almost seemed to happen with Gerardo Parra, who just came off a hand injury anyways. As he was fielding a fly ball, Parra only missed it by inches and took a serious dive to the ground. With Parra, he’s always going to want to get every ball that’s hit out in left and that’s what he tried to do. He did go down pretty hard, which was scary to see as he was bent over while Charlie Blackmon retrieved the ball. He was very slow to get up and, even though he got up, Parra still had his hands on his knees. He did stay in the game, but that was still a chilling sight to see.

Next: Gray's 2018 debut not good on Thursday

Final Thoughts

Where to begin? I can’t say I’m all that surprised about the outcome of the game. Of course, I want the Rockies to win. However, all the questions still going through my head leaves me with some doubt. Now, the game is in the past and the Colorado Rockies still have two more chances to win games in the series and start themselves off with a good record. Sadly, this just made me have the same emotions as the Wild Card game. Despite these things we were all excited to see the Rockies in action. Tonight, Tyler Anderson will be on the mound and hopefully he last at least 6 innings. We’ll just have to wait and see.