Colorado Rockies morning after: Jon Gray dazzles but bullpen issues continue
MILWAUKEE- Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray (aka Gray Wolf) returned from the 10-day injured list on Friday to start against the Milwaukee Brewers and, as Rockies Twitter likes, he was “howling.”
Gray, who was on a soft pitch count of an undisclosed amount, had 83 pitches in five innings of work. In those five innings, he struck out ten batters, which is his season-high. With those ten strikeouts, he also passed former Rockies starters Jeff Francis and Pedro Astacio on the Rockies all-time strikeout list.
He ended the day at 752 career strikeouts. Here is the list of the top six pitchers by strikeouts as a Rockie.
- Jorge De La Rosa, 985
- Ubaldo Jimenez, 773
- Jon Gray, 752
- Pedro Astacio, 749
- Jeff Francis, 742
- Germán Márquez, 729
More from Rox Pile
- A Colorado Rockies Thanksgiving
- Colorado Rockies: What if Todd Helton had played football instead?
- Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the season
- Colorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers series
- Colorado Rockies: Has Sean Bouchard earned a second look in 2023?
Gray’s fastball also topped out at 97.4 MPH, which is more than three miles per hour faster than his average on the year. His average fastball was still higher than his average on the season too (96.0 MPH).
While Gray wasn’t as efficient as manager Bud Black would have liked, Black praised what he saw from Gray on Friday as he said that Gray was “outstanding.” Black also said that Gray’s fastball was good and his slider was “outstanding” as well.
Gray also was confident and said he felt great as well.
“I felt very confident, very calm out there,” Gray said. “Not once did I think about my elbow today. I felt really good. I’m thankful for that.”
The Rockies problem to start the game, though, was that the offense hadn’t supported him at all.
The Rockies didn’t have a hit through 5 1/3 innings but Raimel Tapia got the team’s first hit in the 6th. He stole second base and Yonathan Daza singled him home. In the 7th innings, catcher Elias Diaz singled home Brendan Rodgers and pinch-hitter Josh Fuentes had his first pinch-hit home run of his career to make it 4-0 Rockies at the time.
Then the Rockies other continue reared its ugly head: their bullpen
Relievers Tyler Kinley and Carlos Estévez made it interesting as each allowed solo homers in the seventh and eighth inning. Daniel Bard blew the save in the ninth inning after allowing a walk to lead off the inning. Willy Adames, who has been phenomenal for the Brewers since they traded for him earlier this season, hit a two-run homer to tie it.
Bard also hit pinch-hitter Tyrone Taylor later in the inning before he got out of it.
The Brewers bullpen faltered early but the road Rockies and their offense returned in the latter frames as the Rockies final hit was by Yonathan Daza in the 7th inning. All seven of the Rockies hits and all four of their runs were in the 6th and 7th innings.
The Rockies will face the Brewers on Saturday with another 2 PM M.T. start time as Antonio Senzatela will face right-handed starter Adrian Houser.