Taylor Clarke made history and no one even noticed. By getting a win, loss and save in his first 3 MLB appearances, Clarke became just the 2nd pitcher in MLB history to accomplish that feat. With history out of the way and Clarke now assuming a role in the starting rotation, he now needed to show he has what it takes to stick at the MLB level.
Coors Field has other ideas of course, and Clarke felt the wrath of high elevation right from the get-go as Raimel Tapia doubled to right. Story struck out, but Dahl walked and Arenado was HBP to load the bases for Daniel Murphy who made them pay with a 2-run single. Another walk loaded them again and Wolters hit a sac fly for the 3rd run of the inning. Clarke finally got out of it, but needed 37 pitches to do so.
The 2nd wasn’t much better. Despite getting 2 quick outs to lead off the inning, Story tripled on a meatball fastball and David Dahl followed it up with a opposite-field missile to left. That unfortunately was enough for Taylor Clarke, who only went 2 IP, giving up 5 runs on 4 hits.
Despite the early runs from the Rockies, the D-backs kept right along with them, trailing by only 1 run after Clarke left thanks to an Adam Jones double scoring Escobar and a Christian Walker home run. The next inning saw Taylor Clarke hit his first professional homer, a line drive to left that easily cleared the wall.
The 3rd saw more action from the D-backs offense, this time finally taking advantage of a runner on third. After Locastro tripled to start the inning, Escobar immediately followed with an RBI single tying the game at that point 5-5.
But again, the lead was short lived. With T.J. McFarland now in the game, Murphy singled to lead off the bottom of the inning and Ryan McMahon blasted a ball to right field that I don’t think has landed yet. 7-5 Rockies.
Both managers would lean heavily on their bullpens from that point, with both starters getting pulled early from the game. Both bullpens did their job for a while there, with the only action being a single run in the 5th after Wolters singled immediately following a double from McMahon. 8-5 Rockies.
All good things must come to an end, and the D-backs made a big dent in the 8th. Locastro walked to lead off and Escobar followed with a homer to left, minimizing the lead to 8-7. Adam Jones singled to center and Christian Walker followed with one of his own. Unfortunately for Colorado, rookie CFer Yonathan Daza let the ball go under his glove, allowing Jones to score and putting Walker on 3rd. It really wasn’t a difficult play, just a sharp grounder. Vargas couldn’t get the run home on his fly ball, but Nick Ahmed did with a double just fair down the left field line, giving the D-backs the lead after trailing for what seemed like a long long time. Carson Kelly singled for the 3rd time, scoring Ahmed from second and giving the D-backs a 10-8 lead.
That lead wouldn’t hold because of course it wouldn’t. Ian Desmond smashed an opposite field homer off Yoan Lopez. He rebounded, grabbing two quick outs before allowing three straight singles to Story, Dahl, and Arenado to tie the game at 10. Andrew Chafin came on in relief and walked the bases loaded, but retired McMahon to leave them stranded.
The 9th was quiet for both teams, as each went down in order. The D-backs did a little better in their half of the 10th, with Ahmed walking but that went for naught after a strikeout and flyout. The Rockies started the same, with a Tapia strike out but Story doubled to left with 1 out and after a grounder moved him to 3rd. After Arenado was intentionally walked, Daniel Murphy lined a single to left to bring home the winning run, 11-10 Rockies.
☆☆☆ - CHRISTIAN WALKER (2 for 5, 1HR, 3RBI) +.321 WPA
☆☆ - Andrew Chafin (1.1IP, 3Ks) +.277 WPA
☆ - Nick Ahmed (2 for 4, 12b, 1bb, 1rbi) +.185 WPA
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A very disappointing day obviously, but the season continues as the Mets come to Chase Field for a quick 6-game home stand. The team is 1 game under .500, let’s see if they respond. First pitch is at 6:40pm. Be there!