There really is no sugar-coating this. The Arizona offense is performing miserably these days. A key member of the lineup, Eduardo Escobar, is firmly riding the interstate right now. When Nick Ahmed is having only a so-so season at the plate (though it is improving), he should not be sporting a batting average 37 points higher than the defensively average third baseman. The alternative, Jake Lamb, is getting on base a skosh more, but not in any meaningful sense given the size of playing time. For those wondering, Escobar currently is rocking a 55 OPS+. Jake Lamb is clocking in at 61 OPS+. Starling Marte, who has been having struggles of his own, somehow went 3-for-4 on this game. The only other hit Arizona managed to get in this game came off the bat of Kole Calhoun’s replacement, Josh Rojas. A single and a stolen base by Starling Marte in the top of the first put him at second base with no one out. That’s the closest Arizona came to scoring in the entire game.
Credit where credit is due, German Marquez threw a great game. In seven innings of work, he walked two, allowed two hits, and struck out five. He was efficient. He induced plenty of weak contact. Still, the Diamondbacks made him look like a true ace pitcher, something Marquez will never be.
The pitching from Arizona was better than the boxscore shows, at least for the most part. Through five innings of work, Mike Leake managed to keep his team in the game. A walk followed by a double allowed one run to score in the third. A single followed by a single and a double allowed another run to score in the fifth. That was the extent of the damage though. All things considered, one would generally take two runs through five innings out of the starter on any given day. Alas, Leake’s day did not end after only five innings. Since Leake was still looking decent, Virtual Lovullo sent him out to pitch the sixth inning. Three batters later, the Rockies had tagged Leake for three doubles. Leake then looked like he was going to avoid a massive inning by getting two quick flyball outs. Then he issued a single to the pitcher, Marquez and another to the next hitter, Trevor Story. That was finally enough for Virtual Lovullo to make the call to the bullpen. In came Merrill Kelly to finish off the inning.
That sixth inning put the game out of reach for Arizona. No longer would a bloop and a blast make things even again. But, just to make sure Arizona was dead, Daniel Murphy took Kelly deep in the seventh inning to tack on one more run.
Final Score: COL 6 - AZ 0
The player of the game was German Marquez. Through seven innings of work, he allowed only four base runners and it took a stolen base for any of them to reach second.
The same two teams are at it again tomorrow. Arizona has reason to be bullish. Robbie Ray will be taking the mound. The Rockies will counter with Antonio Senzatela.