Merrill Kelly lined up for his second start of the year at the impossible to pitch in Coors Field. Coming into the game, Kelly struggled in his previous two appearances. He never pitched there in 2020, but in 2019, Kelly has an ERA of 7.71 across 11.2 IP, allowing three homers and 16 hits. He actually won one of the games, thanks to the offense giving him 8 runs of support, but with Ketel Marte out after his hamstring injury last game, we’d need to see the 2020 version of Kelly in order to get a win.
Things did not go well. The first five batters reached base, with all of them by singles except for a Trevor Story double, and after the dust settled, the D-backs were already losing 3-0 with zero outs. Kelly settled down from there, getting three outs to end the inning.
Story continued the damage in the 2nd inning, after allowing a single to the pitcher Jon Gray, Story lined a two-out triple to right, pushing the lead to 4-0.
He finally settled down after the 4 runs allowed, retiring 11 straight batters to get to the 6th inning, however a single from Josh Fuentes broke things open again for the Rockies. A fielder’s choice error from Escobar allowed the runner to reach base and Dom Nunez homered to right center, giving the home team a 7-0 lead. And with a limited bullpen and a low pitch count (81 pitches), Torey let him stick out there to finish the inning and his day. His final line, 6 IP, 9 hits, 7 runs (6 earned), and 1 strikeout. Not good, but at least he went 6 innings.
Jon Gray was absolutely fantastic during this 6 inning stretch. Or maybe the offense was just bad. At any rate, Gray was spinning a gem, allowing just 3 walks and striking out 6 to set-up a no-hitter going into the 7th inning. Peralta was having none of it.
On top of the leadoff triple, Pavin Smith singled to right, scoring Peralta. After a couple fly outs and a walk, Yency Almonte replaced Gray on the mound and pinch-hitter Josh Rojas grounded out to short to end the inning, giving us a 7-1 deficit.
The offense finished strong, with a Pavin double and Escobar homer in the 9th to put a little pressure on the Rockies’ bullpen. Stephen Vogt and Wyatt Mathisen walked with one out, but the former mental coach Daniel Bard came on and escaped the jam, getting a Rojas strike out and Locastro grounder to end the game at 7-3 and gave the Rockies the series win.
With the two-run homer in the 9th and two walks, Eduardo Escobar came away with the top WPA on the day (.044). On the other side, Merrill Kelly was dreadful with a -.210.
Sparse showing in the Gameday thread, but thanks to all 18 of you who did!
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Comment of the thread goes to Jim for the jinx on Kelly. Send your blame in the comments.
The D-backs return home for a three game series with the surprising Cincinnati Reds at 5-1, first pitch is at 6:40pm, stop on by!