Some games are just meant to end up in the loss column. The San Francisco Giants dropped a heartbreaker Monday night night at Coors Field, as they took a 7-2 lead, floundered it away, tied matters up, and then ultimately lost in the bottom of the ninth on a walk-off single by Charlie Blackmon.
The Giants scored four in the first, three on a Hunter Pence home run, one in the fourth and two more in the fifth, as they took a 7-2 lead after five innings. Colorado came back in the sixth, scoring four runs, all charged to Tim Hudson, and took a 9-7 lead in the seventh, two runs coming on a Ben Paulsen home run. Not through yet, the Giants scored two in the ninth to tie it up, only to lose in the bottom of the ninth off of hard-times-at-Coors Field-Sergio Romo.
Though he had beaten the Rockies away from Denver on past occasions, Tim Hudson was 0-2, with a 7.09 ERA at Coors Field, prior to the game today. He was doing well through five, surrendering a pair of runs on two hits in the second, but things derailed quickly as he lead off the sixth by walking the leadoff batter, Corey Dickerson.
Two singles and an error by Joe Panik later, Hudson was out of the game and Javier Lopez was facing Rafael Ynoa. Ynoa singled in the third run of the inning and the next batter, Charlie Blackmon, grounded into a fielder’s choice, knocking in the fourth and final run of the inning. All of the runs were charged to Hudson.
In the seventh inning, with Jean Machi on the mound, Josh Rutledge singled in Corey Dickerson and then Paulsen hit the big fly, the Rockies taking a 9-7 lead. In the top of the ninth, Joe Panik led off with a bloop double down the left field line and both Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval followed with RBI-singles, tying up the game, 9-9, but in the end, it wasn’t enough.
Once again, Sergio Romo could not prevent the Rockies from scoring in the ninth. He gave up a single to McHenry, got two quick outs, and then surrendered an infield single to Ynoa, setting up Blackmon’s winning hit.
For the Giants Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford both had three hits, each hammering out two singles and a double, with Crawford contributing three RBI’s. Joe Panik and Pablo Sandoval had two hits apiece, each contributing to the uplifting ninth inning comeback. Hunter Pence managed only one hit but it was huge and came in the first inning and accounted for the first three runs of the game. By all rights, that should have been it.
For the Rockies Michael McHenry, Josh Rutledge and Rafael Ynoa each had three hits while four different Rockies had a pair of RBI’s each: Blackmon, Rutledge, DJ LeMahieu and Ben Paulsen.
Franklin Morales started for the Rockies and went four-and-a-third innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits, with four walks and three strikeouts. Yohan Flande (1.2 IP), Juan Nicasio (1 IP), Rex Brothers (.1 IP), Adam Ottavino (.2 IP) and Latroy Hawkins (W, 3-2, 1 IP, 3 H’s, 2 R’s) pitched the rest of the way, with Hawkins giving up the two runs in the ninth, but being credited with the win anyway, because the Rockies pulled it out.
Brandon Crawford stayed on his streak of superior defense with an excellent play in the second inning on a ball hit by Nolan Arenado. Racing to his left, Crawford speared the ball, and spinning to his left, completing a complete 360 in the process, he threw on to first base for the out. After making a pair of fine plays in the suspended game earlier in the day, it was good to see him have both an excellent day in the field as well as at the plate.
Hunter Strickland made his major league debut in the eighth for the Giants, giving up two singles but then getting out of the jam without being scored upon.
The Giants have been so hot I thought maybe they would pull it out, but sometimes a loss is as good as a win, especially if the Nationals hold onto their lead over the Dodgers. The way the Giants allowed the Rockies to overtake them was not good, but the way they responded by tying the game in the ninth was the sign of a championship team.
The Giants are getting that look.