This game was going according to plan. Madison Bumgarner and the Giants defense quieted the red hot Rockies lineup, holding them to three runs. In fact, it marked a milestone for Bumgarner who set the Giants team record for most consecutive road starts holding opponents to three runs or less (18), when he walked off the mound in the 6th.
The Rockies sprayed nine hits across eight innings but couldn’t get more than three men home, leaving 21 on base (Team LOB 10). It was a taut, well played game of strategy between very competitive teams. The teams traded HBP’s and when Bumgarner was plunked in the 7th he jawed at the Rockies’ dugout all the way down the line as he took his base. They gave it right back. This could be going all the way down to 162.
The tense affair remained a 3-3 tie until the top of the ninth, when Brandon Hicks hit a one-out single, and former Rockie Tyler Colvin drove him in with his second double of the night.
Sergio Romo entered with a one run lead but was immediately in trouble, issuing a walk to Justin Morneau and a sac fly to Michael Cuddyer that advanced him to scoring position. Troy Tulowitzki grounded to force out Morneau, but was safe at first because Brandon Crawford had no play. That might have been a game ending double play if Brandon Hicks’ throw had been tighter. Crawford had no play because the relay was just a bit off.
Romo then gave up a single to Carlos Gonzalez, who hit it straight up the middle and just over the outreached glove of Crawford. When Nolan Arenado stepped up to the plate with two out and two on, he was was 0-4 career against Sergio Romo. Sometimes a guy is just due.
It was an ill fated two-out, two-strike, hanging slider that ended up the game winning walkoff double for Arenado. Rockies win 5-4. Other than that pitch, though Romo wasn’t bad. The hits were tight. The double play was doable. He could have had them. Tough loss. Tough for Romo and for the Giants. Emotions were running high. This isn’t going to be easy.
The Rockies use their home field advantage to stack the deck in their favor offensively. If the Giants want to avoid a sweep and giving up the division lead, they will need to play even more crisp defense and be ready to respond to the inevitable onslaught of runs.
That’s why this one hurts: it was within reach. Everything was going according to plan. And just one pitch … just one relay throw … just one play … made the difference. Game two promises to be equally competitive as Matt Cain (1-3, 3.92ERA) faces Jhoulys Chacin (0-2, 4.76).