Rockies’ struggles continue with loss against Giants – The Denver Post

The 2020 Rockies are like those Hallmark Christmas romance movies.


Except that in the case of the Rockies, there is rarely a sweet, happy ending.

They followed a familiar script in a 7-2 loss to San Francisco Wednesday night at Oracle Park. Losers of eight of their last 11 games, the Rockies lacked timely hits — 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position — and the bullpen once again faltered in the big moment.

In this case, right-hander Yency Almonte left a 1-0 slider over the plate and Mauricio Dubón ripped it to left for a two-out, three-run homer to give the Giants a 5-2 lead in the fifth. It was just Dubón’s third home run of the season.

“I think (Almonte) and Daniel (Bard) have been bright spots out of the bullpen fairly
consistently all year, and Yency’s slider is an above-average pitch on a scouting scale,” manager Bud Black said. “The pitch to Dubón was a slider the just didn’t get to the outside part of the plate. It didn’t get away from the barrel. The kid dropped the (bat) head on it, got it up in the air. He squared it up.”

With five games remaining in the 60-game season, the Rockies are 24-31, cannot post a winning record and are looking at 2021. The Giants, who improved to 28-27, hold the seventh of the National League’s eight playoff spots.

Black, of course, has seen Wednesday’s plot play out too many times this season.

“They got the big, three-run homer in a close game,” he said. “We had a couple opportunities with guys on base and couldn’t cash in … Situational hitting tonight in a couple of instances was not good.

“It was sort of a microcosm of what’s happened in the shortened season, where our hitting with runners in scoring position has been down. On the pitching side, there’s been too many games where a big hit has come back to bite us late in the game.”

The Rockies’ average with runners in scoring position this season is .249, making it the second-worst in franchise history behind only the 2011 club’s average of .245.

Almonte came in for starter Ryan Castellani, who pitched OK but struggled in the fifth, giving up a leadoff double to Alex Dickerson, a sacrifice fly to Brandon Crawford and two walks.

The Giants piled on in the eighth against right-hander Tommy Doyle who was making his major league debut. Doyle, drafted in 2017 out of the University of Virginia, gave up two runs on four hits, including a triple by Joey Bart and a double by Dickerson.

Over his 4 2/3 innings, Castellani was charged with four runs on five hits with one strikeout. He walked five, and handing out free passes has been a problem for the rookie right-hander. He’s walked 26 this season vs. 25 strikeouts.

His biggest flaw has been lack of fastball command, plus, he admitted that he’s a bit worn down.

“This is the most I’ve consistently pitched in a while and I know my body is feeling it,” said Castellani, now 1-4 with a 5.82 ERA. “I just need it to get stronger. Just prepare for a real, full, long season. And just clean up some things mechanically to put my body in a better position to execute more consistently.

“I know the stuff is there. I have full confidence in myself. I just need to improve a little bit.”

Black knows what he wants to see from Castellani next season.

“We’ve had conversations with Ryan, about his challenge moving forward as a major league pitcher,” Black said. “That’s to command the fastball and get the ball-strike ratio much better.”

Colorado took a 1-0 lead in the third on Trevor Story’s RBI single up the middle off of Logan Webb, to score Raimel Tapia. Tapia reached on an infield single and advanced to second on Kevin Pillar’s grounder to third.

The Giants tied the game 1-1 in the fourth on Evan Longoria’s leadoff homer to center off Castellani.

But the Rockies came right back to take a 2-1 lead in the fifth, and Tapia, as has become the norm, was in the middle of the rally. Garrett Hampson led off with a single and scored from first when Tapia’s line drive sailed over the head of Dickerson in left field for an RBI double. Dickerson misplayed the ball, but Tapia hit it hard the opposite way.

The Rockies and Giants conclude their four-game series Thursday afternoon.