Two of the glaring deficiencies of the 2018 Rockies were on display last night in Los Angeles.
Pictured behind the title of the article is Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis. Pictured above is Bryan Shaw. Bettis managed four hitless innings before bowing to Shaw in the sixth. If you’ll do the math, that leaves an inning unaccounted.
The first inning has been the Colorado Rockies achilles in the early stages of the season and last night was little different.
After a strikeout of Dodger first-baseman Max Muncy, Bettis got down 2-0 on Justin Turner. Turner drove the next pitch to the wall and ended up on second with a ground-rule double. After a Grandal ground out to first that did not move the runner, Matt Kemp singled, Cody Bellinger doubled and the Rockies were in their familiar first-inning hole, 2-0.
The Rockies got on the board with a second inning blast from Ian Desmond. The shot brought the Rox within one and moved Desmond’s disappointing 2018 batting average to (.180).
The Rockies climb back from the first-inning deficit culminated in Ian Desmond’s second RBI of the night. This time a single, that scored Trevor Story (walk, stolen base). The Rockies took a 3-2 lead to the bottom of the sixth and turned to Bryan Shaw to keep the momentum Bettis had built after his disastrous first.
A Kemp single, a missed double-play opportunity and then back-to-back home runs by Yasiel Puig and Chris Taylor and the Rockies claw back into the lead was short-lived. The Dodgers exited the sixth with a 5-3 lead that would be the final.
The Rox once again could not navigate the first inning without digging a hole. With Kyle Freeman mounting the bump, it is imperative that Colorado and Freeman get out to a strong start.
The Dodgers are now winners of six of their last seven games and sit 4.5 games back of the division-leading Rockies.