Rockies’ season ends with 6-1 loss to Dodgers and 68-94 record

The Rockies’ season ended as it started. With a loss to the Dodgers.

On April 8, the Rockies opened the season with a 3-2 loss to Big Blue at Coors Field. Wednesday afternoon, Los Angeles blasted three home runs en route to a 6-1 victory at Dodger Stadium to give the legendary franchise a 111-win season.

The Rockies stumbled to 68-94, tied with the 2004 and ’15 teams for the fifth-worst record in franchise history.

The Rockies played a lot of young players in September and October and manager Bud Black believes it will help the club next year.

“The message that I sent, and the coaches sent, to a lot of these players once they came here was, ‘You get here, but it’s hard to stay and produce,’ ” Black told reporters in Los Angeles. “But it was invaluable experience for these guys.”

Fittingly, many of the things that plagued the Rockies this season, especially on the road, were on display Wednesday. Colorado managed just two hits and struck out 17 times.

But at least one hit was memorable.

Rookie shortstop Ezequiel Tovar hit the first home run of his career; a two-out, 405-foot, solo shot off lefty Clayton Kershaw’s 2-2 fastball in the second inning to give the Rockies a short-lived lead.

“Tovar checked another box,” Black said. “For Tovar to get his first major league home run off a (future) Hall of Fame pitcher, outstanding. He’s going to head into the offseason with a great frame of mind and with a lot of confidence.

“He’s poised and he’s confident, at 21 years old. There is an intensity to his game that I like — under control. That stands out, for me.”

Kershaw, the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner, dominated Colorado in his final tuneup for the postseason. Kershaw pitched five innings, striking out nine and walking just one, and finished with a 2.28 ERA. The only hit he allowed was the homer by Tovar.

The Rockies had a chance to make some noise in the ninth, loading the bases with one out, but lefty Caleb Ferguson struck out rookies Elehuris Montero and Michael Toglia to end the Rockies’ season.

Failure to launch in the ninth clinched an unwanted milestone. For the first time in its 30-year history, Colorado did not hit a grand slam.

Toglia, viewed as Colorado’s first baseman of the future, fanned four times Wednesday and finished his inaugural season hitting .216 with a 36.7% strikeout rate. Montero, after a hot start to his big league career, hit .233, striking out at a 32.4% clip.

“The difference between a major league pitcher and a minor league pitcher is for real, and these young hitters are experiencing that,” Black said. “But as an organization and a group of players, we will be better off for it.

“I know going into this winter, with the things we have in line for players and development, they are ready for this. We’re ready for a good offseason because good offseasons make good regular seasons. We’re ready to get to work.”

Rockies left-hander Austin Gomber, who split his season between being a starter and a long reliever, and is penciled into the rotation for 2023, opened the game and pitched three strong innings. He surrendered one run on three hits, the big blow a two-out solo homer by Freddie Freeman in the third.

The game-clinching homer was Trea Turner’s three-run shot off right-hander Chad Smith in the fifth to give L.A. a 4-1 lead.

The Dodgers added two runs in the seventh off right-hander Noah Davis, who made his major league debut. Cody Bellinger ripped the second pitch of Davis’ career for a solo homer and Freeman hit an RBI single off Davis for Freeman’s 100th RBI of the season.

 

ROCKIE ROAD

Some signposts from the Rockies’ 2022 season:
• Overall record: 68-94, tied for fifth-worst in franchise history.
• Road record: 27-54, tied for fourth-worst in franchise history
• Road homers: 51, the fewest in the majors and the second-fewest in a full season in franchise history behind the 2000 Rockies (49).
• Home run leader: C.J. Cron, 29
• RBI leader: Cron, 102
• Batting average leader: Brendan Rodgers, .266 #
• OPS leader: Cron, .783
• Stolen base leader: Garrett Hampson, 12
• Lowest ERA, starter: Kyle Freeland, 4.53
• Lowest ERA, reliever: Daniel Bard,  1.79
• Save leader: Bard, 34*
• Strikeout leader: German Marquez, 150

# Yonathan Daza hit .301 and Jose Iglesias hit .292, but to qualify, a player must have 3.1 plate appearances per team game played.
* Bard’s 91.9 save percentage (34 saves in 37 opportunities) was the highest in the majors.
— Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post

 

 

 

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