Rockies bullpen collapses in loss to Arizona

The Rockies’ 2024 rotation picture looks murky, but left-hander Ty Blach is making his pitch to be a part of it.

The Denver native and Regis Jesuit graduate made another strong start Tuesday night, but the Rockies’ bullpen collapsed in the ninth inning, leading to Arizona’s 8-5 victory at Coors Field.

The Diamondbacks stung closer Justin Lawrence for five earned runs on five hits, including a two-run double by Ketel Marte. Colorado loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame but couldn’t score.

The Rockies appeared to take control with a three-run seventh inning, sparked by its young players at the bottom of the order. Nolan Jones (3-for-4) hit a one-out double to right and scored on Michael Toglia’s double to left to tie the game, 3-3. Rookie center fielder Brenton Doyle’s two-run homer produced the go-ahead run.

Blach certainly did his job, limiting Arizona to two runs over five innings, giving up six hits, striking out two and walking two.

“Ty knows what he needs to do,” manager Bud Black said. “He’s under control, he’s poised, he fields his position. He doesn’t beat himself.”

Blach made one big mistake, serving up a two-run homer to Christian Walker in the third. But then, Walker beats up a lot of Colorado pitchers at Coors Field.

Tuesday night’s homer was Walker’s 11th at Coors in his career. Since 2022 he’s hitting .368 (21 for 57) here, with six homers, five doubles and 17 RBIs over 14 games.

In his five starts since getting recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque, Blach has put up a stingy 2.66 ERA with five walks and nine strikeouts.

“I came up as a starter and it’s something I’m really comfortable with and I got back to doing it at Triple-A this year,” he said. “It’s a role I feel great in and I just relish every opportunity.”

With veteran right-handers German Marquez and Antonio Senzatela having undergone Tommy John surgery earlier this season, the Rockies will be searching for starting pitching when they head to spring training in Scottsdale in February. Free agent starters rarely even consider Colorado, and there is certainly not a wave of pitching talent coming up from the farm system.

So Blach, who turns 33 on Oct. 20, might get a chance. Or he might figure into the team’s plans as a long reliever.

“That would be the goal, obviously, to prove that I can do this long-term,” Blach said when asked if he wants to be a starter next season. “I’m enjoying every bit of it and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

Blach signed a minor league deal with Colorado last January and made the 40-man roster in a relief role before injuries decimated the Rockies’ rotation and gave him a chance to start. Blach is under Colorado’s control is remains arbitration eligible.

Wednesday’s pitching matchup

Diamondbacks TBA (bullpen game) at Rockies’ LHP Austin Gomber (9-9, 5.53 ERA)

1:10 p.m. Wednesday, Coors Field

TV: AT&T SportsNet

Radio: 850 AM/94.1 FM

Despite being saddled with a loss at Los Angeles last Friday, Gomber has been Colorado’s best starting pitcher. Over his last nine starts, he’s 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA, 31 strikeouts and just eight walks. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 4.59 ERA in nine career appearances (five starts) against the D-backs. He’s 2-0 with a 4.32 ERA in three starts against Arizona at Coors Field. On April 30 at Coors, he limited the D-backs to one run on three hits in six innings.

Pitching probables

Thursday: Off day

Friday: White Sox RHP Michael Kopech (5-10, 4.58) at Rockies RHP Peter Lambert (2-4, 5.46), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM

Want more Rockies news? Sign up for the Rockies Insider to get all our MLB analysis.

Source: Read Full Article