SAN FRANCISCO -- Should the Colorado Rockies miss qualifying for the postseason, their season-ending tale of woe likely will include their 4-0 loss Wednesday to the San Francisco Giants. The outcome sealed a two-game series win for the Giants.Losing twice to the Giants, last-place occupants in the National League West,
SAN FRANCISCO -- Should the Colorado Rockies miss qualifying for the postseason, their season-ending tale of woe likely will include their 4-0 loss Wednesday to the San Francisco Giants. The outcome sealed a two-game series win for the Giants.
Losing twice to the Giants, last-place occupants in the National League West, certainly wasn't in the Rockies' plans. But it happened, and so they left AT&T Park with a one-game lead for the second Wild Card spot over Milwaukee, who lost to Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
"This is the most talented lineup I've ever been a part of. This lineup's too good to be held down," said Colorado catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who went 3-for-4 in the series finale. "It was going to come down to the wire anyway. We knew that. None of the teams behind us -- or even with us now -- are going to roll over. They're not going to let us run all over them. We're not going to stop trying. We have to worry about ourselves and what we can do."
Giants starter Matt Moore (6-14), who entered the game with the Majors' second-highest ERA (5.39), worked two batters into the seventh inning before relievers Steven Okert and Cory Gearrin combined to defuse a Colorado threat.
"I guess it's better late than never," Moore said of participating in a shutout for the first time this season. San Francisco recorded its fourth shutout of the season and first since Aug. 28 at San Diego.
Lacking a home run to record a cycle, Joe Panik totaled three hits and scored twice. Brandon Crawford added a third-inning home run off Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood (8-13), who was 4-0 with a 1.43 ERA in his previous seven starts against the Giants.
"I probably gave up two runs I didn't think I should have," Chatwood said. "The goal is to win games. We didn't win. So I don't think anybody's happy leaving right now."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Clutch relief: With the outcome still in doubt, the Giants' bullpen shut down the Rockies' best hitters. Colorado trailed, 3-0, when Mark Reynolds and Lucroy singled to start the seventh. Okert, the rookie left-hander, struck out pinch-hitter Pat Valaika and retired Charlie Blackmon on a fielder's-choice grounder. In came Gearrin, who fanned DJ LeMahieu on four pitches.
Going deep: The Giants attract plenty of derision for lacking sluggers during an era when home runs have taken over the game. But don't say anything about an absence of power to Crawford, who has reached double figures in homers for four consecutive seasons. His 14 homers rank second among San Francisco hitters.
"The one ball they really hit hard was the homer from Crawford," Chatwood said. "Just didn't execute that cutter. I didn't get it in as far as I wanted to."
"We'd much rather have it this way, where things are magnified and the focus is on us. That's great. Our players, I'm telling you, are enjoying being in this situation. Now are we enjoying this that we got beat? No. But we like the fact of where we are and what the games mean. It's good stuff. --Colorado manager Bud Black, on playing meaningful games down the stretch
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
LeMahieu singled in the first for his 30th hit this season vs. the Giants. LeMahieu's total for the season is the most against San Francisco in Colorado franchise history. It's also the most in a single season against the Giants since Tony Gwynn's 30-hit year vs. San Francisco in 1989.
Rockies: Colorado will open a four-game series with the Padres beginning with Thursday's 8:10 p.m. MDT game at Petco Park. Lefty Tyler Anderson, who has thrown 10 scoreless innings since returning from the disabled list, opposes lefty Clayton Richard (7-14, 4.82 ERA).
Giants: Following Thursday's scheduled off-day, the Giants will begin their final trip of the season with a three-game weekend set at Dodger Stadium. Right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who owns a 3.51 ERA in seven career appearances against Los Angeles, is slated to start Friday's 7:10 p.m. PT series opener for San Francisco.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.
Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Rockies on Wednesday.