Trejo experiences growing pains in loss to Giants

September 29th, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO -- lingered in the visitors' dugout at Oracle Park for a little longer than usual after Wednesday night's 6-3 loss to the Giants. It had been a good night for the young second baseman, but his last at-bat of the evening stuck out in his mind.

Trejo had come to the plate with a runner on third and two outs in the top of the ninth, representing the Rockies' final chance to keep the line moving and extend the game. He fell behind early, 2-1, against Giants right-hander Yunior Marte, but battled back to work a full count.

Then he struck out swinging to end the ballgame.

"I'm disappointed when I fail," Trejo said of his ninth-inning at-bat. "That was one of the at-bats that I thought I could have won. I got to a good count, 3-2, and then I swung at a ball, and it was just disappointing."

The Rockies dropped their fourth straight game, and eighth of their last nine, in Wednesday night's loss at Oracle Park. Colorado has now lost at least 90 games for the fourth time in the last nine seasons.

Colorado has been taking extended looks at the younger players on its roster -- like Trejo -- as the difficult 2022 campaign winds down. As many big leaguers experience early in their careers, the young Rockies have played through thrilling firsts as well as crushing disappointments.

But great players can blossom from adversity, and that's what the team hopes its young players can take away from this season.

"There's growing pains here," manager Bud Black said. "All these rookies on the team, they're learning -- in a ballpark here that they're going to play a lot of games in, over the coming years. And that's only going to help us in the future."

Though Trejo's night ended in disappointment, it had started out on a better note. Trejo went 2-for-4 with a double and a home run on Wednesday, recording multiple extra-base hits in one game for the first time in his big league career.

Trejo's home run -- an opposite-field shot that just made it over Oracle Park's tall right-field wall -- was his fourth of the season, and his third in as many weeks. Prior to September, Trejo had just two long balls in his first 39 games.

After a slow start, it seems as if Trejo is finally finding his power stroke in the Majors. The 26-year-old's slugging percentage has risen sharply from .310 to .453 in the past month.

"I'm just kind of getting more in rhythm," said Trejo, noting that he has a better track record in the Minors when it comes to extra-base hits. "It's just trying to stick with a plan and continue to do the same things I've always done, and be patient and be in the moment."

Despite that, Trejo could not help but fixate on his missed opportunity at the end of the game. As a team, Colorado went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday.

Right-hander José Ureña, who was credited with the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) over five innings, has had his fair share of ups and downs in the big leagues. The 31-year-old recalled his mindset as he worked through adversity early in his career.

"You have to try to get in control of your emotions, try to be patient and try to deliver," Ureña said. "It's baseball -- a lot of frustrating moments you'll have to get through in your career, so you've got to calm down and keep doing whatever you've got to do."

That is often easier said than done, but Black thinks this difficult season will only help his team perform better as a group later on down the road.

"We'll be better off for it in the long run," Black said. "It's very rare that this number of rookies come up and it's seamless. It's tough. The Major Leagues are tough. And these guys are learning."