Pettibone's troubles at Coors Field continue
Starter gives up eight runs, two walks and a homer in four innings
DENVER -- Phillies right-hander Jonathan Pettibone hoped Friday night's start at Coors Field would be a memorable one.
But not like this.
Not after the way he pitched here last season. Not in the first game of a 10-game road trip through Colorado, Los Angeles and Arizona. Not in his last start in the Phillies rotation with Cole Hamels set to rejoin the team and take his spot Wednesday in Los Angeles. Pettibone allowed nine hits, eight runs, two walks and one home run in four innings in a 12-1 loss to the Rockies.
The Phillies optioned him to Triple-A after the game, something they said they decided to do before the game. Right-handed reliever Shawn Camp will take his place on the roster.
"You want to leave a lasting impression, so they know who they want to call back up when someone is needed," Pettibone said afterward. "It's frustrating. But I'll go down there, get after it and get better."
Coors Field has been a nightmare for Pettibone. In two starts here he has allowed 19 hits, 15 runs (14 earned runs) and three walks and has struck out two in seven innings for an 18.00 ERA. He allowed 10 hits, seven runs (six earned runs) and one walk in three innings June 15 in a 10-5 loss.
Of course, Pettibone is not the first pitcher to have allowed seven or more runs in consecutive starts at Coors Field. He is the 54th pitcher to accomplish the feat.
This is a massive ballpark with a reputation for big offensive numbers.
Livan Herandez got smashed in four consecutive starts from Sept. 7, 1998, to June 28, 2000, when he allowed 32 runs in 22 2/3 innings. Edinson Volquez and Juan Nicasio suffered the same fate as Pettibone in two consecutive starts here just last season.
"I'm definitely not pleased," Pettibone said. "I just have to get better, make better pitches. No real time for making excuses. Their guy did fine."
Pettibone allowed back-to-back singles to Charlie Blackmon and Drew Stubbs to start the bottom of the first inning. Carlos Gonzalez lined out to Chase Utley for the first out, but Troy Tulowitzki worked a 14-pitch at-bat into a walk to load the bases. Tulowitzki fouled off eight consecutive pitches, including one Jimmy Rollins nearly caught down the left-field line in foul territory after running a mile from his spot in the infield.
"I literally threw everything I could at that point," Pettibone said.
"Yeah, in some regards," said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, asked if that at-bat could have taken something out of Pettibone. "Still, even those pitches were up in the zone. He didn't have a pitch to get him out. He threw a lot of pitches. The elevated pitches weren't missed tonight."
Justin Morneau's ground-rule double scored two runs to make it 2-0 as the Rockies scored two more in the first to take a 4-0 lead. It got uglier from there with Tulowitzki hitting a three-run home run to center field in the second inning to make it 7-0.
"I had a similar pitch that I hit the home run on that I missed in that first at-bat," Tulowitzki said. "That [first inning] at-bat set up my day. I saw so many pitches from him that I knew everything he had. It helped my second and third at-bat [an RBI double in the fourth]."
Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood had no problems with the Phillies. He held the Phillies to just two hits, one unearned run and one walk with six strikeouts hits in seven innings.
"He hit his spots," Marlon Byrd said. "It's one of those days. He had it going and we didn't today, and it showed."
The only bright spot for the Phillies? Right-hander Mike Adams made his season debut and needed just seven pitches to throw a perfect fifth inning. His fastball hit 90 mph.
"He looked like he had some good movement," Sandberg said. "He was down in the zone. It looked like he had some good movement on his pitches."
Adams opened the season on the disabled list as he recovered from right shoulder surgery last July. The Phillies are hoping he can be a consistent late-inning reliever.
There were no big late-inning outs to be had Friday. This game had ended by the second inning.
"A great road trip is 8-2," Byrd said. "We already have one loss into that so we've got to pick it up tomorrow and try to score some runs early. Their offense is potent. They know how to play here. They love playing here and hitting here. We have to try to back them against the wall early in the game and help our pitching out."