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Bullpen has rare slip-up as Rox fall to Padres

Bettis settles in after rough 1st inning, but big 7th frame stings Rockies
April 23, 2018

DENVER -- Left-hander Jake McGee hasn't had many nights this season like Monday night. In fact, the Rockies' bullpen hadn't had any before the 13-5 loss to the Padres at Coors Field.The Rockies had won all nine times they led after six innings. But their one-run lead in the seventh

DENVER -- Left-hander Jake McGee hasn't had many nights this season like Monday night. In fact, the Rockies' bullpen hadn't had any before the 13-5 loss to the Padres at Coors Field.
The Rockies had won all nine times they led after six innings. But their one-run lead in the seventh became a deficit when left fielder Ian Desmond lost Matthew Szczur's liner in the lights and left-handed-hitting Franchy Cordero followed with a homer off McGee -- who entered having held lefties to a .167 average (2-for-12). From there the inning degenerated into a nine-run mess, mostly absorbed by Scott Oberg.
Szczur's was a scorcher for which McGee blamed himself and not Desmond, saying, "I hope he catches it, but at the end of the day, I made a bad pitch and he hit it hard." The Cordero homer came on a fastball he left up, while behind in the count.
While disappointed, McGee spoke with the self-assuredness of a veteran who expects to succeed, and is confident in his club.
"For me and the other relievers, it's being consistent," said McGee, whose ERA swelled from 1.74 to 5.06 after yielding four runs on three hits and a walk in one-third of an inning. "If you're good eight or nine out of 10 outings, just put one of them behind you. It's having amnesia in a lot of ways."

For the Rockies, it has been a forgettable beginning of the season at home, where they are 3-7. They fell to 1-3 against the Padres, who have won just four times in their home at Petco Park.
Still the Padres are 12-12 overall because of strong road work, something that Rockies history says isn't a dependable formula for success over a full season. Their only winning road campaigns in their 25 full seasons were 2009 and last year, both 41-40.

"We'll be all right," manager Bud Black said. "These guys have been through this before. The resolve of these players is solid."
Nolan Arenado, in his first at-bat against the Padres since charging the mound against them on April 11 and receiving a five-game suspension, parked a two-run first-inning homer. Trevor Story added a two-run shot two batters later to erase righty Chad Bettis' rough top of the first and tie the score at 4. Desmond's third-inning RBI double produced a lead. Normally, that has been enough in the hands of the bullpen.
Oberg, who gave up five runs on three hits and two walks while managing one out, saw his inning spin out of control when he had two outs and an 0-2 count against Carlos Asuaje -- who hit a three-run homer off Bettis in the first. Oberg gave up a single through the mound.
"If I'm able to execute the pitches I want to execute with two strikes, the game possibly goes in a different direction," said Oberg, who had to watch another righty, Antonio Senzatela, struggle through two hits and a walk before finally ending the inning.
The 15 plate appearances by the Padres tied for the most in an inning against the Rockies. It happened four other times, most recently by the Nationals on April 27, 2017, in the seventh.

The inning featured a two-run Cory Spangenberg single and a two-run double from William Myers, who went 4-for-6 and is hitting .350 (35-for-100) with six doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 23 RBIs at Coors Field.
Bettis, the Rockies' best starter in the early going, yielded four first-inning runs. One came when the ball slipped from his hand for a balk with Myers at third, and three more on Asuaje's homer.
Bettis, however, settled down and worked five innings, and Harrison Musgrave, in his Major League debut, pitched a clean sixth, with one strikeout.
After the first, Black noted on Bettis, "Then he started making pitches, like we've seen most of this season."
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Arenado's homer, his fourth this season and the second since his return, and Story's, his fifth, were notable in part because the calls came from AT&T SportsNet broadcaster Jenny Cavnar, the first woman to call play-by-play for a Rockies game since Gayle Gardner did it for a 1993 game against the Reds.

Also, they were notable according to Statcast™ measurements.

Arenado's, one of eight hits in 5 1/3 innings off Padres starter Bryan Mitchell, had a launch angle of 21 degrees over the left-field wall. It was his second-lowest trajectory since Statcast™ was introduced in 2015.
Story's homer to left traveled a projected 464 feet -- the deepest of his career, which began in 2016.

UP NEXT
Lefty Kyle Freeland (0-3, 5.85 ERA) struggled with his fastball command in his last start, a loss at Pittsburgh. He will make his second home start -- and his second against the Padres -- at 6:40 p.m. MT on Tuesday. Lefty prospect Eric Lauer will make his Major League debut as San Diego's starter.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.