Already challenged on the road offensively, the Rockies got even weaker when they had to remove shortstop Trevor Story from Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Mets in a doubleheader nightcap at Citi Field with right arm tightness near the elbow.
Story, who left before the bottom of the fourth inning, was 0-for-1 with a walk in the game, and he was 2-for-12 in a four-game series that was difficult on the club. It was uncertain how Story was injured. Manager Bud Black said the pain occurred on one of Story’s signature plays, when he ranged to the middle to grab Cameron Maybin’s grounder, then made a spinning throw to first base in the third.
“On that throw, his arm tightened up as the inning went on,” Black said. “And when he got into the dugout, he let Keith [Dugger, the Rockies’ head athletic trainer] know that it progressed to the point where we’re going to be cautious here. And we took him out of the game. It was general tightness around the elbow.”
Story was struggling, but it wasn’t as if anyone else was thriving -- especially Thursday, when the Rockies lost Game 1, 1-0, despite Germán Márquez’s six strikeouts in a six-inning complete game. Antonio Senzatela in Game 2 was not as efficient as Márquez, but he limited the Mets to two runs on four hits and two walks in four innings.
Senzatela also took time to check on his shortstop, who is a guiding force on a team of largely inexperienced players.
“He was out for the game for that, and I asked him, ‘Hey, what’s happening?’” Senzatela said. “He told me everything’s OK. He’s going to be good, but you hate to lose him.”
Connor Joe’s RBI single in the fourth ended the Rockies' 17-inning scoreless streak. After getting just three hits and having only two runners in scoring position (with no hits) in Game 1, Colorado went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position in Game 2, including Raimel Tapia’s RBI single in the seventh. The Rockies won the series opener -- their first win in the initial game of any of their five road trips this year -- but the three losses dropped them to 3-20 on the road.
Story has been battling both a bad stretch and bad luck. Numerous fly balls have gone to the wrong part of ballparks, home and road. And Story was mired in a plain old slump before his walk-off home run in a victory over the D-backs on Sunday.
Now there is the tightness in the arm that Black said the Rockies will monitor when the team arrives in Pittsburgh on Friday to begin a three-game series.
“It's really day to day,” Black said. “We'll see how he is tomorrow. But Keith and Trev both felt as though throwing might be an issue as the game continued -- and eventually swinging the bat. So we’ll get into Pittsburgh and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow, and we’ll continue to assess it to see where we are.”
The scare revived memories of 2018, when Story experienced pain in the same area of the arm near the elbow in September and missed five games. The difference then was that the Rockies were in a National League West race. They finished the regular-season schedule tied with the Dodgers, but they lost a tiebreaker game.
This time the Rockies (19-32) are battling to keep from sinking below the D-backs and back into last place. Story’s homer on Sunday lifted the Rockies out of the basement for the first time since April 10.