Quantrill unable to extend stellar run, takes first loss since April

June 2nd, 2024

LOS ANGELES -- The first start in June for Rockies right-hander did not have enough shades of May.

Better defense would have helped, and Quantrill was far from his worst, as he was saddled with his first loss since April 27 in a 4-1 defeat to the Dodgers on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

Quantrill gave up four runs, his most since that April outing against the Astros, and his nine hits allowed matched his highest in a start since his season opener. He went 4 1/3 innings, marking just the second time he did not finish five in 12 outings this season.

“I just wasn’t very sharp today,” Quantrill said. “I fell behind in some counts. I really didn’t establish the fastball. I battled, but it wasn’t really a great day.”

Dakota Hudson held down the Dodgers on Friday with a generous helping of curveballs, but Quantrill and his opponent-neutralizing split-finger pitch fell short of meeting the same standard.

The reality is that Quantrill’s May set a high bar that was going to be hard to match. He went 4-0 during in five starts and had a 1.71 ERA.

“I was close,” Quantrill said. “I had been on a roll here and making a lot of good pitches. Today, I just pressed a couple of times and didn’t have the movement on the splitter that I was hoping for. They put a lot of good at-bats together, but 4 1/3 is not going to cut it. At least I avoided the big inning and gave us sort of a chance. It won’t go down as one of my favorite starts.”

And because of Hudson’s standout outing Friday, the Rockies still have a chance to pick up their third consecutive series victory after getting the best of the Phillies and Guardians in their most recent homestand.

Even while entering in his best form, Quantrill continues to be befuddled by the Dodgers. In five appearances (four starts) against his new division rival, Quantrill is now 4-1 with a 7.89 ERA.

“I just think [the splitter] has been so effective, and against this group, the Dodgers, I think if you have a pitch like that to go along with a fastball, it really disrupts their timing,” manager Bud Black said. “I think that’s something you have to do against the Dodgers is try to disrupt their timing.”

The Rockies had an early 1-0 lead, going on top in the second inning when Brendan Rodgers doubled, went to third on a groundout by Elehuris Montero and scored on a sacrifice fly from Brenton Doyle.

All that work was deleted in the bottom of the second. The Dodgers’ Teoscar Hernández scored from first base on a Gavin Lux groundout after Montero threw the ball from first base into left field and Sean Bouchard threw the ball away while trying to get it back to the infield.

“That was a funky play, for sure,” Black said. “Montero probably didn’t clear the bag enough. A couple of bad throws trying to make the play. Bouchard tried to get him at third and it got away. Montero’s throw to Tovar [at shortstop], [he] couldn’t handle that one. But I don’t think that bothered Cal.

“Cal competed hard. He didn’t have his best stuff, didn’t have his best night but he hung in there.”

The Dodgers added another run off Quantrill in the second inning on a single from rookie Andy Pages and an RBI double from veteran Jason Heyward. The Rockies trailed the rest of the way.

Quantrill gave up single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, the first on an RBI single from Kiké Hernández and another after a Freddie Freeman hit that Bouchard played into a triple, followed by an RBI double from Will Smith.

Winners in 12 of 19 games before the series began, the Rockies have essentially played the Dodgers even through two games behind their pitching.

Hudson dominated the productive Dodgers offense on Friday and Austin Gomber gets the start Sunday, with a chance at a series win, after his last outing was skipped because of elbow discomfort.

“Yeah, we’re playing pretty good baseball right now,” Quantrill said. “I would have loved to take the series today, but we have a good pitcher on the mound tomorrow and [Hudson] gave us a chance [Friday]. We’re going to go out [Sunday] and Gomby is going to pitch well and the bats are going to get us this series.”