The highs and lows of Rockies' loss in Miami

June 22nd, 2022

MIAMI -- Welcome to the roller coaster that is MLB. It’s a ride the Rockies are all too familiar with. In their series-opening 9-8 loss to the Marlins on Tuesday at loanDepot park, they experienced the ups and downs of a 162-game season over the course of 8 1/2 innings. 

Colorado entered the first of a six-game, two-city road trip riding high off a three-game sweep of San Diego at home, looking to win four games in a row for the second time this season. Instead, the Rockies are back at square one.

Let’s take a look at some highs and lows from Tuesday night’s loss. 

HIGH: Ryan Feltner’s pitching, innings 1-3

The 25-year-old righty held the Marlins to one hit through three efficient innings while recording two strikeouts. Feltner said postgame that he felt good through those first three innings. Entering Tuesday, Feltner had not allowed a run after the third inning, so heading into the fourth inning with a zero on the board seemed like a good sign for the Rockies. 

Feltner didn’t have a great feel for his offspeed pitches, however, and the Marlins had changed their game plan after their first meeting with the righty on May 30 (seven innings with one run -- a homer -- on four hits and six strikeouts). Miami was more aggressive with two-strike counts on Tuesday, and its power hitters capitalized on a few mistakes from Feltner.

LOW: Feltner’s 4th inning

Feltner allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits; five of those hits and all five runs came in the fourth inning. It didn’t help that there was a catcher interference call that put an additional man on base ahead of Avisaíl García, who hit the first of back-to-back home runs for Miami that tied the game, 4-4.

“He got the ball up,” manager Bud Black said. “Leadoff single by [Jorge] Soler, that ball was up [in the zone]. And then from there, the García home run was up at the top of the strike zone, the home run to [Jesús Sánchez] was in the middle of the plate. Can't do that against guys with power. … With Ryan, it's about fastball command.

“We've talked about that. He's got to get on, you know, it’s good velocity but you got to locate the ball.”

HIGH: Ryan McMahon. Full stop.

It started with a walk in the second inning. Then came a leadoff home run in the fourth. Next, an RBI double in the fifth, then an RBI single in the sixth. Though he fell a triple shy of hitting for the cycle -- his night ending with a strikeout -- McMahon nonetheless went 3-for-4. It marked his second three-hit night in three games.

Mixed between McMahon’s consistent at-bats was a superb night at third base, one in which he looked more like the infielder with seven errors last season who was a 2021 NL Gold Glove finalist than the third baseman with a league-leading 11 errors entering Tuesday.

“That was a really, really good game by Mac tonight,” Black said. “[Some] really good plays -- the barehand play coming in earlier in the game, the backhand play late, that was fabulous. Couple of balls to his left. Tough plays.

“The last few weeks, I think we've seen more of Mac being the defender that we think he can be, and also [that] he thinks he can be; he has high standards for himself as a defender. So I suspect that moving forward, with more than half the season left, I think you're going to see more games like tonight defensively from Ryan.”

McMahon does appear to be figuring himself out defensively. After all, he has not committed an error since June 5.

LOW: Colorado’s three errors

The Rockies’ play vs. the Padres snapped a 13-game error streak at home, the longest streak of miscues in franchise history, and they did not commit an error all series.

The errors caught up to the squad in Miami, though.

There was that catcher interference call in the fourth inning, in which Jesús Aguilar made contact with Brian Serven’s glove while hitting a ground ball to second base. Then, a pair of errors in the fifth inning: the first a fielding error from José Iglesias on a ground ball from García. The second, part of an attempted rundown between first and second, during which C.J. Cron made a throwing error that allowed Miguel Rojas to remain at first base after singling.

“It's hard to explain, right?” Black said. “It's just a rundown that went bad. We didn't execute great, obviously.”