Miscues Doom Rockies against Diamondbacks in Series Finale

Lourdes Gurriel Jr of the Diamondbacks stealing second against the Rockies
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 1

PHOENIX, Mar. 31 — With a chance to salvage a series split with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Colorado Rockies instead put on an Easter Parade of errors in a 5–1 loss.

“It was rough today. Very, very uncharacteristic of our group, who takes a lot of pride in defense,” manager Bud Black said.

Rockies starting pitcher Ryan Feltner gave up five runs — two unearned — on five hits, walking two and striking out four across five innings. Black said Feltner’s “stuff” was good. “Blew some guys away with the fastball, threw some good change-ups,” Black noted. He later concluded, “(Feltner) battled hard and deserved a better fate.”

Rockies – Diamondbacks Game Summary

As they did in each of the previous three games, the Diamondbacks scored in the bottom of the first. Feltner, betrayed by his defense, took 28 pitches to get through the inning. A leadoff walk by Corbin Carroll, who stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Rockies catcher Jacob Stallings, turned into a run on a single by the red-hot Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Gurriel stole second himself on a pickoff attempt, although he was initially called out. Second baseman Brendan Rodgers and shortstop Ezequiel Tovar both covered second. Rodgers caught the throw and slapped the tag on the leg of Gurriel, who slid in feet-first. Replay overturned the out call.

After the game, Rodgers explained what happened. “Walker was up, and on the card, it has us (play him to) pull. So (Tovar) was in the hole, and I got there pretty early. I heard him call it late, but I didn’t want to bail on it and have the ball go to the outfield, so I stuck in there. To me, (Gurriel) looked out. I don’t know how that got overturned, but yeah, I caught a nice elbow to the head.”

Rodgers confirmed he was okay and continued, “You don’t see many righties getting guys picked off like that. Usually with lefties, we communicate a little bit more. But we do need to be on the same page for that, and that’s on us. So we’ll get better at that and keep going forward.”

Christian Walker, who was batting during the cross-up, made the Rockies pay for that mistake when he followed with a 409-foot blast to the left-field bleachers, making the score 3–0 at the end of one.

Rockies Narrow Deficit but Give Away More Runs

The Rockies scratched out a run in the top of the fifth on an RBI single to left by Stallings. An uncharacteristic error by left fielder Nolan Jones in the bottom of the fifth led to two unearned runs. With Tucker Barnhart on second and two outs, Ketel Marte hit a high fly to left. Jones camped under the ball, stuck his glove up, and closed it too early. The ball clanked off his glove and fell to the turf. Barnhart scored as Marte coasted into second on the muff. Gurriel followed with a double, scoring Marte and completing the scoring at 5–1.

“I just misread it,” a disappointed Jones explained after the game. “Drifted a little bit. It hit off the edge of my glove. Obviously, a play I’ve gotta make. Not acceptable.”

What Went Right for the Rockies

Relief Pitching

Jake Bird bounced back from a tough outing on Opening Day, tossing a scoreless sixth.

Victor Vodnik tossed two scoreless innings. Both of his appearances in 2024 have been scoreless.

The Fifth Inning

Although it only resulted in one run, the Rockies sent seven men to the plate in the fifth against a pitcher they had trouble with the first time through the order.

What Went Wrong for the Rockies

Defensive Mistakes

The Jones error has already been noted. However, in addition to the Stallings throwing error and the rundown mixup in the first inning, Ryan McMahon committed a fielding error in the same frame. With Joc Pederson on first and one out, Eugenio Suarez hit a bouncer to third. While setting up to whip the ball to second for the force and a potential double play, the ball squirted out of his glove and fell into left field. Pederson advanced to third on the play as Suarez made it safely to first. Only a 3–6–3 double play kept the error from turning into more runs.

No Answer for Pfaadt First Time Through

Diamondbacks starter and postseason hero Brandon Pfaadt carved up the Rockies lineup his first time through the order. He struck out five out of the nine hitters, coughing up only two hits: a two-out opposite-field dump shot by Toglia and a one-out infield single by Stallings. Neither hit amounted to anything, with Toglia being left on base and Stallings being wiped out by a 5–4–3 double play.

Quick Hits

Ryan McMahon went 0-for-4 with two called strikeouts, ending his streak of multi-hit games to start the season at three.

Gurriel gave the Rockies fits all series, going 8-for-17 with two doubles, three home runs, 10 RBI, two walks, a stolen base, and six runs scored. His slash line for the series was a ridiculous .471/.526/1.118. He now holds the Diamondbacks record for most RBI in the team’s first three games of the season, passing former record holder Jake Lamb, who had seven to open the 2015 season.

Diamondbacks center fielder Alek Thomas left after the third inning with left hamstring tightness. Manager Torey Lovullo told reporters after the game that his status is uncertain, and he will have imaging done on Monday.

Looking Ahead

Pfaadt (1–0) earned the win, with Feltner (0–1) taking the loss.

The Rockies (1–3) and Diamondbacks (3–1) both play again Monday, the Rockies on the road and the Diamondbacks at home. At Chase Field, the Diamondbacks will open a three-game interleague series with the New York Yankees. Right-handers Ryne Nelson of the Diamondbacks and Luis Gil of the Yankees will square off in the opener. First pitch will be at 6:40 pm Arizona Time. The Rockies will head to Wrigley Field to take on the Chicago Cubs in a Monday-to-Wednesday series. Rockies right-hander Dakota Hudson will face Cubs left-hander Shota Imanaga. First pitch will be at 12:20 pm Mountain Daylight Time, although the weather forecast for the entire series does not look promising.

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Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan is the owner and sole contributor of Thompson Talks, a website discussing the Big Four North American Pro Sports as well as soccer. He also is a credentialed member of the Colorado Rockies press corps. His first and biggest love is baseball.

Evan lives in Gilbert, Arizona and loves history, especially of sports. He is the treasurer for the Hemond Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and also is a USSF and AIA soccer referee. He released his first book, Volume I of A Complete History of the Major League Baseball Playoffs, in October of 2021.

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