A little league mishap cost the Rockies two runs, and eventually the win on Monday.
With two outs in the third inning at Citizens Bank Park, Kyle Schwarber sailed the ball out to center field. It could have been an easy play for either center fielder Randal Grichuk or right fielder Charlie Blackmon. Instead, due to a lack of communication, the ball landed in the middle of the two. Blackmon, after staring at the dropped ball, grabbed the ball and threw it to second, but by then the damage was done.
"Both of them lost it momentary in the twilight," manager Bud Black said to reporters in Philadelphia. "The base of the mistake was no one calling for it."
The Rockies had a 2-0 lead heading into that inning — thanks to home runs from Connor Joe and Randal Grichuk — but now found themselves down 3-2. The Phillies only continued to build on their lead from there, going on to beat the Rockies 8-2 in the first of four games in Philadelphia this week. Only four of the runs were earned.
The Rockies also had two uncharacteristic defensive mistakes earlier in the game — an error from gold-glove finalist Ryan McMahon in the second and another from José Iglesias in the third. All of the mishaps overshadowed the start from Kyle Freeland, who was the first Rockies pitcher to eclipse the 100 pitch threshold this season. Freeland was only ticked for one earned run — a first-pitch home run from Bryce Harper to open the bottom of the fifth — and struck out seven, including three in a row after that Harper at-bat.
"That was a pissed-off moment," Freeland said to reporters. "I got a little pissed off and just locked in."
Freeland's changeup wasn't his best, but he was able to locate his slider well for the first time this season. His curveball was the real star — he got six of his strikeouts on that pitch.
"Kyle did get out of some jams, even though we didn't play well behind him," Black said. "That's not how we need to play. That's not how we play."
Ashton Goudeau, who until Monday had only given up one earned run in 7.2 innings pitched, sailed through his first inning of work in the sixth. He was immediately nicked for a pair of singles to start the seventh though, and the Phillies were later able to score on a sacrifice fly and wild pitch. Gilbreath then replaced Goudeau, and the Phillies added two more runs to double their score.
Offensively, the Rockies' didn't do themselves any favors. Despite the two home runs, the Rockies were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, stranding multiple runners in the fifth and seventh innings. They had only five total hits.
"It was one bad loss," Freeland said to reporters. "It's not going to script our future at all. We'll be back tomorrow."