Despite what I assume were his best efforts, Jonathan Pettibone had very little success last night in a 12-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies. He was not totally at fault, though, as the Phillies offense could not muster more than a single tally in a stadium well known for balls that do not stop flying off bats. West Coast trips have been a thing of mystery for this squad the last few seasons, and so getting of to an awful start on one was not really the best thing to do. That being said, there were still nine to be played, the first of which was to be started by Kyle Kendrick. Colorado handed the ball to former Houston Astro Jordan Lyles on a rainy Denver night.
The Game: Very much unlike last night, the Rockies did not have a very productive first couple of innings. They were, however, the first to score, albeit on a bit of controversy. Things got started when Nolan Arenado led off the third inning with a one-bagger. Next up was DJ LeMahieu, who singled on a sharp ground ball though the middle of the field and out toward Domonic Brown in left field. Brown tossed the ball into Chase Utley standing on second base.
Meanwhile, Rockies third base coach Stu Close made a gut play and sent Arenado home on the throw. Quick to react, Utley was able to beam the ball to Carlos Ruiz at the plate to just nab the runner. However, Rockies manager Walt Weiss got his wish for a review, which ultimately overturned the play and scored a run. According to home plate umpire Tim Welke, Ruiz blocked Arenado's path to the plate, illegal according to MLB's new home plate collision rules. With all that being said, the Rockies led this one 1-0 after three innings.
The Rockies came back to score again in the fourth inning, this time being led by a Carlos Gonzalez single. After Troy Tulowitzki lined out, it was Justin Morneau's chance to swing against Kendrick. He took the 1-1 slider deep into the night for a two-run homerun. That gave the home squad a 3-0 advantage.
Once again, the Phillies were handed a stellar performance from their starting pitcher. And, once again, they let it slide by having a non-existent offense. The one run they were able to score came in the eighth, as Cody Asche singled to get things started. A throwing error and a groundout aided Asche's move to third base. Another groundout, this time by Jimmy Rollns, brought Asche home to end the shutout. In the ninth, the ageless Latroy Hawkins would secure the save and give the Rockies the 3-1 victory.
Impact: As was the case last evening, the Phillies offense had nothing for the Colorado atmosphere. An 0-2 start to any road trip is disappointing, let alone a 10-game trip to the West Coast less than a month into the season. Thankfully, one Kyle Kendrick shined quite nicely in a ballpark he has been historically bad in. His performance, combined with the recent start by Cliff Lee and A.J. Burnett, should give some hope on an otherwise hopeless squad. Also, lefty Cole Hamels is set to return to the rotation on Wednesday in Los Angeles, more good news for the club.
Up Next: Tomorrow, the Phillies and Rockies will wrap up their first series of the season on Easter Sunday. At 4:10, Roberto Hernandez will look to keep up his respectable start to the 2014 season against Colorado's Juan Nicasio.