Dodgers’ elevated bats come back to sea level in loss to Rockies

The Rockies' Connor Joe follows the flight of his home run in as Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes looks on April 9, 2022.
The Rockies’ Connor Joe watches his go-ahead solo home run in the eighth inning as Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes looks on Saturday night. Colorado won 3-2.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

The Dodgers’ patchwork pitching plan Saturday night was fraught but functional.

Instead, it was their lineup that fell flat during a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

In their lowest-scoring performance at Coors Field since July 2019, the Dodgers tallied just seven hits (six of them singles) and no walks. For the first seven innings, they were silenced by Rockies starter Germán Márquez.


Then in the eighth, they missed a prime comeback opportunity, scratching across a game-tying run but leaving the bases loaded.

That allowed the Rockies to rally for the win, with Connor Joe’s go-ahead home run off Blake Treinen in the bottom of the eighth proving to be the difference in front of a sold-out crowd of 48,087.

“We had a chance to win,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

An eighth-inning home run by Colorado’s Connor Joe sends the Dodgers to a 3-2 loss at Coors Field in Denver.

April 10, 2022

In the top of the eighth, however, they squandered their best chance to take control.

Trailing 2-1, the Dodgers got a rally going after a line-drive single from Gavin Lux and bloop base hit from Austin Barnes. In the next at-bat, Mookie Betts sent a weak fly ball into shallow center field, but it dropped between three Rockies to score Lux with the tying run.

Chants of “Fred-die!” from a heavy contingent of Dodgers fans then filled the field as the team’s new star, Freddie Freeman, walked to the plate. He struck a fly ball to the deepest part of the ballpark but watched it die directly in front of the 415-foot marker in straightaway center.

“Freddie clipped [it], just didn’t get enough of it,” Roberts said. “If it’s a three-run homer, it’s a different ballgame.”

The Dodgers' Mookie Betts tosses his bat after connecting for an RBI single in the eighth inning April 9, 2022.
The Dodgers’ Mookie Betts tosses his bat, but his weak fly ball fell in for an RBI single in the eighth inning. L.A. missed a chance for a big inning, though.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Instead, the Dodgers were left to be second-guessed over a baserunning decision.

Freeman’s drive was deep enough that Barnes could have tagged at second base and advanced to third — where he likely would have scored on Trea Turner’s infield single in the next at-bat.

Barnes stayed put though, electing to play it safe with only one out after he said he wasn’t sure of the ball’s flight.

Roberts said it was the right decision “by the book,” but then added, “certainly on a ball that’s that far out, [tagging up] wouldn’t have been a bad play.”

Echoed Barnes: “That’s a tough one. But looking back on it, especially since Trea got an infield knock, I would have loved to get to third.”

Turner’s infield single loaded the bases, but Max Muncy left all three stranded with a flyout to end the threat.

In the bottom half of the inning, Treinen left a two-out, two-strike cutter over the heart of the plate that Joe clobbered 444 feet.


“It’s not a bad pitch to throw if it’s executed,” Treinen said. “But that was pretty flat, middle-middle. Definitely better pitches to throw in that situation.

“Me and Barnsy talked about it, both shaking our heads like, ‘Why did we do that?’ ”

Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Blake Treinen, front, reacts after giving up a solo home run.
Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen reacts after giving up a go-ahead solo home run to the Rockies’ Connor Joe in the eighth inning.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Rockies closer Daniel Bard struck out Justin Turner, Edwin Ríos and Cody Bellinger in the ninth to get the save.

The result overshadowed an encouraging, if not awe-inspiring performance from the Dodgers’ pitching staff. Tony Gonsolin labored through three innings but gave up only one run. Newly signed bulk reliever Tyler Anderson then piggybacked for four more innings, also surrendering only one run.

“We put ourselves in a good spot to prevent runs tonight,” Roberts said.

After former Angels shortstop José Iglesias recorded his first hit since the death of his father, Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman embraced him.

April 9, 2022

Scoring them, however, was a different story.

A third-inning home run from Barnes was the only offense the Dodgers mustered against Márquez, who utilized a five-pitch mix headlined by an upper-90s fastball and swing-and-miss slider. The right-hander struck out five and after Barnes’ home run, he retired 14 of the final 15 Dodgers he faced.

“We really didn’t get too many good swings off him,” Roberts said.

Colorado Rockies pitcher German Marquez is congratulated by a teammate after retiring the Dodgers in the seventh inning.
Rockies starter Germán Marquez pitched seven strong innings against the Dodgers.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

The Dodgers were punished for a couple of defensive miscues, as well.

In the first inning, Betts fielded a Ryan McMahon single in right field and delivered an almost perfect throw to the plate as Kris Bryant raced home from second. The one-hopper hit Barnes in the mitt, but then came free when he and Bryant collided, allowing the run to score.

In the sixth, second baseman Muncy bobbled a potential double-play ground ball, allowing C.J. Cron to reach second. From there, he advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a bloop single from Joe to make it 2-1.

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin works against the Colorado Rockies.
Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin gave up one run in three innings. He yielded five hits, struck out three and walked one.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Despite all that, the Dodgers still were in it late — and seemed to be on the verge of an offensive outburst in the eighth, similar to Friday’s five-run fourth inning that lifted them to a win on opening day.

This time, however, their bats fell silent. For the first time this year, their star-studded lineup failed to shine.