Tuesday 4X4: Moan on the Range
The struggles of the Rockies in the opening days of the 2018 season were underscored in Monday's 7-6 loss to the Padres at Coors Field. The key blow in the game? A three-run home run by Padres pitcher Clayton Richard, a career .118 hitter, who delivered a three-run home run in the midst of a five-run, two-out rally in the fourth inning.
Yes, Coors Field is hitter friendly. No, that doesn't make it any easier to take.
Richard is one of only four active pitchers to hit a home run against the Rockies, who have allowed pitchers to hit only 37 home runs in the franchise's 25-plus years of existence. Four of the 37 were hit by Madison Bumgarner.
It's not like this Padres team is overpowering the rest of MLB. They are 3-8, which equals the fifth worst start in the history of a franchise that was born out of expansion in 1969.
The Rockies have relied on the home run this season. They are one of only two NL teams that does not have more doubles than home runs. The Rockies have hit 16 of each. The Cardinals have hit 13 home runs compared to 10 doubles. The Rockies also have scored 24 of 43 runs off home runs.
Jon Gray has had success against the Padres in his career, but on Monday night he was charged with seven runs, equaling the fourth highest run total he has allowed in 51 big-league starts, and hiking his career ERA against the Padres from 2.15 to 2.88. He has allowed two or fewer earned runs in nine of his 12 career starts against the Padres.