Austin Gomber's shortest start dooms Colorado in series loss to Dodgers | Rockies Rewind (2024)

Colorado’s winning ways went wayward quickly with Austin Gomber’s shortest start.

The Rockies dropped Sunday’s series finale 4-0 to the Los Angeles Dodgers and continued their struggles against their division foe. Los Angeles entered the series with a seven-game win streak at Dodger Stadium over Colorado, and though it ended on Friday, exited with another series win.

Gomber lasted three innings in his return from triceps soreness and was outdone by Dodgers’ starter Gavin Stone, who threw five scoreless innings and struck out six batters.

Here’s a breakdown of the losing series and the moments that mattered most:

The Moment

Mookie Betts brought Colorado back to reality quickly in Sunday’s loss.

Rockies’ starter Austin Gomber had his start pushed back from Monday due to arm soreness and it took the Dodgers’ infielder three pitches to make it a difference. He took a low inside slider into the left-field seats to start Los Angeles off with a lead. Freddie Freeman waited out the southpaw for 10 pitches before he did the same two hitters later.

Colorado’s recent run of taking down top clubs looked to be on track after Friday’s win. The next two days, and especially Sunday, were a reminder of the Dodgers’ dominance over their division counterpart.

“We played well Friday night, that was a good win,” Rockies manager Bud Black said on Sunday. “Saturday and Sunday, we only had the one run. We have to score.

”We couldn't muster anything against their pitching staff. We score five runs in three games, that's not going to cut it."

It was a wake-up call for Los Angeles’ top three hitters. They entered Sunday’s action 3-for-23 over the series’ first two games against Dakota Hudson and Cal Quantrill. The win’s 2-for-5 line with two home runs and five walks was more indicative of their exploits and a reminder of what three former MVPs in a lineup can do, especially when they represent the top portion of the Dodgers’ everyday lineup.

Takeaway

Ezequiel Tovar is already a top-three bat for the Rockies and showed his might against the Dodgers.

He had back-to-back three-hit games to start the series before a hitless Sunday brought his series line to 6-for-12. It enabled him to become the youngest player in franchise history to put together consecutive three-hit games at Dodger Stadium. He is the second-youngest league-wide since 2000 alongside Justin Upton.

Tovar became the youngest Colorado player to have 35 hits, 10 doubles and five home runs when he did so in May.

“He’s a complete player,” Black said on Friday. “He’s built the right way. He takes pride in his defense, but there’s (hitting) skill too. (He’s) growing into a guy on this team that other guys look to, even though he’s a young player.”

Colorado signed Tovar to a seven-year, $63.5 million contract extension before the season. A club option could keep him with the franchise through the 2031 season.

Not many high-dollar transactions have gone the Rockies' way, but Tovar is on track to be some of the best money they’ve ever spent.

What went right

Dakota Hudson showed his potential and gave a blueprint for handling the Dodgers’ three-headed monster.

He went a season-best seven innings in Friday’s win and became the second pitcher in the last 30 years to face a lineup with three former MVPs and hold them hitless in nine at-bats without a walk. Hudson faced Betts, Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman in order and started the game retiring each.

Hudson is the first pitcher this year to hold the trio off base for an entire start.

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It kept the Rockies ahead 4-0 until the eighth inning of an eventual 4-1 win to snap their seven-game losing streak at Dodger Stadium.

“I think (the curveball) was just clicking before the game,” Hudson said. “I was trying to keep hitters off speed and it seemed to be working.”

Hudson mixed in 30 curveballs with his 101 pitches against Los Angeles. He used the pitch 12.9 percent of the time in 2024, but mixed it in at nearly 30 percent to keep the Dodgers off balance. It’s the highest usage for the breaking ball after he used it 27.7 percent of the time against San Diego.

The start continued a trend of solid outings for Hudson. He has allowed three or fewer earned runs in each of his last four starts. It lowered his earned run average from 6.35 to 5.02.

What went wrong

Gomber’s pushed-back start went awry quickly.

He was scratched from Monday’s start against Cleveland with soreness in his left triceps. The ailment was minor and allowed Colorado to push his start back to face the Dodgers, and they were ready for him.

Betts hit a leadoff home run to start Gomber’s season-worst three-inning start. It was a portion of his three earned runs allowed — the total represented the most he’s given up since April 28 against Houston. It came on the heels of an eight-inning outing against Oakland and four consecutive starts with one or fewer earned runs allowed.

The outing raised his ERA from a franchise-record 2.76 to 3.06. It would still be the organization’s third-best single-season mark in its history behind Kyle Freeland (2.85 in 2018) and Ubaldo Jiménez (2.88 in 2010).

-- Cal Quantrill hasn’t struggled much this year but did in Saturday’s loss. His defense didn’t help counter the starter’s traffic.

He allowed nine Dodgers’ hits and a pair of walks en route to four earned runs and an eventual loss. The ugliest of his 41/3 innings came in the second when Elehuris Montero sailed a throw to second base before left fielder Sean Bouchard committed another error to allow Los Angeles’ trying first run.

Freddie Freeman’s leadoff triple and Will Smith’s subsequent double in the fifth inning spelled the end of Quantrill’s shortest start since April 3. It also ended a streak of five consecutive quality starts to lower his ERA to 3.53.

Quantrill has found success with his splitter this season. The Dodgers countered it with three of their nine hits on the pitch and found success despite their fifth-inning, extra-base hits coming with exit velocities under 91 miles per hour — 95 is considered a “hard-hit” ball.

What’s up next

The Rockies will host Cincinnati in a three-game home set.

They have gone 8-11 against the Reds since 2021 and dropped the season series 2-4 in 2024. Elly De La Cruz comes into Coors Field as the main attraction. He has stolen 32 bases through 58 games after swiping 35 in 98 games last season. The figure puts him on pace for nearly 100 stolen bases this season. He would be the first to do so since Vince Coleman in 1987 (109).

Dodgers 4, Rockies 0

What happened: Los Angeles used five scoreless innings from starter Gavin Stone to lead a four-man pitching crew that allowed just five hits and stranded five Rockies’ baserunners on base to clinch the series.

On the mound: Austin Gomber worked his shortest start since Aug. 28, 2023. He went three innings and allowed three earned runs on five hits and three walks. His previous start was scheduled for Monday against Cleveland but was moved back due to arm fatigue. Peter Lambert entered in long relief and threw 2⅔ scoreless innings but walked three. Anthony Molina allowed an earned run in 2⅓ innings.

At the plate: Los Angeles’ relievers registered eight consecutive outs to help hold the Rockies to five hits in Sunday’s loss. Ryan McMahon found the bulk of Colorado’s success with a hit and two walks to bring his OPS to .841. Brendan Rodgers’ 10-game hit streak ended with his 0-for-4 day that included a pair of strikeouts. He hit .333 during the stretch.

What’s next: Cincinnati Reds (LHP Andrew Abbott, 3-5) at Colorado Rockies (RHP Ryan Feltner, 1-4) at 6:40 p.m. on Monday at Coors Field (Rockies.TV).

Austin Gomber's shortest start dooms Colorado in series loss to Dodgers | Rockies Rewind (2024)
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