Rockies 4, Dodgers 1: Pepiot strikes out 9 while the offense goes quiet to start doubleheader

It took Caleb Ferguson 13 pitches to make me regret pointing out he’s been pretty much fine in his opener appearances this season as the first three batters reached base.

After the three base runners, a ground out, fly out and single ended Ferguson’s day at 18 pitches with three runs allowed before Ryan Pepiot was allowed the opportunity to enter a game with runners on base. While Pepiot needed just four pitches to record that final out, the Dodgers were left playing from behind to begin Tuesday’s doubleheader at Coors Field.

Unfortunately, the offense failed to match the Rockies’ early scoring as the Dodgers dropped today’s first game 4-1.


As mentioned above, Ferguson had one of his rough outings as he allowed three earned runs in an appearance for the third time this season in addition to the four unearned runs against the Padres back in August.

That came after Mookie Betts opened the game with an infield single and a steal against Chase Anderson that Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy and J.D. Martinez failed to bring home. This would be a somewhat common theme for the Dodgers.

Kiké Hernández reached in the second with a one-out single to center, just his third hit in his past 21 at-bats, but was immediately erased as James Outman grounded into a double play. After going down in order in the 3rd, a walk for Muncy and a two-out single for Heyward brought Hernandez back up to the plate… and a weak ground ball to short left both stranded to end the inning.

While Pepiot continued to keep the Rockies off the board, recording the first 1-2-3 inning of the game in the 4th, the offense continues to leave runners on. A two-out walk to Austin Barnes on four pitches and a pair of first-pitch singles for Betts and Freeman should have scored a run or at least loaded the bases, but the Dodgers found another way to end the inning.

While Dino Ebel held up Barnes at third, Betts continued on to third to force an out at the plate and keep the Dodgers scoreless against Anderson.

After 5 innings with five hits and two walks allowed to four strikeouts, Anderson gave way to Brent Suter in the 6th and the Dodgers again put a pair on. A 2-2 single for Martinez and a first-pitch double for Heyward (against the left-handed Suter) put runners on second and third… and the Dodgers managed to make another out at home plate.

The high chopper by Hernandez led to an easy out as Martinez took off for the plate and was nowhere near scoring.

Amazingly, and I guess fittingly, the first and only run of the game for the Dodgers came as Outman struck out against Suter with old friend Austin Wynns missing the ball and then throwing down (well too late) to first, as Heyward came all the way around from second to make it 3-1.

That forced Suter from the game after 23 pitches, with Jake Bird entering to face Miguel Rojas and end the inning with a fly out. Bird returned for the 7th, needing just nine pitches to erase Barnes, Betts and Freeman for one of just two clean innings in the game for the Rockies’ pitching.

With the Rockies finally breaking through for one run against Pepiot in the 7th to extend the lead back to 4-1, and the Dodgers stranding Heyward and Kolten Wong in the 8th, Michael Grove got 1 1/3 innings of work to follow Pepiot’s strong outing. After ending the 7th with a strikeout of Kris Bryant, Grove allowed a single in the 8th, but otherwise was okay as he struck out two batters on the day and was helped by Wong making this play.

Fittingly the Dodgers did put more runners on in the 9th as Tyler Kinley allowed a double to Barnes and then hit Freeman with a two-out, 2-2 slider to bring Muncy to the plate. However, after working the count full against Kinley, Muncy struck out on a slider up in the zone to end the game.


While he did allow an 0-2 double to Brendan Rodgers and a 3-2 homer by Nolan Jones with the pitch, Pepiot’s change-up produced 16 misses on 26 swings through his 6 innings of work. The Rockies put the pitch in play six times leading to four hits. After Rodgers doubled in the 3rd, Ryan McMahon followed one batter later with a 1-1 fly out to left. Ezequiel Tovar grounded out in the 5th against the pitch on what was the first pitch of the inning and Rodgers got it again in the 6th with a bloop single on a 2-2 count. Sean Bouchard basically did the same thing later in the 6th inning, floating a change that was in the middle of the zone for a 1-1 single. Pepiot left it up a little from where he had worked all the swing and misses on his final pitch of the day, leading to Jones’ homer and the end of his outing.

Before the homer, Pepiot finished off Brenton Doyle, Jones, Elehuris Montero (2 times), Bouchard, Bryant, McMahon and Wynns all swinging with the change to account for eight of his career-high nine strikeouts in the game. Pepiot kept the pitch down for all of those strikeouts, with the fly out in the 3rd for McMahon, the two singles in the 6th and the homer in the 7th the few occasions he left the pitch up at all from what I could see.


Bobby Miller will be on the mound for his 21st career start that comes against his 18th different opponent as he visits Coors Field for the first time.

First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. PT with Colorado sending Ryan Feltner (5.13 ERA/4.17 FIP) out to face Miller.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree.