It has been a hellish week for the Rockies, losers of seven of their last eight games. They lost starter Roy Oswalt to a hamstring injury in the second inning this afternoon, then lost outfielder Carlos Gonzalez to a right hand injury in the ninth inning just as they were ready to escape the Arizona heat.
With one out in the ninth inning, Gonzalez swung at and fouled off the first pitch he saw from Diamondbacks reliever Josh Collmenter, an 88 MPH cut fastball. He grimaced on the backswing, then immediately dropped the bat and paced around the home plate area, shaking his hand. Manager Walt Weiss and a trainer came out to find out more about Gonzalez’s pain. After a couple minutes of deliberation, Gonzalez walked off the field and was pinch-hit for with Todd Helton, who eventually struck out for the second out. Michael Cuddyer then struck out to end the game, a 6-1 victory for the first-place Diamondbacks.
Troy Renck reports that Gonzalez sprained the middle finger on his right hand. Fortunately for the Rockies, x-rays came up negative and the outfielder is listed as day-to-day.
Despite the earlier rain, the All-Star Game got underway on time and following the usual pregame festivities Max Scherzer took the hill to face the American League.
Scherzer did great in the first inning, striking out Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve and then, following a walk to Mike Trout and giving up a single to J.D. Matinez, retired Jose Ramirez on a weak popup. Scherzer was cooing with gas: the reigning Cy Young winner had not thrown a pitch as fast as 98 m.p.h. all season, but he threw three of those during his scoreless first.
Chris Sale‘s work in the bottom half was more about nasty stuff than mere heat. Following a leadoff single allowed to Javier Baez he got Nolan Arenado to fly out to left, struck out Paul Goldschmidt on a nasty slider and then got Freddie Freeman out via a fly to left.
Aaron Judge led off the second. The same Aaron Judge someone wrote today could be trade bait if the Yankees felt so inclined. Which, um, OK, that was dumb anyway, but it looked even dumber when Judge muscled Scherzer’s second pitch — a letter-high fastball — out to left field with many, many feet to spare for a homer.
Scherzer got the rest of the A.L. side, but the damage had been done. The American League leads 1-0 after an inning and a half.