April 14, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Trevor Bauer flirts with no-hitter in Dodgers’ win over Rockies

One didn’t need a view of home plate at Coors Field to know that Trevor Bauer was dominating the Colorado Rockies for the first six innings of the Dodgers’ 11-6 win Friday night. His body language told the story.

He stared down Raimel Tapia after striking him out to end the third inning. He released a roar and a muted Conor McGregor strut when Dom Nuñez whiffed on a curveball to conclude the fifth. The strut became more pronounced by the end of the sixth, after getting Josh Fuentes to flail at a slider for his eighth strikeout.

At that point, six innings into his Dodgers debut, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner was crafting the second no-hitter in Coors Field history, a mile-high hitter’s haven opened in 1995. He was feeling himself. The Dodgers were enjoying a 10-run lead. Then a Coors Field Special erupted.

The Rockies swatted away Bauer’s no-hit fling in the seventh inning, scoring four runs on two homers before he was replaced. David Price relieved Bauer in his own Dodgers debut and promptly gave up home runs to the first two batters he faced.

In all, the Rockies scored six runs on four home runs, but the Dodgers assembled enough of a cushion to avoid a complete meltdown and secure their first win of the season.

A night after going three for 16 and leaving 14 runners on base in their opening-day loss, the Dodgers didn’t squander many opportunities Friday. They pounced on Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela with two runs in each of the first two innings. They added three in the fourth, chasing the right-hander with one out in the inning.

Mookie Betts connects for a double off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela in the second inning for the Dodgers.

(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Dodgers baserunner Cody Bellinger, right, beats the tag of Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story.

Dodgers baserunner Cody Bellinger, right, beats the tag of Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story at third base during the eighth inning Friday.

(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

The Dodgers accumulated 16 hits, giving them 31 through two games. And yet none was technically a home run (a baserunning gaffe rendered Cody Bellinger’s ball over the wall Thursday a single) despite the thin air. Justin Turner, Corey Seager and Will Smith each compiled three hits. Mookie Betts and Gavin Lux each contributed two.

Hideo Nomo threw the first and only no-hitter at Coors Field on Sept. 17, 1996. The Japanese right-hander, then in his second season in the major leagues, survived a rain delay of over an hour. He threw 110 pitches, walked four, and struck out nine.

Bauer was far more efficient through six innings Friday. He needed just 76 pitches, 54 for strikes, for the 18 outs. He rode his slider and cutter to eight strikeouts. He walked one. Then the momentum swiftly flipped.

Trevor Story, the Rockies’ best player, broke the no-hitter with a leadoff line-drive single on the first pitch. Two pitches later, Charlie Blackmon smacked a home run over the right-field wall. Bauer then issued his second walk to C.J. Cron before Ryan McMahon clubbed the next pitch for a two-run home run. They were the first home runs hit in the series after 15 innings without one.

Bauer faced one more hitter. He ended a nine-pitch clash with Garrett Hampson with his 10th strikeout, prompting Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to take the ball from him. Bauer walked off to a loud ovation from the strong contingent of Dodgers fans making up about half of the 20,363 fans in attendance.

He departed with a six-run lead. The Rockies made the Dodgers sweat when Nuñez and Sam Hilliard welcomed Price with solo shots to cut the Dodgers’ lead to 10-6. But the margin didn’t shrink beyond that and Bauer’s debut ended in victory.