The Rockies' season to forget added another chapter Tuesday.
Jon Gray's scheduled start Tuesday night was pushed back because of continuing soreness in his right ankle, which he hurt when he stumbled down the stairs into the dugout at San Diego in his start last Thursday.
Jeff Hoffman was called up from Triple-A Albuquerque to start in Gray's place, and lasted two innings in Tuesday's game against Arizona, giving up seven runs, including four home runs, a record for a Rockies pitcher in two or fewer innings.
Gray's injury did not flare up until after the game ended.
"He continued to pitch and during the course of the game he was fine, but that that night it started to swell a little, and the next day a little more," said Black.
There was progress during the weekend, but there was enough of a tweak when he threw on the side Sunday the Rockies decided to push his start back to Friday or Saturday against the Marlins.
"He will throw some batting practice Wednesday and slot back in Friday or Saturday," said Black.
With the Rockies off Thursday that will afford German Marquez and other members of the rotation an extra day between starts.
Hoffman was far from spectacular in his return to the big leagues for a fourth call up this season. It was the second time in his Rockies career he allowed four home runs in a start. He also did it in 4 1/3 innings against Atlanta on Aug. 17, 2017.
It also was the second time a Rockies starter allowed four home runs in a game this year. Rookie Peter Lambert gave up four runs, but only five runs total, against the Dodgers in 4 1/3 innings on June 27.
He also became the first pitcher in Roickies history to allow four home runs in an appearance of two or fewer innings.
Hoffman also gave up four home runs in a game for the second time in his career, two of the 27 times in franchise history a Rockies pitcher has allowed four home runs in a start.
He was one home run shy of the Rockies starting pitcher record set by Mark Thompson in three innings against Atlanta on April 19, 91998, and equaled by Shawn Chacon in five innings against the Angels on July 8, 2001, and by Alex White against the Reds on Sept. 10, 2011.
This adds to the problems for a Rockies team that was in the No. 2 spot in the NL Wild Card when the month of July started, but woke up Tuesday morning in 10th place in the Wild Card standings, 9 1/2 games back of the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot, and ahead of only the Pirates and the Marlins.
Gray and German Marquez have been a solid 1-2 punch for the Rockies in the rotation, and Gray has been well above any other Rockies starter at Coors Field. Gray's 5-2 record is the best winning percentage and most wins of any of the nine pitchers who have started a game for the Rockies at Coors Field this year.
Gray's 3.88 ERA at Coors is light years ahead of any other starter the Rockies have used. Chi Chi Gonzalez, who has made only two Coors Field starts, is second in ERA at 5.00, followed by Hoffman, who has a 5.85 Coors Field ERA in four starts, and Marquez, who has a 6.45 Coors Field ERA in 12 starts, one more than Gray.
Hoffman is 6-6 with a 7.91 ERA in 14 appearances -- 13 of them starts -- at Triple-A Albuquerque this year. He will be making his fourth appearance on the Rockies roster ths year. He is 1-3 with a 6.57 ERA in eight starts. He made one-start appearances on April 23 and July 25, and took six regular turns in the rotation May 24-June 20, getting a call up after the decision was made for Tyler Anderson to have season-ending and career-threatening left knee surgery.
Hoffman has made four starts at Coors Field this year, failing to get past the fifth inning in any of them.
Hoffman's inconsistency has been such that since that lengthy stretch of starts for the Rockies in May and June before he was sent back to Albuquerque, the Rockies have called up and inserted Peter Lambert and Chi Chi Rodriguez into the rotation ahead of Hoffman. Hoffman's July 25 start at Washington came after the Rockies were rained out in the opening game of that series, and added a sixth starter because of the game being made up as part of a doubleheader.