The Colorado Rockies played exactly the kind of all-around quality baseball game they needed on a cool Tuesday evening at Coors Field in the second game against the Miami Marlins. With their best pitcher on the hill in Jose Urena, the Fish held a slight advantage on paper but the Rockies scored early and often and got a brilliant pitching performance from Tyler Anderson to win their 85th game of the season by a score of 6-0.
Charlie Blackmon, after his music eerily failed to play over the loudspeaker at Coors, led things off with a walk in the top of the first. He went first-to-third on a DJ LeMahieu single to right field, sliding in just ahead of a good throw from Giancarlo Stanton. The aggressiveness paid off when the shift turned a hard groundball up the middle from Carlos Gonzalez into a double play. Still, Blackmon scored the always important first run of the game.
Nolan Arenado took the first pitch he saw right back up the middle and Mark Reynolds pulled one through the right side to give Colorado a pair of two-out base runners. Again, their efforts turned out to be incredibly important when Trevor Story put together one of the finest at-bats of his career -- especially considering context -- hammering the ninth pitch he saw over the high fence in right-center field to put the Rockies on top 4-0.
The Rockies kept getting hits but wouldn't score again until the fifth, getting the middle-of-the-order production they envisioned at the beginning of the season but have rarely seen. Carlos Gonzalez sliced an opposite-field double into the gap with a vintage CarGo swing and Arenado followed with a monstrous home run, deep over the center field wall. It was his 36th home run of the season, giving him 129 RBI. It also tied his career high in hits from a year ago at 182.
Rockies starter Tyler Anderson was nothing short of excellent once again, pitching seven strong innings, allowing just four singles, inducing a couple of double plays and striking out five without walking a batter. He had full command of the entire arsenal, most especially the change-up that produced a number of ugly swings from Marlins hitters. Even one of the four hits recorded against him could easily have been called an error on Arenado.
This reaction from catcher Jonathan Lucroy pretty much sums up Anderson's night:
Chris Rusin and Mike Dunn worked clean innings in the eighth and ninth apart from a two-out double to Stanton in the final frame, securing the win.
Blackmon walked three times in the game and scored once, bringing his total to 135 runs scored. He is just the 11th player in MLB history to have at least 130 runs, 30 2Bs, 10 3Bs & 35 HRs.
Colorado improved to 85- and with the Milwaukee Brewers winning held onto a 1.5 game lead for the second spot in the NL Wild Card. The final game of the series takes place Wednesday afternoon at 1:10 mountain time. The Rockies hand the ball to Jon Gray against Adam Conley.