It was a quiet kind of road win, the likes of which has eluded the Rockies for much of the past half-decade. They didn’t slug their way to a rare win, instead playing more small-ball and continuing a promising trend.
The first run of the game came on a two-out single from Nolan Arenado in the top of the third. It was his 33rd RBI of 2016 which puts him just one behind Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs for first place in the National League. Arenado has simply been fantastic all year.
In the next inning, the Rockies got a pair of runs from a pair of unlikely offensive forces. First, a solid single up the middle from Dustin Garneau plated Mark Reynolds who had walked and advanced on a DJ LeMahieu single. Then Chad Bettis helped his own cause, and the team’s, with a high-chopper that turned into a force out but still managed to score LeMahieu.
Bettis did more than his part on the mound to make sure those three runs were all the Rockies would need. He didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning and had only given up two heading into the seventh. However, three straight two-out singles from the Cardinals in the seventh plated a run and chased Bettis from the game.
His final line: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. It was the Rockies fourth straigh Quality Start. Bettis lowered his season ERA to 4.18. By keeping the Cardinals completely off balance all night, Bettis put the team on his back from the get-go.
Boone Logan continues to embarass left-handed hitting, inducing a groundout from Matt Carpenter to end the Cards only real threat of the game in the seventh inning. He lowered his ERA to 1.93.
Meanwhile, Walt Weiss continues to show supreme confidence in rookie Carlos Estevez, throwing him into a close game against the greatest franchise in the history of the National League. Estevez worked a clean eighth with a strikeout, at one point touching 99 mph on the radar gun. It was his sixth Hold of the year.
Jake McGee notched two punchouts in securing his 13th Save of the season to only two blown.
The Rockies outplayed the Cardinals in every inning of this game.
Gonna go ahead and give it to Boone again. In the grand history of Colorado Rockies baseball, that Matt Carpenter at-bat is where everything would have gone awry for the boys in purple. Instead of losing the high-leverage situation, the Rockies came out with the lead still intact and slammed the door.
If they play this well — as a cohesive unit — for the entire nine game road trip, it will officially be time to start wondering if this team is a legitimate threat.
Game 2 of the series against the Cardinals kicks off at 6:15 MST. Tough pitching matchup for the Rockies. Chris Rusin takes on Adam Wainwright.