Denver – The Colorado Rockies came out firing on all cylinders early in this rubber match against the Chicago Cubs. Nolan Arenado and the Rockies offense jumped out to a 7-0 lead after the first inning, and with some help from Jorge De La Rosa on the mound and even at the plate, the Rockies would go on to win the game and take the three-game set against the Cubs.
De La Rosa set down the Cubs in order to start the game, but the Rockies had other plans in the bottom half of the inning. Things were cooking right away for the Rockies with David Dahl and DJ Lemahieu singles. Then a frustrated and slumping Nolan Arenado stepped up to the plate and absolutely punished a Jason Hammel fastball, 444 feet right down the left field line that just stayed fair for a home run.
“It was just a matter of time with Nolan,” Manager Walt Weiss noted postgame. Prior to the game, he joked “we have to keep sharp objects away from Nolan when he’s in a slump.” Today Arenado’s persistence paid deviance.
But the first inning magic didn’t stop there. Anthony Rizzo botched a routine groundout from Gerardo Parra, allowing him to reach first base. Daniel Descalso followed Parra with a walk, and then Kris Bryant committed the Cubs second error of the inning on a ground ball off the bat of Ben Paulsen, loading the bases.
Tony Wolters stepped up to the plate and smacked a two-run double to deep center, and then De La Rosa helped himself out by plating two more runs on a clean line-drive single, increasing the Rockies lead to 7-0.
De La Rosa continued to keep the Cubs dangerous bats in check through the fourth inning, but Hammel ran into more trouble in the bottom half of the fourth. In fact, Arenado decided one three-run bomb wouldn’t be enough for this contest, so he did it again. This time, he hit it 449 feet and all the way onto the left field concourse, making the score 10-0.
“Sometimes you feel like it’s never gonna end,” Arenado told of his slump that he busted today. “But after the game last night me and the Assistant Hitting Coach we were talking about it, we were almost arguing about it. Like, “there’s something off,” you know? But we hit last night for a bit and I was able to sleep better and I applied today and it worked out.”
De La Rosa’s only blemishes came in the fifth and seventh innings, both on solo home runs to Addison Russell. The lefty had his best outing of the entire season, allowing only one run on four hits in eight innings while striking out six and walking only one batter.
“We know he is very well capable of giving us a performance like that,” Weiss said of De La Rosa. “That’s a really tough lineup to navigate you have to execute pitch after pitch. It’s a grind. I like the way Jorge used his fastball.”
Lemahieu tagged a solo home run in the eighth inning to bring the lead to 11-2, and the Rockies would hold down the large lead and defeat the Cubs 11-4.
Going 4-2 on this homestand against the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs has to feel good. No, it doesn’t feel as good as 6-0, but the Nationals and Cubs are two of the better teams in baseball this season, and the Rockies showed a lot of grit against them. Responding to last night’s loss with a win like this against the best team in baseball shows this team still has a lot of fight left in them this season.
Player of the Game:
Nolan Arenado. Four-for-five with two home runs and six RBIs? His slump is long gone.
By the Numbers:
22 – Jason Hammel hadn’t allowed a single run in 22 innings since the All-Star break. The Rockies scored 7 runs against him before he recorded his second out in the first inning.
104 – Nolan Arenado’s RBI total after today’s game. He now leads all of MLB in RBIs.