Charlie Blackmon has made history. And so have the Colorado Rockies.
10 years to the day they started the famous “Rocktober” run of 2007, Colorado put up their biggest shutout win since a 13-0 victory over the Miami Marlins a decade ago.
Blackmon had been sitting on 88 RBI for five games and even got the night off on Friday after going o-for-3… games… in Arizona. But in the bottom of the third, the Rockies center fielder hit a bloop double to left, scoring Jonathan Lucroy who had singled and moved to second on a sac bunt, giving himself sole possession of the National League record for most RBI as a leadoff man in MLB history. It was also the first run of the game in an eventual 16-0 smackdown for the Rockies over the San Diego Padres.
DJ LeMahieu followed with a sharp single in between the dramatically shifted outfield to score Blackmon. He moved to second on a Carlos Gonzalez single and scored on the Rockies third straight one-bagger, an up-the-middle hard grounder from RBI King Nolan Arenado. CarGo and Arenado scored on the fourth straight single off the bat of Trevor Story to make it 5-0 before the Padres could escape the inning.
Arenado also pulled this off in the top half of the frame:
It only LOOKS easy because it’s Nolan. pic.twitter.com/s7jIxGYj6V
— MLB (@MLB) September 17, 2017
LeMahieu led off the bottom of the fifth with a walk and Gonzalez smashed his 13th home run of the season to the second deck in right field, 427 feet from home plate. That put the Rockies up 7-0 and chased their former teammate Jordan Lyles from the game, walking off the mound at Coors Field with a familiar feeling. Coming into this contest, CarGo had been hitting .311/.382/.518 with 16 doubles and six home runs over his last 48 games.
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) September 17, 2017
For the record, I did actually call this one.
Rockies starters Tyler Anderson was magnificent in his return to starting, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He mixed his pitches incredibly well, getting a myriad of weak groundouts and popouts, mostly on the infield. He was on a strict pitch limit, which would have made it an interesting decision for Bud Black had Carlos Asuaje not broken up the no-hitter with a swinging bunt, but he did and Anderson’s day was done after he escaped a second straight single by striking out Wil Myers.
His final line: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.
Things got even uglier for the Padres in the bottom of the sixth. After singles from Lucroy and Alexi Amarista (as a pinch-hitter for Anderson) Blackmon launched his 35th home run of the season, extending his own new NL RBI record and becoming the first player since 1948 with at least 35 homers, 10 triples, 130 runs, 90 RBI, and 30 doubles.
In the next at-bat, Padres reliever Miguel Diaz hit LeMahieu which the Colorado second baseman took exception to. The benches cleared and Diaz was immediately ejected as the pitch seemed on purpose. Nothing much came of the empty-bench situation, though.
The Rockies tacked on six more runs in the seventh, getting singles from a pinch-hitting Raimel Tapia followed by Gerardo Parra, Ian Desmond, and Jonathan Lucroy. Then Amarista walked to load the bases and Pat Valaika (Valatenight) smashed a grand slam, his 12th home run of the season to give the Rockies a whopping 16-0 lead.
With a pair of hits in the game, Blackmon extended his MLB lead and now has 198 on this season. Arenado’s RBI put him at 125, which is 12 more than anyone else in the game.
Colorado improved to 82-67 and have guaranteed themselves their first winning record since 2010. Both the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers lost, giving the Rockies a 3.5 game lead for the second NL Wild Card spot. Jon Gray takes the ball against another former Rockie, Jhoulys Chacin, in the series finale Sunday afternoon at 1:10 local time. Gray has been the third best pitcher in MLB, according to fWAR, in the second half.