The Colorado Rockies may have been listening, over the break, to some of their halfway reports coming from media far and wide including us here at BSN Denver. The offense, in particular, has been called into question as of late so they thought they would send a message by starting the second half of the season with a bang; an 11-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
As is always the case, this was only one game and cannot be used to jump to any far-reaching conclusions. Furthermore, the 2016 Atlanta Braves aren’t exactly the 1927 New York Yankees, so … whatever signs the Rockies displayed during this game must be understood in that context.
Mark Reynolds was the only starting position player who did not contribute to the scoring. The only one. Even Daniel Descalso who was replaced mid-game, went 0-for-2 with an RBI sac fly.
Carlos Gonzalez led the offense with three hits and a walk, raising his average to .324. Co-star Nolan Arenado grabbed a pair of hits and a pair of walks and scored three times. DJ LeMahieu and Charlie Blackmon each notched a hit apiece and scored two runs. Trevor Story scored twice and walked twice.
What all of this really amounts to is that the Rockies nabbed themselves a 7-2 lead without any power offense. Ryan Raburn put the exclamation point on the night by hitting a grand slam in the top of the ninth inning.
Jorge De La Rosa continues to be fantastic since his return from the DL and the bullpen. Over six innings, he allowed just two runs — flirting with a shutout for much of the night — while walking three and striking out two.
Adam Ottavino and Boone Logan worked clean frames while Chad Qualls finished things up, allowing just one hit.
It was a wire-to-wire victory for the Rockies who looked in control of the game for almost every single second of it.
Line drive hits with runners on base need to become a trend is the Rockies want to get back into the thick of things and surprise people in the second half. Batting average with RISP (runners in scoring position) is a key for every baseball team that has ever existed all the way down to little league, but today the Rockies proved again that they can move guys over and drive them in on the road.
The future will all about whether or not they can continue that. The road has been a nightmare for the offense but today could be a not-so-subtle reminder that taking a more conservative approach can pay massive dividends in such contests.
Game 2 in Atlanta tomorrow sees Chad Bettis take the hills against young promising pitcher Mike Foltynewicz who is trying to establish himself as the Braves ace of the future. First pitch is at 5:10 MST.