Denver– Chad Bettis was looking to exorcise some of the recent demons he has faced on the bump and started strong against the Yankees on Wednesday retiring the first nine batters he faced.
The Rockies took an early 1-0 lead thanks to a pair of singles from Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado and some small ball from DJ LeMahieu in between. The Yankees would answer in the fourth inning thanks to three quick singles to tie the game. Yankees RF Aaron Hicks hit a soft swinging bunt towards the direction of Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis in which it looked like Bettis called Wolters to field instead of him and force a tough throw to first that he would airmail down the right field line allowing the second Yankee run of the frame.
Blackmon, LeMahieu, and Arenado would re-ignite the Rockies offense in the 5th. After Blackmon walked and stole second, D.J. LeMahieu singled him home to tie the game. Then Arenado launched his 20th home run of the year to the left field stands to take a 4-2 lead. Mark Reynolds would later bring in Trevor Story on a single ripped to left increase the Rockies lead by three.
Bettis would see another streak of 6 straight retired broken by three consecutive two-out hits by the Yankees in the 6th inning, plating one run for the Bronx small-ballers.
Another scary moment for the Rockies for the second straight day as DJ LeMahieu took a ball to the dome off of a pitch from Yankees pitcher Anthony Swarzak. LeMahieu would stay in the game at second base. Miguel Castro would enter the game in relief of Chad Bettis and throw behind Yankees catcher Austine Romine, earning both benches a warning.
LeMahieu would bounce back in the eighth inning blasting a triple to right-center field off of Aroldis Champman to bring home Charlie Blackmon for a late insurance run.
The combo of Castro (h), Logan (h), Motte (h) and Estevez (save, 3) would shut the door on any Yankees come back posting 3 clean innings, 0 hits, 0 BB, and 1 k.
“We’re not perfect yet, far from it,” manager Walt Weiss said of the team’s current stretch of good play, “but we’re playing good baseball and I think we’re just going to continue to get better and better.”
“There’s a lot of love in this clubhouse and I felt that from everybody,” said Bettis, attributing some of the strength he displayed to his teammates. “The [pitch]mix was much better today than it had been in my last four outings.”
The Rockies also announced at the conclusion of this game that Gerardo Parra will indeed need to go on the disabled list and will likely need a three-week recovery. Brandon Barnes‘ removal from last night’s Albuquerque Isotopes games makes him the most likely candidate to fill in for Parra.
The Nolan Arenado homer in the 5th was the turning point and the emphatic exclamation point on this big win for the Rockies.
It really doesn’t matter what their record is or how many games the series goes, a sweep of the Yankees always feels good. The continuation of good play, great pitching, consistent offense, and a shut-down bullpen has got some Rockies fans rightfully wondering if this team might be a contender a lot earlier than they had originally imagined.