DENVER - Rookie Trevor Story, you know about him right? The guy that clobbered a bunch of dingers in the first 10 days of the season. You know, the almost all-star shortstop of the Colorado Rockies. That guy, yeah! Well about him, he's unequivocally good. Scratch that, he's great. The record-setting shortstop powered the Rockies past the Atlanta Braves 8-4.
Albeit the story was Story, rookie Tyler Anderson once again pitched into the sixth inning tonight, displaying the fruitfulness that has been the Rockies rotation as of late. He's pitched into the sixth inning in all sixth of his starts at 20th and Blake and really kept the ball away from tried bullpen. Especially when you consider the rain delay Anderson had to sit through, it was another solid game in his very young career.
The second inning showed signs of what was to come for Anderson as he was hurt by a few paper cuts and surrendered an RBI single to pitcher Matt Wisler. The Rockies came right back at in the bottom half with a leadoff walk drawn to Carlos Gonzalez. Trevor Story drove in his buddy and himself with a 430-foot blast to centerfield giving the Rockies a 2-1 lead.
Back came the Braves in the third after a 47-minute rain delay. They played the small ball, not the recently dampened field and netted themselves a point. They did the same in the fourth giving themselves a 3-2 lead. But Anderson clamped down and prevented the Braves from scoring another on his watch despite giving up eight hits.
"We felt comfortable brining him back out," Manger Walt Weiss said of his pitcher and the weather delay. "Going back out for the sixth there was some debate there because of the delay, but I checked in with him and he was adamant about how he felt. I thought he got better as the game went along, he found his slot for his changeup because early a lot of changeups were up."
Indeed he did get better but the third run that scored was one that got under the lefty's skin as it was brought around on a balk.
"I don't like it to, but everyone on this team wants to win every game and it comes down to competing," Anderson said of his momentary bark at an umpire for correctly calling a balk. "And in that situation, it resulted in a run, you're mad you don't want that, I kinda blacked out a bit."
Overall, though, the last three innings were just what the doctor ordered. He did his best to limit walks and keep his changeup down and the Braves didn't have an answer.
"He's very competitive, strong willed, but that's a good thing," Weiss said. "That's why he's hit the ground running at the major league level."
When the Rockies came to bat in the sixth they were just one run behind. When the Rockies took the field in the seventh they were up four. Thanks to a huge, bat-around-rally, the club knocked in five. Started by a walk handed to DJ LeMahieu followed by a Nolan Arenado single and run-scoring double by Carlos Gonzalez the home nine clicked. Then came up Story, who already had recorded two hits in the game, he singled in two.
"Come up in a big spot like that and get those two RBI to go-ahead, that was huge," he said following the victory.
But the Rockies weren't done, two more walks and a two-RBI single by Tony Wolters but the nail in the Atlanta Braves coffin.
The Braves briefly rallied on Jake McGee in the eighth but Story answered right back with a 445-foot solo shot to keep the Rockies lead at four.
"Three runs in this park that're not a lot," Story said. "I was just trying to get a run, get on base or something, luckily I hit a home run."
"He's having a great year, just continues to do great things," Weiss said about Story, "It seems like he breaks another record every week or two. He keeps clicking, he's having a dream season."
Not only did Anderson give the Rockies one more inning taking major strain off their bullpen, the club's offense came through for their biggest inning of the night.
PLAYER OF THE GAME:
There aren't words for how good this rookie has been. Tonight, he went four-for-four with two homers, five RBI and a stolen base. Something only a few Rockies have ever done.
"It kinda is, (Scott) Oberg and I were talking about it after he came in for pitching. We played with him at every level and you could see he just kept getting better and better and he always had super impressive BP and you always could see he was a young hitter and his approach wasn't there. He repeated Modesto his approach improved. He repeated Double-A his approach improved, by the time we saw him last year in Albuquerque we were like, 'this guy is a stud, he's gonna play no matter where you put him.' I'm not surprised he's worked so hard."
BY THE NUMBERS:
3 - Tyler Anderson tabbed his third carer MLB victory and second one of the homestand.
5 - The Rockies are five games back of .500.
8 - Story has eight homers in the last 13 games.
25 - Trevor Story hit his 25th HR of the year which broke the NL rookie record for shortstops set by Troy Tulowitzki.
The Rockies finish their seven-game homestand and four-game series against the Braves tomorrow (Sunday) at 2:10. Tyler Chatwood will get the ball for the second time after the All-Star Break and he'll face Tyrell Jenkins.