Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Rockies smash Cubs, snap five game slide

For one day, it felt like it was May again. The offense crushed, with 16 hits and 13 runs, as four players had 3+ hit games. Jordan Lyles moved to 6-1 in his first start in two months with great control, and the bullpen held the lead with three clean innings. This really feels like a May 7 Rockies win, not an August 7 one. It felt really nice, and the 13-4 win also snapped a five game losing streak.

Yesterday was full of good offensive performances. Carlos Gonzalez finally had the huge game we’ve been waiting for, as he went 3-5 with the go-ahead two run shot in the sixth which turned a 4-4 game into a 6-4 one. He added a double and a single, and it looked like he saw the ball well. To me, it looked like vintage CarGo. It might just be a one-time thing, but we know CarGo has a lot more of these kind of games in him. Perhaps this is the start of a hot streak from Gonzalez. This team could certainly use it, especially with Troy Tulowitzki out.

A few less heralded players also had huge offensive games, but they weren’t as surprising as you would think. Both Corey Dickerson and Michael McKenry have played really well this season, and they were the heart of the offense yesterday, even though they were hitting out of the 6th and 7th spots. Dickerson snapped a 1-21 skid by going 4-4 and finishing a homer short of the cycle, while McKenry had a huge homer to left among his three hits. In a (very) disappointing season, Dickerson and McKenry (although McKenry hasn’t played much) must be considered bright spots.

The hitting was great, but to me, the story and highlight of this game was Jordan Lyles. It’s not that he pitched amazingly, although allowing six hits and four runs in six innings at Coors Field is pretty solid, it’s that he pitched. The last time Lyles started a game, it was June 4th and the Rockies were 28-29 (they moved to 28-30 that night). The season has gone downhill very quickly since Lyles went down, so his return from a broken hand is welcome. Along with Brett Anderson, he’s been the most effective Rockies starter, and he’s also just 23 years old.

If he can prove he can continue to succeed at Coors over the next two months, he will be part of the 2015 rotation, although to be fair he doesn’t have much competition for a rotation spot (Yohan Flande anyone?). In this game, he was pretty solid, locating his pitches (61 of his 93 pitches were strikes) and limiting mistakes. Four runs allowed in six innings doesn’t seem great, but Lyles kept the Rockies in the game, something few of their pitchers this year have consistently done.

The Rockies will look to build on their one game winning streak (even one win has to be considered a streak for this team) this afternoon with Yohan Flande (0-3, 5.72) looking to win his first game against Kyle Hendricks (2-1, 2.05) of the Cubs. Looks like it could be another high scoring game.

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