Apr 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run during the third inning against the Chicago Cubs at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
After a 4-1 victory Tuesday night, the Colorado Rockies are now 6-2, and 5-0 on the road. Here’s what we learned about the club after a tough game in San Francisco.
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Doesn’t it feel damn good to be leading the division, undefeated on the road, pitching well with a lights out bullpen, and hitting the ball?
Next goal: make sure this good feeling continues for the next 170 days, which might be easier said than done.
Either way, lessons learned and mental notes made right here:
Undefeated On The Road
I don’t expect an 81-0 season on the road, but considering this team is 5-0 already where they only won 21 games away from Coors Field last year… how can you not be happy about that?
Keep it up, fellas! And the Rox already have clinched series victories in both their road series thus far, with Wednesday’s affair in San Francisco forthcoming.
WHAT THE HELL, NOLAN ARENADO
YOU ARE THE BEST DEFENSIVE THIRD BASEMEN IN BASEBALL.
Bergman did the damn thing!
Seriously, for a spot start, Bergman tossed four scoreless and gave the Rockies a chance to win. Sure, they needed five really good innings from the bullpen (and they got it), but Bergman wasn’t stretched out to throw six stanzas; he gave the team four great frames and did his job on relatively short notice.
Now, it looks like Jorge De La Rosa will soon return to the club and Bergman can go back to long relief. But seriously, Arenado’s play, Ottavino’s save, none of that matters if Christian Bergman doesn’t do his job early.
We’ll have a more in-depth grading of Bergman coming later this morning.
Welcome to the big leagues, Scott Oberg
And with that, your first Major League win!
Oberg pitched a strong fifth inning and proved why the Rockies are so high on him. He may not be around for long with John Axford due back fairly soon and De La Rosa coming, too, but great job for Oberg last night, and welcome to The Show, kid!
Way to make a statement, LaTroy
After being demoted from the closer’s role earlier this week, Hawkins got in a tight game in the sixth inning and responded with a six-pitch inning.
He may not close any more games for the Rockies this year, but he’s got the presence of mind to still be a very, very valuable contributor in middle relief.
Beat the best
I’m not saying Tim Hudson is the best pitcher in baseball (he’s not), but he is the winningest active pitcher in the game.
And the first time through the lineup, the Rockies got five hits and a sacrifice against that winningest active pitcher in Major League Baseball. On the road.
He settled down after that, but getting to Hudson early gave the Rockies what they needed to win, and if you want to be a playoff team in October, you’ve got to beat the best all year to do it.
Last night, the Rockies proved they can do that. Now it’s up to them to do it consistently.
A safety squeeze and a wild pitch
On a day where the bats didn’t do quite as well as they usually do (just nine hits, the first time the Rockies have been held under double digit hits in the first eight games), the club manufactured runs and used timely hitting to get what they needed.
A safety squeeze and a wild pitch brought home two of the four Rockies’ runs, and a third came home on an RBI groundout.
It wasn’t pretty, but credit to Tim Hudson who threw the ball better than his line would indicate. The Rockies simply found a way to get what they needed last night.
Welcome to the ninth, Adam Ottavino
All of it. All day long. Hell. Yes.
The man’s ready.
Related to that: isn’t it great to have a manager who’s allowed to manage games again instead of being micro-managed by an overreaching general manager and director of baseball operations?
Here, here to Jeff Bridich for understanding a healthy organizational hierarchy! And to Walt Weiss for taking more intelligent risks that maybe his predecessors would have! Here, here, we no longer have a dysfunctional franchise!