Colorado Rockies Ride Pitching, Long Ball to Win
After a tough spring and even worse start to the season, Jordan Lyles finally found a groove Monday evening on the banks of the Ohio River. The Colorado Rockies used lock-down defensive, efficient pitching, and the long ball to put together another complete game on the road.
The Colorado Rockies beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-1 on Monday night, improving to 5-3 in road games in 2016. Traditionally the Rockies have struggled mightily on the road in two areas: scoring runs and winning close games. So far this season, the Colorado Rockies have done both. The Rockies have been able to find the clutch hitting that has traditionally evaded them outside of Denver. It’s not just clutch hitting however. The Rockies have pitched and made highlight defensive plays look routine as of late, dominating all three facets of the game. Here’s hoping that Colorado can sustain that dominance.
Coming off a week that was littered with strikeouts, the kid Trevor Story summoned his power stroke and made the biggest difference in this game. Story pumped out an absolute bomb to right-center to break a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning. Now having scored the winning run, Ben Paulsen one-upped Story a few batters later in the eighth by belting a two-out, three-run homer providing needed insurance. Paulsen’s home run is the first significant mark he has made on the Rockies’ young season.
Another pivotal moment you won’t see in the box score came in the bottom of the fifth inning. Cincinnati outfielder Jay Bruce drove a ball deep into the left-center gap. Gerardo Parra retrieved a ball that ricocheted off of the wall, set his feet and fired a missile to third base. As Bruce was sliding into third base, Nolan Arenado caught Parra’s throw and inexplicably was able to do a back-spin tag that landed on Bruce’s leg inches before the bag. In real time, it appeared Bruce had an easy triple, but Parra and Arenado decided to make a highlight out of it. In a close game, the room for error is so minuscule. Every play made, routine or not, is vital.
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The Colorado Rockies finally did make one mistake in the sixth inning. With a Zach Cozart on first, ex-Rockie Jordan Pacheco lined a two-out double to the left field fence. Parra spiked a throw to the cutoff man which allowed Cozart to score and tie the game at 1-1. Pacheco was removed from the game after his double in a double-switch, but he absolutely robbed Carlos Gonzalez of a base hit earlier game so you have to wonder if Pacheco was playing on Monday night with a chip on his shoulder against his former club. It’s great to see him do well, but would prefer he terrorized a different team.
The Colorado Rockies (8-5) are now 3-1 to start their six-game road trip to Chicago and Cincinnati. The Rockies face the Reds in game two of the three-game series at 5:10 MST Tuesday evening.
Next: Best Rockies Quotes of the Past Week
⇒ Jordan Lyles threw 16 first-pitch strikes to 24 batters faced. Lyles only needed 76 pitches to get through seven innings. Had the Rockies grabbed the lead earlier, Lyles could have easily continued on into the night.
⇒ Rockies starting pitchers now have a combined ERA below 1.00 in the last four games. All of which have been on the road.
⇒ Coming off of just being named the National League Co-Player of the Week, Arenando collected two more hits on Monday night. Two weeks into the season, and two Rockies have been named NL Player of the Week. Not too bad.