Colorado Rockies: 3 Things We Learned from Friday’s Win
The Colorado Rockies downed the New York Mets 5-2 on Friday night in a game that was big for a number of reasons.
Now at 17-18 on the season, Colorado is not only trying to reestablish its home-field advantage as the calendar moves into the middle of May, but also keep up with its National League West rivals in the race for division supremacy. With the win, the Rockies enter Saturday’s action 1.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in the division and also improved to 6-10 at Coors Field this season.
Here are three things that jumped out at us about Friday night’s victory…
1. These Rockies proved resilient
On a day when the decision on Jose Reyes was finally handed down by Major League Baseball, the Rockies could’ve easily been distracted heading into Friday night’s series opener. Players were asked many more questions before the game about Reyes than they were about the Mets, and it looked like early on that the distraction might prove tough to overcome.
New York jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning and it could’ve been very easy for the Rockies to let the Mets take control of the contest … but that simply didn’t happen. Behind a phenomenal performance from Jon Gray (we’ll get to that in a moment), the Rockies scored five unanswered runs to earn the victory.
2. Jon Gray has found his comfort zone
Friday was #GrayDay in Denver and the Rockies needed some sunshine after dealing with questions about Reyes before the game. For the third straight game, Gray provided Colorado with a chance to win.
Gray threw a career-high 105 pitches in seven innings, allowing just five hits and two runs to earn his first MLB win. He’s now 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three May starts, striking out an average of eight batters per outing in the month.
“The kid is growing up quick, right before our eyes,” Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “The biggest factor is his confidence. He’s really confident and knows he belongs now.”
Perhaps even more important about Gray’s solid showing on Friday night was that it came at Coors Field. Gray was rocked in his two home appearances in April (giving up 11 runs in 8.2 innings) while having two great stints on the mound on the road in May prior to Friday night. If Gray (and the Rockies) can establish home field dominancy, the sky is the limit.
3. Trevor Story can hit more than homers
Story burst onto the MLB scene in April with a barrage of 10 home runs in the month. In May, he has just one round-tripper but he’s proving that he can contribute in plenty of other ways at the plate.
After hitting just four doubles in April, Story connected on his fifth double of May in the fifth inning against the Mets … and it was a big one. After Gray got his first MLB hit, a single to center, to open the fifth, and Charlie Blackmon followed with a bunt single that moved Gray to third, Story doubled to left, plating Gray to break a 2-2 tie.
Next: The Rockies Must Get Rid of Jose Reyes
Story also added a two-out double in the bottom of the third, highlighting a 2-for-3 night. He’s now hit safely in seven of his last eight games, including his only homer of the month on May 5 at the Giants.