Trevor Story was a one-man wrecking crew and Tyler Anderson put in a solid start as the Colorado Rockies took their third straight game from the Atlanta Braves.
A huge crowd turned out for Star Wars Night at Coors Field on Saturday night, and those who arrived early enough got a Charlie Blackmon X-Wing fighter pilot bobblehead … which will obviously go on the mantel next to last year’s Cargo Fett (or in my case, on the bookshelf with my husband’s massive collection of Star Wars Lego creations). Tonight was also significant because it was my first time seeing Tyler Anderson, whom I’ve kept missing by a game or two since he debuted in June.
It wasn’t a brilliant start by Anderson, who struggled at times to control traffic on the base paths, but I was very impressed with how he handled himself. I think the Rockies’ minor league coaches must be doing something right, because both Anderson and Jon Gray seem way less “head case-y” than Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, Tyler Matzek, or even Eddie Butler. Anderson wasn’t at his best tonight and he ran into some bad luck too, but he stuck with it and kept his team in the game.
His line says three earned runs in six innings, but that’s misleading.
The first run was fair enough, coming with two outs on the third single of the second inning, but one of those hits was smothered by Nolan Arenado, who was unable to get his footing in time to make an out. It wasn’t Arenado’s fault, but it was just kind of an unfortunate situation all around.
The second run was scored by Freddie Freeman, who was on third after hitting a single that was badly misplayed by Carlos Gonzalez and resulted in two extra bases for Freeman. Without the error, he wouldn’t have made it far enough to score. I guess the Coors Field scorer was feeling charitable, because that error was later changed into a triple. A shame, because it should have been an unearned run for Anderson.
The third run scored in the fourth on a single, a balk, a sacrifice bunt, and a sacrifice fly. Without the balk, the run doesn’t score. It’s on Anderson to manage himself well enough not to balk, but it was a dubious call at best.
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All this is just to say that Anderson pitched well, and if fortune had favored him a little more, he might have had a scoreless outing. Not to mention the fact that he sat out a 45-minute rain delay between the second and third frames and still came back to pitch four more innings.
The Rockies’ offense ran into some bad luck themselves, particularly in the third inning, when three hard hit balls off the bats of Anderson, Blackmon, and DJ LeMahieu each went right to a fielder. But a good team knows how to fight back when the stars are aligned against them, and that’s what the Rockies did tonight … at least, that’s what Trevor Story did.
Story singlehandedly carried the offense with his 25th and 26th home runs and a pair of singles, adding up to 5 RBI. He’s now broken the NL rookie shortstop home run record (set by Troy Tulowitzki) and is gunning for Mark McGwire‘s all-time record of 49 (though if you ask the haters, at least back in April, he’ll never get there).
Not to be ignored is Tony Wolters, who is batting .800 with the bases loaded this season.
He came to the plate in that situation during tonight’s sixth inning and laced a two-run single on the first pitch he saw. Wolters may not be an offensive genius, but he is a little like Brandon Barnes: general inconsistency at the plate but flashy production when it’s most needed.
The Rockies look to sweep the Braves tomorrow afternoon, with Tyler Chatwood hoping to rebound from a tough start against the Rays earlier this week.