Colorado Rockies: 4 Things We Learned from Atlanta Sweep
The team with Major League Baseball’s worst record provided just the tonic to help cure the recent ills of the Colorado Rockies.
After dropping two games at Coors Field in embarrassing fashion to the Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado continued its torrid mixture of long-ball hitting and pitchers being able to work out of jams to polish off a four-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves with a 7-2 Sunday matinee victory.
With the win, Colorado improved to 6-1 on the season against the Braves and 12-2 over the last two campaigns. At 33-66, Atlanta has only been swept in one other four-game series this season as the Washington Nationals turned the trick in early April.
Since the All-Star Break, Colorado is now 7-3 and has improved to 47-51 heading into a seven-game East Coast road trip against Baltimore and the New York Mets, beginning on Monday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
So what did we learn on Sunday? Here are four things.
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Tyler Chatwood is struggling
There’s plenty to discuss with Chatwood’s Sunday outing.
He issued a career-high eight walks and his command was horrid all day. That’s the bad news. The good news? He struck out six and allowed just one hit in five shutout innings. Talk about a Jekyll-and-Hyde performance.
Chatwood started the game shaky on the mound, throwing eight of his first 11 pitches for balls. The result? The first two batters walked and Freddie Freeman slapped a single to center. However, Nick Hundley threw out Jace Peterson trying to steal second and Chatwood settled down to minimize the damage.
Chatwood struggled mightily in the game’s first two innings, walking four batters and throwing 47 pitches. The problems that he has displayed in his last two starts at Coors Field were once again evident on Sunday. Heading into the Atlanta finale, Chatwood had surrendered 16 hits and 11 runs in his last two starts covering eight innings.
The 26-year-old right-hander lowered his ERA but has to rediscover his command quickly. Simply put, something is not right and it has to be fixed ASAP.
This just in: Nolan Arenado can go opposite field for power
While Atlanta couldn’t take advantage of its scoring chances in the first inning, the opposite was true for the Rockies. Charlie Blackmon, who had his 14-game hitting streak snapped in Saturday night’s win, started Sunday’s matinee with a single and DJ LeMahieu followed with a walk. From there, Arenado took things into his own hands.
The All-Star third baseman took the first pitch from Atlanta rookie hurler Tyrell Jenkins 401 feet over the Bridich Barrier to give the Rockies a quick 3-0 lead. The blast allowed Arenado to reach a pair of milestones as it was his 25th homer of the season and accounted for his 75th RBI. But there was more to it than just that. It was also just the second career home run to right field for Arenado.
Next: Examining Colorado's Amazing Middle Infield