Colorado Rockies lineup shows full potential in knockout of Cubs
Don’t believe what you read, folks. The Colorado Rockies have a pretty darn good batting lineup. Just ask the Chicago Cubs.
After being pegged as the 25th-best lineup in Major League Baseball by this article on ESPN (Insider access required), the Rockies flexed their muscles at the plate early and often against the defending World Champion Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. A six-run third inning against former Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta set the table for a 10-4 Rockies victory on Tuesday afternoon at Coors Field.
And no, there was nothing “Coors Field” about the way the Rockies systematically picked apart Arrieta and reliever Dylan Floro. Colorado sent 18 men to the plate over the course of the third and fourth inning. Two of the six outs Arietta recorded during that time were strikeouts of Colorado pitcher Antonio Senzatela.
“We strung together there in the third inning,” Colorado manager Bud Black said, talking about a frame that saw the Rockies go triple, double, fielder’s choice, single, single, single, walk and single between Senzatela’s two strikeouts.
Over the course of those two innings, only Nolan Arenado didn’t record a hit for the Rockies. However, he skied a sacrifice fly high to left field to plate Charlie Blackmon in the fourth inning to push the Colorado lead to 7-2.
Also, as a side note, none of those runs in the third and fourth inning onslaught were produced via the home run. Only Blackmon’s triple and DJ LeMahieu’s double which followed to open the third inning were extra base hits. The other eight hits were all singles. It was slow and methodical torture for the many Cub fans in attendance.
It was also delightful for Rockies fans who have been waiting for this lineup to show its full potential. Once it became clear late in April that David Dahl wouldn’t be back before Ian Desmond returned from injury, a lineup that featured Blackmon, LeMahieu, Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez, Mark Reynolds, Desmond and Trevor Story as the top seven seemed pretty potent. On Tuesday, it was exactly that.
Oh, and by the way, Reynolds blasted his 12th homer of the season in the sixth inning. It was just part of an offensive cavalcade that saw Story get singles (yes, he hit singles) in two of his first at-bats of the day (sandwiched around a walk). CarGo even showed signs of life with a seeing-eye RBI single in the third. When both of those players can break out of their slumps, Colorado’s lineup is only going to get better. That should be a very scary thought for the rest of the National League.
"“It’s an early game but we came out firing,” Nolan Arenado said after the game. “We got a little lucky with some bloopers and we capitalized on that one error (a throwing error by Javier Baez in the third inning). We’re a good team too.”"
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After Tuesday afternoon’s win, the Rockies have now won five of their last six games. They’ve outscored their opponents 41-18 during that stretch.
Call me crazy, but that sounds like a pretty good offense to me.