Colorado Rockies morning after: Friday showing just what Rox needed
By Kevin Henry
Sometimes, it just takes the right medicine to cure your ills. On Friday night, the Colorado Rockies found the perfect tonic for their offensive woes in the form of Derek Holland and the Chicago White Sox.
Colorado’s offense, held to just 14 runs in a four-game split with the Cincinnati Reds, jumped on Holland for six runs in the first two innings on their way to a 12-4 decision in the opener of the three-game series against the White Sox at Coors Field.
Yes, 14 runs over the span of four games followed by 12 in one game. A season-high 17 hits as well. As Rockies manager Bud Black loves to say, “That’s baseball, man.”
Four runs in the first. Two runs in the second. Plenty more after that. It was just what the Rockies needed to hopefully kickstart their offense into high gear for the final two games before the All-Star break.
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Colorado’s first inning was almost like the Rockies were releasing their offensive frustration again … and again … and again. The first six Colorado batters of the inning reached base. By the time Trevor Story slapped a two-run single to center, the Rockies had grabbed a 4-0 advantage. Suddenly, baseball was fun again in LoDo.
By the time Charlie Blackmon smacked a 398-foot home run in the top of the fourth inning, Colorado was cruising to its first comfortable win since June. Hey, Rockies fans even got taco’s (correct spelling per Rockies Twitter) for the first time since Nolan Arenado walked off the San Francisco Giants on Father’s Day with his home run to complete the cycle.
While Friday’s win didn’t have that drama, it did have a certain feel to it. A feel of Rockies Nation exhaling and looking at each other to ask, “Is the offense fixed?”
But it wasn’t just the offense that looked better in the White Sox series opener. German Marquez allowed just one hit in each of the first six innings he pitched and looked more like the Marquez of mid-June than the one who had surrendered eight runs in his last 9.2 innings spanning two starts. His only bad mistake of the night was a two-run shot delivered in the seventh inning on his 99th pitch.
One of his most important stats of the night? Zero walks. Of his 102 pitches, 73 were for strikes.
Marquez even went 2-for-3 at the plate. With a .105 average coming into the game, that’s just how the night went for the Rockies.
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It was a welcome sight from recent games past. Was it a one-time blast from the past or a sign of things to come the rest of the weekend? With White Sox pitchers having a combined 5.82 ERA, ranking them 24th out of MLB’s 30 teams, coming into the series, we’re thinking the latter rather than the former.