Colorado Rockies morning after: Wednesday night’s wow moments
By Kevin Henry
After way too many frustrating at-bats and way too many questions about the offense, the Colorado Rockies once again flexed their muscles on Wednesday night at Coors Field.
Having not scored more than three runs since August 5, a span way too long for any Rockies team, let alone one with this much offensive firepower, Colorado exploded for 11 runs through the game’s first four innings on its way to a 17-2 demolition of the Atlanta Braves.
Sure, the score was impressive. Yes, the breaking out of the offensive drought was great to see. However, there were some moments within the game that stood out just a bit more than others.
Lucroy slides twice
You don’t expect your catcher to have to turn on the wheels for a play at the plate. You certainly don’t expect it twice in one game. However, welcome to the world of Jonathan Lucroy.
Colorado’s catching pick-up at the trade deadline just beat a throw to the plate in two consecutive innings, scoring in the second and third frame. Originally called out in the second, Lucroy immediately motioned for the Rockies bench to check the replay. They obliged, and the umpires saw that Lucroy had just slipped past Atlanta catcher Kurt Suzuki.
It was nearly as close in the third inning but Lucroy once again beat the throw.
"“I can’t remember the last time I did that,” Lucroy told Rox Pile and other reporters after the game. “I’ll take it. Definitely it was weird, back-to-back innings it was pretty much the exact same play. It was kind of crazy but a crazy game overall. Definitely a fun one.”"
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By the way, since coming to the Rockies, the 31-year-old catcher is hovering around .500 OBP. He is finding ways to get on, whether it’s being plunked (a career-high this season, as we talked to him about in Miami), drawing a walk or smacking a single.
Story wows the crowd
Just when Jon Gray needed a defensive play to keep the Braves off the scoreboard, Trevor Story provided just that.
With Atlanta’s Nick Markakis at third and Danny Santana at first, Dansby Swanson stepped to the plate with two outs. He ripped a 2-2 pitch up the middle that seemed destined for center field. However, Story flew through the air to grab it, adding to what is becoming a highlight reel season for the 24-year-old in the field.
Story even looked like the Story of 2016 at the plate on Wednesday night, logging an RBI single and two-run homer in his first two at-bats of the night. He added a three-run shot in the seventh inning to give him a career-high six RBI.
Story’s six RBI led the Rockies offense but Mark Reynolds and Gerardo Parra each added four, marking the second time in franchise history that three Rockies players had four RBI or more in a game. The last time it happened was August 11, 1998 against Montreal when Vinny Castilla, Todd Helton and Mike Lansing each had four.
Gray makes 50 look good
Jon Gray made his 50th career start at Coors Field on Wednesday night and celebrated the milestone in fine fashion. Gray set down the firs nine Atlanta batters he faced, striking out four of them. Atlanta didn’t score against the 25-year-old right-hander until the sixth inning, long after Colorado had grabbed control of the game.
He finished the night with six innings thrown, striking out six, allowing five hits and two runs. Of his 101 pitches, 68 went for strikes as he improved to 5-2 on the season.
DJ keeps spinning
DJ LeMahieu singled in his first four at-bats on Wednesday night. It marks the fifth time this season that he has had four hits in a game. It was also the ninth time in his career.
Next: How Colorado can still make trades in August and September
With five four-hit games this season, LeMahieu just needs one more to match the six last set by Carlos Gonzalez in 2010. The record is nine by Dante Bichette in 1998.