Colorado Rockies morning after: Kyle Freaking Freeland silences Miami

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 28: Kyle Freeland #21 of the Colorado Rockies throws a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins during Opening Day at Marlins Park on March 28, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MARCH 28: Kyle Freeland #21 of the Colorado Rockies throws a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins during Opening Day at Marlins Park on March 28, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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MIAMI — Kyle Freeland earned the 2019 Opening Day start based on what he did last season for the Colorado Rockies. On Thursday, he showed that the honor of taking the bump for the first game of a new game was well-deserved.

Behind Kyle Freeland‘s mastery and a Colorado Rockies offense that suddenly figured out how to string hits together in south Florida, the Rockies started the new season off with a bang, registering a 6-3 victory for their fourth Opening Day victory over the last five seasons.

Outside of a J.D. Riddle pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Marlins made less noise at the plate against Colorado’s 25-year-old southpaw than the lone vuvuzela player sitting somewhere in the stands at half-filled Marlins Park.

Freeland’s final line? Seven innings with one run and two hits allowed, including retiring the first 11 batters of the game to set the tone.

"“With Kyle, there is a fighter in there that we all love,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “It’s in there every start. It’s in there actually between starts too, which is awesome.”"

And while Freeland was dominating on the mound, Colorado’s offense was flexing its muscles in a place that has been less than friendly to the Rockies in years gone by. A 7-17 all-time mark at Marlins Park includes a lot of offensive frustration. That, however, all seemed wiped away by a four-run fourth inning that gave Freeland all the support he would need.

Those renovations in the outfield at Marlins Park? Yeah, maybe they should’ve been done sooner, at least in Colorado’s eyes. That new astroturf beyond the center field wall seemed to be just fine for a batter’s eye in Colorado’s collective mind.

"“We’ve always been pretty confident,” Story said. “We felt confident that we were going to put some at-bats together and put some runs on the board today.”"

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Not all was perfect, however, for the Rockies at the plate. Charlie Blackmon, Daniel Murphy and Nolan Arenado combined to go 1-for-15 in the top three spots in the order. Saving the day, however, was David Dahl going 3-for-4 with an RBI in his first-ever Opening Day. Dahl’s production highlighted the fact that the four through eight spots in the order each logged an RBI on the day.

Yes, heading into the second game of the season, five players will have the tie for the RBI lead for the Rockies. Ah, one of the quirks of the statistics following the first game of the season.

But let’s boil all of the Opening Day festivities and overreactions to one game down to their essence for a moment. A Rockies offense that showed its length and a pitcher who has Cy Young aspirations? It made for a great start to the season all around … but one game does not a season make.

Next. What do you think of these Rockies and MLB projections?. dark

"“Night in and night out, Kyle does that,” Dahl said. “You want to go score some runs and give him a win. He’s a great pitcher and competitor.“It’s nice to get off to a good start, but we have 161 games left.”"

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