The hot start from Colorado Rockies All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon is grabbing plenty of headlines.
When a player is batting .500 in the 17th game of the season after 68 at-bats, there should be plenty of hoopla surrounding it (whether it’s involving the Colorado Rockies and Coors Field or not).
However, despite all of the fanfare surrounding Blackmon’s hot start (and Daniel Murphy hitting .358 as well), there are a pair of troubling trends happening at the other end of the Rockies batting order.
Ryan McMahon and David Dahl, two Rockies who were pegged for big seasons before the 2020 campaign, have stumbled mightily out of the gate in the shortened season. And, knowing that there are fewer chances in a shortened 60-game sprint to the postseason, there could be some tough choices ahead if the duo can’t find their rhythm at the plate.
"“This year is different than most. This is a shorter season,” Colorado manager Bud Black said prior to Tuesday’s game. “Every night, we’re trying to find the right mix of players to win a game. We can’t ill afford to give a guy 100 at-bats if he’s scuffling.”"
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There is no question that McMahon and Dahl are scuffling and have to find their way (soon) to lengthen a Rockies lineup that has still managed to score 32 runs over their last five games.
McMahon had a fourth-inning single in Tuesday’s 8-7 home win over Arizona, but struck out in his other three at-bats. He’s now struck out 12 times in nine August games while hitting just .143 for the month with a pair of RBI. It’s a tough start for the 25-year-old McMahon after hitting .250 last season with 24 homers and 83 RBI.
Dahl, meanwhile, started the season 4-for-9. However, he is 10-for-56 since, dropping his season average to .215. He’s also struck out seven times in his 12 at-bats and was lifted for pinch hitter Matt Kemp in the bottom of the eighth on Tuesday with the Rockies looking to add on to a 5-2 lead.
After a matinee on Wednesday to wrap up a three-game series against Arizona, Colorado has its only off day of the entire month on Thursday. That will be the last off day for the Rockies until September 3. Could the timing be right for McMahon and Dahl to take a breath and return on Friday ready to contribute to Colorado’s longest consecutive game stretch of the season?
For a team looking to return to the postseason for the third time in four years, the return of McMahon and Dahl would be a big boost for the offense and in the dugout as well.