The 2021 Major League Baseball season is officially underway, and we couldn’t be more excited. This past weekend, the Colorado Rockies hosted their SoCal rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, at Coors Field during the season-opening four-game series. The Rockies left many fans, Rockies and Dodgers alike, stunned after the Rockies put up eight runs against the Dodgers’ five to open the series with a win. Los Angeles, however, came back to win the final three games.
Here are some of the best and worst moments from the Colorado Rockies’ first series of the 2021 season.
Up — The bats were hot … to start … mostly.
On Opening Day, the Rockies spread the offense out very well, with four multiple-run innings. Colorado batters may not have as much hitting power as some of the Dodgers, but the small ball, stretch-the-field style of play proved very effective in Game 1. Raimel Tapia, Josh Fuentes, Chris Owings, and Garrett Hampson each logged RBI during Thursday’s home opener, with Hampson’s coming on a bunt!
Up — History was made
The second game of the series was quite different from the season-opener for the better portion of the game. Colorado’s bats were ice-cold against Los Angeles starter Trevor Bauer until they finally broke loose in a big way.
After a six-inning drought, the Rockies blasted four home runs in the bottom of the seventh. That was only the second time in franchise history the Rockies had hit four homers in the same inning. Earning those home runs were Charlie Blackmon, Ryan McMahon, Dom Nunez, and Sam Hilliard.
Up — Taking advantage of mistakes
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During the Opening Day game, the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger hit a home run that ended up turning into a single after he passed Justin Turner on the bases and automatically went down for the second out of the third inning, while Turner was stuck back on first. There was some confusion on whether or not the ball was caught over the fence. Bellinger knew it was gone and darted past Turner, who was clearly not on the same page. Rockies fans love to see it.
Down — Rockies pitching was less than impressive
Starting pitcher German Marquez held a pretty ERA of 2.25, but walked six and gave up six hits through four innings. Additionally starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela got rocked with seven earned runs allowed through only 3.1 innings. He was pulled with an ERA of 18.90. This was not the kind of game Senzatela wanted from his first 2021 mound appearance … and definitely not the one we expected.
To add salt to the wound, Austin Gomber, gave up seven — yes, seven — walks through only three innings in the final game of the series.
These three had terrible starts and, with Kyle Freeland sidelined by a shoulder injury, better results have to come from this rotation.
Not only did half of the Rockies starting pitchers leave much to be desired, but the bullpen didn’t help matters much either. Throughout the series, the Rockies’ relievers held a collective average ERA of 6.11. Keep in mind, four of the 17 relievers that pitched throughout the series held an ERA of 0.00, which helps keep the collective average from towering over Coors Field.
Pitching as a whole was pretty ugly to watch. With Freeland out, we definitely need to see better from this starting rotation and the bullpen. Let’s hope the Rox can lock down their pitching and keep the bats cracking.
Up — There’s a silver lining
Jon Gray was the only pitcher that impressed in the series (Game 3). Gray held down a beautiful ERA of 1.80 through five innings pitched and only gave up four hits. While Gray didn’t have the best 2020 season, struggling with a shoulder injury and posting a 6.69 ERA, 2021 is a new year and a new opportunity for him to return to form.