ATLANTA — What was the silver lining in a 3-2 loss by the Colorado Rockies at Truist Park to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night? Well, many pieces go into comprising that silver lining as there were plenty of firsts for rookie Michael Toglia, both at the plate and in the field.
Michael Toglia provided the highlights on an otherwise bleak night for the Colorado Rockies against the Atlanta Braves
Toglia logged his first career hit, first career home run, and first career outfield assist as the Braves evened up the series with the Colorado Rockies. At the plate, his two hits amounted to a 2-for-4 night, making Toglia the only Colorado batter to have multiple hits against three Atlanta pitchers who combined to surrender just six hits and handcuff Rockies batters most of the evening.
His first career hit came in the fourth inning on a sharp line drive to center off Atlanta starter Kyle Wright.
“That was one of the few fastballs I’ve seen in the last eight at-bats,” Toglia said, summing up his MLB career to that point. “I was just staying on it and he gave me one in the bottom of the zone, kept it up the middle.”
The first home run, however, was even more impactful for the Rockies. Down to their last out and facing Braves closer Kenley Jansen, Randal Grichuk drew a walk to bring Toglia to the plate. The switch hitter took the first pitch he saw from Kenley over the right-center wall, pulling the Rockies within 3-2 and making the home fans very uncomfortable.
However, if you watch the replay, you’ll notice that Toglia was a bit confused as he reached second. He said after the game with the ball bouncing back into play that he wasn’t sure if it had actually gone over the fence.
Attending college at UCLA, Toglia had watched plenty of Jansen during the reliever’s days with the Dodgers. He said he knew that Jansen would be throwing a cutter, so he was ready to swing on the first pitch.
“It cut in and got in on me a little bit, but I still got enough of it,” Toglia explained.
While all of that might have been enough for the evening, Toglia also showed he can play the outfield as well. In the first inning, with the Rockies already down 2-0, fielding a double off the bat of Michael Harris II, Toglia fired the ball to shortstop Brendan Rodgers, who relayed the throw to catcher Brian Serven in time to tag out William Contreras to end the inning.
“I think he feels comfortable in the field,” Colorado manager Bud Black said of Toglia. “He’s young and athletic, and he’s confident in his ability. He made a nice play going back, got to the ball in the corner, made a nice relay to Brendan, and Brendan finished it off with a powerful throw to Serven, who made a nice tag.”
With the loss, Colorado finished August 10-18 in the month, 56-75 on the season, and 11-3 all-time at Truist Park. That last stat is certainly the silver lining for the Rockies, a team still looking to find its offense on the road this year. Heading into Wednesday’s game, Colorado had been held to 12 runs in their last seven games (with six of those coming in Friday’s 7-6 loss to the New York Mets). During that stretch, the Rockies had logged just 51 hits (sporting a .219 average), eight doubles, one triple, one home run, nine walks, and 62 strikeouts.
Toglia was called up in the hopes that he could provide some power at the plate for the Rockies. With one swing of the bat, he equaled what the team as a whole had done over the past seven contests away from Coors Field.
Call it what you will, but Wednesday’s moments from Toglia provide some hope for what could be to come in the near future. That silver lining is something Rockies fans will gladly take in what has been a mostly disappointing season at 20th and Blake.