DENVER -- It was a welcome sight for Rockies fans tonight, as the team erupted for 9 runs on 13 hits in a 9-3 victory over the Cubs. Coming off of a 30 day stretch in which the team collectively had hit .236/.288/.346 (59 wRC+), seeing this kind of offense from the club was a sight for sore eyes.
Todd Helton spoke after the game about the difficulties of July. "They say that July is the toughest month, and it truly is...teams that remain focused and energized are the ones that put themselves in a good position - hopefully we're one of those teams".
"We have a good offensive club" manager Walt Weiss said after the game. "I have a lot of confidence in this team's offensive ability and feel like it's only a matter of time before we get rolling again".
Helton led the hit parade with a 3-4 night, including his 578th career double. The double moved him into a tie for 18th on the all-time doubles list with Hall of Famer Wade Boggs.
Said Helton: "I'm seeing the ball better...I'm feeling more comfortable out there, which doesn't always translate into success, but hopefully it will in this case".
Dexter Fowler went 2-3 with 3 RBI, including a two-run triple that gave Colorado their first lead - a 3-1 advantage in the 4th inning.
DJ LeMahieu, Troy Tulowitzki, and Wilin Rosario both added multi-hit nights for the Rockies. Carlos Gonzalez added to the fun by launching one 454 feet into the second deck in right-center for his 26th homer. In fact, every starting position player except for Nolan Arenado had at least one knock in the game. Colorado knocked Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva (2-5) out of the game after just four innings of work.
Though Juan Nicasio was somewhat inefficient, needing 93 pitches (52 for strikes) to get through five innings, he avoided trouble outside of a Luis Valbuena solo shot in the 3rd inning. In all, he allowed one run on three hits, walking two and striking out three men in the process to get the win (6-4).
After an inning each from Adam Ottavino, Wilton Lopez, and Josh Outman in relief, Mitchell Boggs (formerly of the Cardinals) made his Rockies debut in the 9th with a scoreless inning, flashing mid 90s velocity but also hitting a batter and walking another, leaving them loaded.
Said Weiss after the game: "It was good to get (Boggs) out there - my original plan was to stay off Boggs, as he pitched last night...but when we opened up the big lead I thought it would be a good time to get his feet wet in a situation where it wasn't high pressure...we saw a good sinking fastball and slider when he was out there".
"I'm excited to be a member of this team", Boggs told me after the game when asked about his initial experience as a Rockie. "You look at this lineup, the rotation, and arms out of the pen and this team could be special - I'm excited to be a part of it".
When asked about the adjustments he'd need to make to regain his 2012 form, Boggs answered that "It's just about staying within myself, going nice and easy, not trying to do too much".
If he can regain the command of his pitches that made him one of the most effective set-up men in the game last year, Boggs could be a major bullpen upgrade at very little cost.
I was reporting from the press box for the first time tonight - I'll have a longer writeup on that part of the experience during the next few days.
We Salute: Nicasio (.216 WPA), Fowler (.206)
We Are Disappointed In: Tulowitzki (-.118)
Panda Rating: Happy Panda
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- Rafael Betancourt injury: Rockies place closer on DL, promote Mitchell Boggs from Double-A
- Saturday Rockpile: The Rockies can't be sellers at the trade deadline
- Cubs 3, Rockies 1: Rockies hit snooze button, accidentally sleep through first game back