Game No. 2 of the regular season brought more smiles to the faces of Colorado Rockies fans. The club tied the Major League record set more than 100 years ago by the 1912 New York Giants with 12 doubles in its first two games of the season, broke the franchise record for scoreless innings to start a season with 13, and won its first road series since June 13-15 of last year.
In the 45 games since that magical series last June against the Giants, the Rockies had gone an almost unbelievable 6-39 on the road. Thirty-four of those losses had the Rockies scoring three runs or fewer. That trend that had to change for the team to have a chance to be competitive. Through two games, it would be hard to ask for more than what they've given us.
Things didn't start out as quickly for the offense today as they did yesterday. The game was tied, 0-0, heading into the fourth inning despite just about every player in the Rockies lineup squaring the ball up. Colorado finally broke things open in the fourth with doubles from Troy Tulowitzki, Nolan Arenado, and Corey Dickerson, as well as an RBI single from Nick Hundley, one of his three hits on the night. The Rockies tacked on a run in each of the next two innings and finished the contest with 12 hits, six doubles (from six different players), and several more hard hit balls that found the gloves of Milwaukee defenders. The one troublesome detail from the game is that Justin Morneau was hit in the neck by an errant throw from Jean Segura. He initially stayed in the game, but eventually gave way to Daniel Descalso. Rockies manager Walt Weiss told reporters after the game that Morneau is fine.
Of course, the elephant in the room here is that the Rockies have yet to play any games at Coors Field. Once they get into the meat of their schedule and start playing road games after a week of seeing pitches that move differently at altitude, it will be important for them to make the proper adjustments needed to stay successful away from home. As Bryan Kilpatrick pointed out earlier today, plate discipline is going to be critical for the Rockies if they want to be successful on the road. If you're looking for something to be concerned about, the Rockies have taken only three walks combined in their first two games. This seems a bit nitpicky for a team squaring up just about every ball it hits, and it probably is, but it's something to keep an eye on going forward for the days when things aren't going as smoothly and the Rockies need to grind out a couple runs.
I would also be remiss if I failed to mention the second straight game of outstanding pitching by the Rockies. Jordan Lyles gave the club its second quality start in two tries, allowing just two runs in his six innings of work and throwing 51 of his 79 pitches for strikes. The bullpen was outstanding as well. Boone Logan, looking to bounce back from an ugly 6.84 ERA in 2014, worked a perfect seventh inning with two strikeouts. Adam Ottavino did the same in the eighth, and LaTroy Hawkins slammed the door in the ninth for his first save of the season. Ottavino looked particularly dominant, striking out Carlos Gomez on a 98 MPH fastball on the black after throwing him this slider:
All in all, the pitching staff has allowed only two runs and struck out 16 hitters to just one walk in the first two games. For a staff riddled with question marks coming into the season, it's great to see the unit hit the ground running. There is still a whole lot of season left to play, but it's tough to argue with what we've gotten from them so far.
Tomorrow night, the Rockies go for the sweep that would cap off a perfect opening series. No matter what happens tomorrow though, it's great to see the guys in purple giving us hope for the summer ahead.