The Colorado Rockies were able to take care of business and get a much needed win on Wednesday afternoon, blowing out the Miami Marlins by a final of 15-9. It was a well rounded offensive performance that saw them get 24 baserunners behind another quality start from Jon Gray. With the win, the Rockies’ shrunk their magic number for clinching their first postseason berth since 2009 to just three.
The Rockies chased Marlins’ starter Adam Conley from this one early. After a 1-2-3 first inning, he dug himself a hole in the second by walking Trevor Story and Mark Reynolds to begin the inning. After the walks, Ian Desmond immediately made him pay with a three-run home run that squeaked over the wall in right field. After two more hits and a walk around a sacrifice bunt, Conley was pulled and ultimately finished the day allowing six runs (all earned) on only three hits in 1 1⁄3 innings. He also walked three without striking out a batter and will likely end the season with an ugly 6.20 ERA.
After Conley, Miami’s bullpen didn’t fare much better. The Rockies battered them around for nine more runs on 11 hits to reach 15 runs for just the fourth time this season. They were paced by Trevor Story and Ian Desmond, who combined to go 4-for-8 with a double, home run, two walks, and eight RBI, but every Rockies starter reached base multiple times as they worked 10 walks (their most in a single game this season) in addition to their 14 hits. It was an all-around effort that was welcome to see exactly a week away from the National League Wild Card game, which the Rockies naturally hope to be a part of.
On the other side of the ball, Rockies’ ace Jon Gray put together yet another strong outing. He allowed three runs (all earned) on six hits in six innings of work. Gray didn’t walk a batter and struck out five in his 13th consecutive start of five or more innings pitched with three or fewer runs allowed. He’s the first starter to reach that mark during the 2017 season as he continues to show that he’s an ace capable of going toe-to-toe with just about anyone in the postseason. After Gray, Antonio Senzatela and Jeff Hoffman attempted to wrap up the game in relatively ugly fashion, allowing six runs on six hits in their two innings of work. It was particularly rough for Hoffman, who allowed doubles to all four hitters he faced before being pulled in favor of Kyle Freeland, who was only able to get one out himself before Pat Neshek was brought in to close out the game. Neshek, as he so often does, promptly put the game to bed with a strikeout and a pop out around a weakly hit infield single.
With the win, the Rockies improve to 86-73 on the season while the Marlins drop to 74-84. As of the end of this game, the Rockies lead the Milwaukee Brewers by two games and the St. Louis Cardinals by three games for the second and final Wild Card spot in the National League. The Brewers and Cardinals both play Wednesday night with the opportunity to either creep half a game closer or fall half a game further behind. After an off day on Thursday, the Rockies begin their final series of the regular season on Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Chad Bettis takes the ball for the Rockies against Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Dodgers. First pitch in that game is slated for 6:10 pm mountain time.