It was fitting that German Márquez signed his five-year extension the day before he pitched. It gave him the chance to then take the mound and pitch like an absolute stud in a game the Rockies desperately needed against the Tampa Bay Rays.
If you looked around the field during that game you saw the core group of players poised to keep the Rockies as playoff contenders for seasons to come. Charlie Blackmon was leading off as DH. Nolan Arenado was at third base doing his thing, complete with a game-saving play on defense. David Dahl, Ryan McMahon, Garrett Hampson and Raimel Tapia were all in the lineup. Granted, that would have been more fun if they would hit or score a freaking run.
Combine it with Márquez on the mound and Kyle Freeland in the dugout and you see why the Rockies think they’ve arrived. In this article, Eric Longenhangen takes a look at Márquez’s extension and what it means for him and the Rockies. It ends on an exciting note about the Rockies being in a position to continue to spend to augment this talented group.
That all sounds good. It will all sound better if they start hitting.
Speaking of which, Kevin Henry makes the case here for why you shouldn’t panic about the offense or the team in general after a 3-4 road trip in Florida. For one thing, those are road venues that have always flummoxed the Rockies. For another, the pitching already looks good enough to be the team’s strength.
So about that offense. Henry points out how quickly that can rebound, and soon, with a day off Thursday and then some home cooking with a home series starting this weekend. I’ll add one other thing about the offense: I can talk myself into optimism simply because it’s different guys.
Dahl is getting a chance. McMahon is getting a chance. Hampson is getting a chance. If you believe in those guys then it’s a lot easier to say this collective slump is different than those of the bad offenses of the past couple seasons.
Here’s the official word on Daniel Murphy. It’s definitely a tough one for an offense trying to get on track. Hopefully this is an accurate timeline for Murphy’s return and there isn’t too much of a transition for him when he does come back. In the meantime, here’s seriously hoping that the likes of Pat Valaika and Mark Reynolds can get something going in increased playing time alongside McMahon and Hampson.
A personal story: just last week I was flew into Denver and then out some days later. My wife and I observed that there was no voice of the train. This was a shame, because I was there on Opening Day and I dare say people had Rockies fever. I got three “Go Rockies” in response to my cap, and some airlines had all their employees in Rockies gear.
Better late than never for the train, and fitting that it’s Freeland as the hometown boy.
Speaking of better late than never, the Rockies get to host a Sunday Night Baseball game again. I didn’t have my drivers license the last time the Rockies played at Coors Field on Sunday Night Baseball. I also believe I attended that game, but I can’t be sure because that’s how long ago it was and I’m now an old man with gray hairs and a receding hairline and a kid and everything. Hopefully this means more national exposure for the Rockies, and hopefully they show well in this division game against those darn Dodgers.