As has often been the case throughout this MLB season, yesterday’s baseball news revolved largely around non-baseball occurrences. Players from across the league went on strike to protest racial inequality in the United States following the shooting of Jacob Blake, by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In addition to the individual strikes, three games were postponed: the Brewers and Reds, the Mariners and Padres, and the Dodgers and Giants all opted not to play.
The strikes began when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to come out on the basketball court for their match-up against the Orlando Magic. By the scheduled tip-off time, the Magic players had all left the court as well. A short while later the other four NBA teams in action indicated their intentions to follow suit and not play in solidarity with those protesting.
Matt Kemp detailed his decision in an Instagram post Wednesday evening:
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Tonight I stand with my fellow professional athletes in protest of the injustices my people continue to suffer. I could not play this game I love so much tonight knowing the hurt and anguish my people continue to feel. In a world where we are the ones who need to remain calm while a trained professional points a gun in our face; a world where the people in uniforms who took an oath to protect us are the same ones killing us; a world where we become hashtags before we even reach our potential; we must stand together, speak out, protest, and be the change we demand, require, and need so bad. To the families who have experienced these tragedies first hand my heart breaks for you, my prayers are with you and I use my platform to speak on your behalf. I will be protesting tonight’s game in honor of all of my fallen brothers and sisters at the hands of police brutality. #BLM #JacobBlake #BreonnaTaylor #GeorgeFloyd #Saytheirnames
While the Rockies didn’t hold a vote on whether or not to continue with Wednesday night’s game, they did express their support for Kemp and his decision to sit out, while Kyle Freeland explicitly spoke on the country’s need for change and improvement:
“I’m happy to see this communication that we’re having, within our community of athletes and in the entire United States. We need to continue to press forward with this issue and get things corrected in our country.”
As far as the actual baseball goes, the Rockies hit the halfway point of the season on Tuesday sitting at an even .500 in what can only be described as a tale of two seasons so far.
Following the dreadful week that saw sweeps at the hands of the Astros and Dodgers, the Rockies were able to string together three wins against the Diamondbacks to stop the bleeding.
Nolan Arenado hit two RBI doubles Tuesday night — a welcome sight to all Rockies fans — the second of which turned out to be the difference maker in a 5-4 win. While the hitting put together a nice nine-hit outing (albeit with 11 runners left on base), the relievers carried their weight as well...for the most part.
Jairo Díaz, Carlos Estévez, and Tyler Kinley all pitched scoreless innings Tuesday night to get to the ninth inning, where storybook favorite Daniel Bard labored his way through a one inning save. His second walk of the season, an earned run, and a bases loaded jam didn’t prevent Bard from getting the job done but it sure made the entire fanbase sweat. But hey, a win is a win. And wins are exactly what the Rockies need right now.
Fortunately, Roxpile broke down the very changes the Rockies will need to make so they can continue their winning ways and get back to the sort of results they saw in the early part of the season. Nolan’s season-long slump coming to an end is the primary focus here and it appears he may have turned a corner, going 3-for-7 with a pair of RBI since riding the bench against the Dodgers on Sunday.
Additionally, the Rockies are going to need a little more help from hitters not in their top four (five if you can’t Murphy who has cooled off considerably since the start of the year.) McMahon, Dahl, and whoever fills the DH and catcher roles on a given day have to pull some weight if this club wants to make a run at the postseason. Fortunately, Dahl took some at-bats in a simulated game and seems to be moving in the right direction. Hopefully his return to the line-up coincides with a return to his 2019 All-Star form.
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