Coors Field looked like a snow globe on Wednesday afternoon, but that didn’t stop the Rockies from earning their first series win against the Houston Astros. It was also just the second time this season that the Rox have won consecutive games — the last being April 7-8 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Austin Gomber for the win
Austin Gomber had a disastrous Coors Field debut on April 4 where he walked seven batters. Today, he pitched much better. Two and six were his magic numbers today — two hits, two runs, two walks, six innings, and six strikeouts. Notably, five of his six strikeouts came from his curveball. When asked about it postgame, manager Bud Black was pleased with Gomber’s “aggressive” performance.
“I liked the aggressive nature and how he goes about it,” Black said. “I think his intent is to attack. I thought he threw some good sliders, I thought he threw some good fastballs, I thought he threw some good changeups. But he had an outstanding curveball.”
Gomber himself agreed with the sentiment that everything was “spot on” today:
“And I felt like I did a pretty good job of mixing it up,” he said. “I thought the curveball got sharper as the game went on, but obviously it was 30 degrees outside and I didn’t think my stuff was as sharp as it could be. But you’ve just got to deal with that. I thought I did a good job with throwing strikes, getting ahead, getting quick outs and trying to get back in dugout next to the heaters. Nobody wants to stand out there for extending innings.”
“So the big goal for me was just, ‘it’s not a great day to hit; it’s not a great day to pitch; it’s not really a great day to do anything so let’s just fill up this strike zone and make them earn it,” Gomber continued. “That was the goal going in and we were able to execute.”
Yonathan Daza’s first homer
Yonathan Daza has long been regarded as one of the Rockies’ best defensive outfield prospects, but his offensive prowess hasn’t quite translated to the major leagues. In Triple-A Albuquerque in 2019 he hit .364/.404/.548 with 11 home runs in 89 games. In 44 major league games in 2019, he hit just .206/.257/.237. However, in 14 games in 2021, Daza has been hitting .357/.345/.536 and finally broke through with his first major league home run today:
No better setting to your first career home run than in the snow at Coors!❄️ pic.twitter.com/LjNuCeKmCt— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) April 21, 2021
After the game, Daza described the experience of getting his first major league home run in the snow as, “incredible” and “a dream come true.” He also mentioned that the Rockies were able to get him his home run ball and that he would be giving the home run to “my number one fan, my greatest supporter, my mom [Maritza]. She deserves it.”
On the day, Daza went 2-for-4 with a home run, an RBI, a run scored, and two strikeouts.
Stringing hits together
Besides the Daza homer, the Rockies finished the game with 11 hits total. Story, Hampson, and Nuñez all recorded doubles, and Nuñez and Story each recorded two RBI. Charlie Blackmon and C.J. Cron were the only two starting position players to not record a hit.
In particular, the sixth inning is really where that hitting was on display. After Daza struck out to start the inning, Garrett Hampson singled and was promptly knocked home by a Nuñez double. Josh Fuentes pinch hit, and knocked a single to advance Nuñez to third. Raimel Tapia hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring Dom home. Ryan McMahon singled and Trevor Story walked to load the bases, but unfortunately Charlie Blackmon lined out to end the threat. Two was the magic number for the Rox, as they scored twice in the first, second, and sixth innings.
The Rockies have another off day on Thursday before welcoming the Phillies in town for a weekend series that will hopefully feature warmer weather! Germán Márquez will start the series opener against righty Vince Velasquez. First pitch is at 6:40pm MT.