The Rockies were two outs away from being swept in a three game series for the first time since late June before Brendan Rodgers came through in the clutch. The young second baseman has continued to impress and he powered the Rockies to a fun come from behind victory.
Colorado finishes the road trip 4-5 and will head back home for a seven game home stand. They are now two wins away from ensuring that they will not lose 100 games for the first time in franchise history. But the win did not come without some early and late game drama.
Kyle Freeland exits early with injury
With the Rockies out of contention this late into the year, the hope is always to get everyone through September and into the offseason unscathed by injuries. The Rockies already lost Jon Gray to the IL earlier today, and now a few hours later, Kyle Freeland’s month is uncertain after coming out of the game in the second inning.
The left hander was visited by Bud Black and head athletic trainer Keith Duggar who did not appear to look at any specific part of Freeland’s body but after a conversation the decision was made to pull him from the game. Just after the game, we found out the cause:
Kyle Freeland noticed while warming up that he couldn't push off the rubber and drive down the mound, he thought it would get better but it didn't. Bud Black said he was removed because of precautionary reasons— Danielle Allentuck (@d_allentuck) September 1, 2021
Rockies bullpen dig themselves into early hole
Freeland’s injury put the Rockies in a tough position early in this game. Effectively, Colorado was forced into an unplanned bullpen day. Even with a bullpen game, the Rockies Fresh off a call-up, Justin Lawrence was thrown into the fire with no outs and a runner on after Freeland left. He did not show the best control as he gave up two singles and two walks to allow four runs to score while only getting one out on a nice throw home from Connor Joe to tag the runner. Lawrence was pulled after he loaded the bases for his second walk and in would come Ben Bowden who gave up a couple of big hits that’d give the Rangers an early and commanding 5-0 lead.
Rockies climb back into it
Despite the early hole, the Rockies did not appear intimidated, at least beginning in the fourth inning. That was when the Rockies were finally able to record a hit on Rangers starter Kohei Arihara and it was a big one.
RT if you enjoy Rodgers Rockets pic.twitter.com/Yg8KJASgjr— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) September 1, 2021
Rodgers’ 11th home run of the season provided a little spark for the Rockies and it also got Arihara out of the game as he was nearing his pitch count. That allowed the Rockies to get some more things going like a Charlie Blackmon walk and a Trevor Story single to get a runner in scoring position for the first time. Ryan McMahon came up with two outs and got himself his 68th RBI to bring the Rockies within three.
The fifth inning was almost as good. A Sam Hilliard walk and a Connor Joe double would put pressure on the Rangers with runners on second and third. That would cause a passed ball by Jose Trevino to allow the speedy Hilliard to score from third. A batter later, Charlie Blackmon would leg out a fielder’s choice to avoid a double play and allow Joe to score, bringing the Rockies to within just one run with four more innings to go in the game.
Rodgers completes the comeback, Rangers meltdown
It was beginning to look a little gloom but when you play a 47-win team, you’ll always have a shot. The Rangers brought in Joe Barlow to close the game in the ninth with a one-run lead but he was not able to come through for them. After getting the first out, he walked two consecutive batters to put the tying run in scoring position with Brendan Rodgers coming up to bat and the clutch youngster made him pay.
What followed afterwards was nothing short of a complete collapse by the entire Rangers defense. Of the next four plays, three different errors were committed that allowed the Rockies to score three more runs. When the inning was finally over, the Rockies scored five runs with just one hit recorded. Thank you Rangers.
The Rockies return home to face the NL East leading Atlanta Braves for the first time this season. The four game series kicks off tomorrow night at 6:40 PM MDT. Starters have yet to be announced.