The Rockies finally found the answer for the 12-game losing streak against the Giants: The Cron Zone.
After 55 at-bats without a homer, C.J. Cron hit one when it mattered, breaking up a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning on Wednesday with a 454-foot, two-run bomb that ended up being the game-winner in the 5-3 win. The homer was his 10th of the season, which leads the National League. This one came on a 3-1 changeup from José Álvarez.
C.J. Cron's 10 HR of the season! 454 FT! pic.twitter.com/oFtAMJyuro— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) May 18, 2022
After not having a baserunner for five innings, the Rockies finally got something going in the eighth. Conner Joe got the rally started with a pitch-hit single. Charlie Blackmon followed with a sacrifice bunt and the Yonathan Daza extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single that tied the game at 3-all.
Yonathan Daza ties up the game!— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) May 18, 2022
Extends hitting streak to 11 games pic.twitter.com/fc00ZwtHlQ
Daza set the stage for Cron’s homer. which had an exit velocity of 111.4 mph. Ryan McMahon and Randal Grichuk both added singles after Cron’s jack, but the Rockies couldn’t bring them home. Turns out they didn’t need to.
Bard and bullpen bounceback
After blowing a save Sunday and then earning another loss on Monday, Daniel Bard found redemption with a 1-2-3, drama-free, ninth-inning save on Wednesday. He started things off with a great defensive play with McMahon bare handing a grounder and throwing out Mike Yastrzemski. Bard then got a ground out from LaMonte Wade Jr. before striking out Darin Ruf, who watched a 98.3 mph sinker go right by him.
Daniel Bard pitches a 1-2-3 9th inning and notches his 10th save of the season pic.twitter.com/YhICO0EmV9— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) May 18, 2022
Robert Stephenson pitched a 1-2-3 seventh with one strikeout and Tyler Kinley gave up one run, but recorded two strikeouts in a scoreless eighth.
Quality for K-Free
For the third time this month, Freeland threw a quality start, which also happened to be the 15th of the season for the Rockies, which is second-best in the NL behind only the Padres (19) and Brewers (16). This QS was a hard-fought one with only one three-up, three-down inning (the fifth). The amazing thing is that he ended every other inning with a strikeout, most of the time to escape a jam and strand runners. Even more surprising, Freeland didn’t record one ground-ball out, which was a first in his career.
In the first inning, with runners on first and second, Freeland caught Evan Longoria looking. In the second, after he hit Brandon Crawford with a pitch, gave up a double to Thario Estrada, Yastrzemski hit an RBI single, and Austin Slater hit a sac fly to tie the game at 2-all, Freeland struck out Darin Ruf swinging. In the third, with the bases loaded, Joey Bart became Freeland’s fourth strikeout victim. Yastrzemski led off the fourth with a double and came around to score on a sac fly before Freeland struck out Brandon Belt. After Estrada started the sixth with a double, Freeland registered two more strikeouts, including getting Austin Slater for his eighth strikeout. Freeland ended the day with three earned runs on seven hits with two walks and one HBP. But he left the game trailing 3-2.
In the Rockies first at-bat of the afternoon, Blackmon, in his fifth game leading off for the Rockies this season, hit a shot over the right field wall to put Colorado up 1-0. The homer went 401 feet and was Chuck Nazty’s sixth of the season.
McMahon reached base on a two-out single and then came home on a double from Brendan Rodgers. San Francisco right fielder, Yastrzemski, misplayed the hit, coming in before backtracking and having the ball fly right over his outstretched glove. After the first inning, the Rockies were up 2-0.
Caught in a Webb
After jumping on Webb early, things changed after the second inning when Garrett Hampson and Blackmon reached base on walks. They were left on base and then no Rockie returned to the basepaths until the eighth inning. Webb retired 16 straight batters, making the third through seventh innings. He got eight groundball outs, five strikeouts, two flyouts, and one foul pop out. Joe entered the game as a pitch hitter to lead off the eighth inning and broke the streak with a single. That ended Webb’s day, giving way to a bullpen that erased Webb’s great game when Joe scored on an RBI single from Daza. Webb’s final line: three runs on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Serven up an MLB debut
Brian Serven, the Rockies fifth-round draft pick in 2016, started behind the plate on Wednesday, making his MLB debut. He caught pretty well, only dropping one pitch when he tried to throw out a stealing Estrada, who would have been safe even if Serven played it cleanly. He went 0-for-2 at the plate, grounding out in the second, but helping Hampson advance to second. He lined out to right in the fifth and then left the game when Joe pitch hit for him in the eighth. Serven’s family was in attendance and got a special souvenir.
Baseball is special— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 18, 2022
Brian Serven fouled off the 1st pitch of his 1st major league AB. Where did it end up? In the hands of his family watching him play! pic.twitter.com/Bnadf9AcRC
The Rockies have Thursday off before they begin a three-game series with the Mets on Friday. Carlos Carrasco (3-1, 3.73 ERA) will get the start for New York, while Germán Márquez (1-3, 6.16 ERA) will be on the mound for the Rockies.