The Colorado Rockies came out swinging against MacKenzie Gore and the San Diego Padres for a much-needed win at home to kick off the series. Toppling the first place Padres 10-4 snaps a 7 game losing streak at Coors Field following back-to-back sweeps. Kyle Freeland pitched strongly in a seven inning start and the bats finally clicked after far too long.
Friday Night Freeland
Although he didn’t earn a quality start for his trouble, Rockies starter Kyle Freeland did indeed have a quality Friday night on the mound. While he wasn’t his sharpest—failing to tally even a single strikeout—he was efficient. Freeland pitched seven complete innings on just 82 pitches. He gave up four hits on eight runs and walked just one batter. All four of those runs fall under the “one bad inning” category that seem to plague Rockies pitchers. Freeland gave up a home run to kick off the inning and followed that up with a triple that absolutely looked like Yonathan Daza had robbed it with a leaping catch at the wall. A sac fly and two doubles later and the QS was out of his reach, but he pitched well for the rest of his outing.
I Present to You: Chuck Nazty
Charlie Blackmon continued to tick boxes off of his checklist of milestones tonight. 10 years of service time as a Rockie. 200 home runs. 1500 hits. Tonight he added another by taking sole possession of the all-time Triples record for the franchise. Mr. Nazty drove the ball deep into right field for an RBI triple in the first inning of the game, the 54th three-bagger of his storied career in purple. Blackmon would have two total RsBI in a 3-for-4 night at the plate to push his batting average up to .267 this season.
We’re Allowed to Have Offense?
After a frustrating sweep by the Cleveland Guardians where the offense failed to really materialize, the Rockies bats came roaring to life in the series opener against the Padres. The Rockies scored ten runs on 14 hits, going 4-for-10 with RISP and leaving only six men stranded. CJ Cron decided to take us back to the Cron Zone for the first time in 15 days with a two home run night and five RsBI, and he almost hit a third that was caught at the wall. Cron’s second home run traveled a career long 486 feet onto the croncourse. Randal Grichuk had a three RsBI night while going 2-for-4, knocking his first home run in over 90 at-bats. Both Connor Joe and Yonathan Daza—in addition to making some excellent catches in the outfield—returned to form at the plate with 2-for-4 nights of their own. Rookie catcher Brian Serven also hit his first career double as part of the Rockies’ parade around the bases.
The Bird is the Word
Rookie pitcher Jake Bird made his big league debut yesterday with a 1-2-3 inning, and was given the ball for the ninth inning tonight with a comfortable lead. Bird threw a second 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts-his first at the MLB level—to end the game and the Rockies’ losing streak. Bird quietly put together a strong minor league career and has been one of the best pitchers with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes prior to his call up. It’s encouraging to see him succeeding early in his big league opportunity.
Jake Bird strikes out two in a 1-2-3 9th inning pic.twitter.com/za3QhDrI1P— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) June 18, 2022
Coming Up Next
The Rockies will play a late night (by Colorado standards) affair against the Padres again tomorrow night. Germán Márquez will take the mound on his own bobble-head night in celebration of his 2021 All-Star appearance. The righty Nick Martinez will pitch for the Padres. First pitch is at 7:10 PM MDT.