The Colorado Rockies had the Force with them on Saturday as they defeated the Pirates 2-0. They’ve won five straight games, their longest streak of the season. Yub nub!
Ureña’s new hope
José Ureña left the Brewers organization with an uncertain future, and fans weren’t necessarily sure to expect when he joined the Rockies in May before making his debut on the major league team in July. Now he looks like a staple of their staff as he tossed his third straight quality start for the team, and Saturday’s performance was his finest yet. He kept the visiting Pirates off the board for his six innings, allowing just five hits and two walks while striking out four. Throwing a fastball that sat in the upper 90’s and partnering it with good offspeed pitches, he garnered weak contact throughout - 11 ground outs and two fly outs.
José Ureña— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) July 16, 2022
6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K pic.twitter.com/1Do9Otm63m
“Great shot KB, that was one in a million!”
Pirates starter Mitch Keller was cruising through his start, having only allowed two hits and two walks heading into the fifth inning. After he recorded two routine outs, the game seemed destined to remain tied as the teams entered the later innings. Instead, on what seemed an innocuous groundout from Connor Joe, shortstop Oneil Cruz threw well over the head of first baseman Yoshi Tsutsugo and out of play, allowing Joe to move to second base. Kris Bryant then made the Pirates pay with an RBI single to center, scoring Joe and putting the home team up 1-0.
Kris Bryant gets Rockies on the board in the 5th pic.twitter.com/3EbvDVMiWD— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) July 16, 2022
Bryant, who continues to scorch in his return from the Injured List, said before the game that he’s “just trying to get back in the groove of playing baseball every day.” He went 3-for-3 with a walk and an RBI in the win, so it’s safe to say he’s in a good rhythm right now.
A Death Star laser
With nothing going on offensively for the Pirates, catcher Tyler Heineman tried to manufacture some momentum on his own. With Lucas Gilbreath pitching in relief of Ureña in the top of the seventh inning, Heineman blooped a base hit to center field and immediately turned on the jets looking for a double. He was instead cut down like Darth Maul by Sam Hilliard. Hilliard’s throw was a dime to José Iglesias, who tagged Heineman out on the play. Pittsburgh requested a replay review, but the umpires confirmed the out call.
Hilliard has 5 Defensive Runs Saved in left field (which is the second-most in MLB) but is no stranger to roaming center. The play today showed he can play and contribute anywhere in the outfield.
Blackmon strikes back
The Rockies were still up 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh, but Charlie Blackmon felt they could use an insurance run. With runners on first and third with two outs, he came through with a ringing single that put Colorado up 2-0.
A two run lead, Chewie Blackmon has given us! pic.twitter.com/5T2vLHquVz— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) July 16, 2022
Pittsburgh wouldn’t come back from the deficit, as Lucas Gilbreath, Alex Colomé, and Daniel Bard (who should be an All-Star) finished off the Pirates in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings respectively. The Rockies have now won five straight - the most in a row this season.
It’s the last game before the All-Star break as the Pirates and Rockies finish up their series. Austin Gomber (5-7, 6.11 ERA) will start for Colorado. Pittsburgh has not yet announced their starter at the time of this writing.
First pitch is at 1:10pm MDT. See you then, and may the Force be with you!