Tuesday night felt like the good-old, pre-humidor days at Coors Field, especially in the nine-run third inning that saw 12 Rockies come to the plate. It’s all the more impressive that it came against the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Cardinals,who had won seven games in a row and nine of their last 10.
C.J. Cron homered and doubled in a five-RBI night, Randal Grichuk posted five hits, including a three-run homer, Brendan Rodgers came to play on his 26th birthday, going 4-for-5 with three runs scored and one RBI, and José Iglesias put up three hits, scored two runs, and drove in another. Oh, and Ryan McMahon cracked into the Statcast leaderboards with a monster home run that measured 495 feet.
For the Rockies, Tuesday was a good day.
Best inning of the season
Already with a 3-0 lead, the Rockies offense went off in the third inning — scoring nine runs on nine hits with one walk. Grichuk tops the highlight reel with a three-run homer that went 449 feet for his 12th shot of the year.
First, let’s remember this came against All-Star Miles Mikolas. With one out, Grichuk hit a single and Elehuris Montero extended his hitting streak to eight with a single to set the table for Elias Díaz, who hit a double down the right field line to make it 4-0. Sam Hilliard followed with a line drive up the middle that quickly lined off of Mikolas’s glove into the outfield. Montero scored, but Díaz, who finished the game with two doubles and drove in two runs, was thrown out at home. Despite having two outs, the Rockies were only getting started. Charlie Blackmon followed with a single and then a nightmare stretch started for former Rockie and nine-time Golden Glove winner Nolan Arenado. Having already committed an unusual error in the first inning, Arenado seemed to be a magnet for challenging plays, starting with Iglesias’s single that squeaked by a diving Arenado to put the Rockies up 6-0. Rodgers followed with a slow roller that not even a textbook-Nolan-barehanded play could stop from being a hit. Cron followed with a two-run double to make it 9-0. That knocked Mikolas out of the game, marking his worst career performance in terms of hits surrendered at 14. Packy Naughton entered in relief for St. Louis and immediately walked McMahon. Grichuk, whose five hits in one game was a career first, then made him pay.
Reliving the inning is worth every second as this inning makes up 26 of the best minutes of the 2022 season.
Cron ends a drought
Entering the game, Cron was homer-less in his last 15 games — a streak that went back to July 23. That ended in the first inning when Cron absolutely hammered Mikolas’s 92.6-mph fastball 450 feet to the left field bleachers.
If you’re seeing this, it’s too late.— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 10, 2022
The ball is in The Cron Zone™️ pic.twitter.com/19wIAF0N1u
The ball exited the playing field at 111 mph for Cron’s 23rd homer of the season. The best part is that Iglesias and Rodgers both had singles before him, making it a three-run homer and giving Cron his 75th, 76th, and 77th RBI of the season (he went on to reach 79 by the end of the game).
Feltner limits St. Louis hits, Bird struggles
Ryan Felter was in the zone to start this game. He only needed 21 strikes to get through a scoreless two innings, mostly because 18 of those pitches were strikes. He gave up one double to Lars Nootbaar in the second, but still had only given up four hits through four innings. Paul DeJong broke up Feltner’s scoreless outing with a 448-foot, two-run home run in the fifth inning, but the Rockies were still up 12-2. In the sixth inning, Feltner’s impressive night took a downward turn when he gave up doubles to Nolan Gorman and Arenado. Even though he recorded two outs, he walked Nootbaar, which led Bud Black to pull him. When he left the game, he had given up three runs on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Jake Bird entered the game in relief and plunked DeJong in the leg with his first pitch to load the bases. Andrew Knizner followed with a two-run single to cut the Rockies lead to 12-5. Bird wound up striking out Dylan Carlson to prevent the damage from being worse; however, instead of three earned runs, Feltner ended up with five.
Longest for last
On a night where three homers averaged 449 feet, Ryan McMahon showed up everyone. Despite being the last Rockie in the starting lineup without a hit going into the seventh inning, McMahon absolutely destroyed a changeup from T.J. McFarland 495 feet to the second deck of the center field stands.
It was McMahon’s 11th homer of the season and is tied for sixth longest in Statcast history. It is the longest Rockies homer in the Statcast era, the second longest in the MLB this season, and the fourth longest in Coors Field history.
Great debut for Lamet
Dinelson Lamet made his Colorado debut on Tuesday night, throwing two scoreless innings. Despite giving up two singles in the eighth, he registered two strikeouts to escape the inning without damage. In the ninth, Lamet put the Cardinals down in order with two lineouts and a flyout.
The Rockies and Cardinals will be back in action on Wednesday night at 6:40 p.m. for game two of the three-game series. Kyle Freeland (7-7, 4.56 ERA) will get the start for Colorado, while José Quintana (3-5, 3.39 ERA) will be on the mound for St. Louis.