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Rockies Bats Come Alive

This week in Colorado Rockies baseball gave fans something to cheer about. Two wins to split the series with the San Diego Padres gave the Rockies their first split series, which at this point is much more favorable than their continual losses at home and away. The fan excitement built because this week’s wins against the Padres were both done in dramatic and unexpected ways.

On Tuesday, the Rockies were in the hole from the beginning as has often been the case this season. San Diego scored two runs at the top of the first inning to jump out to an immediate lead. Colorado was unable to answer in the first, and things seemed to progress as usual for this year’s team. Bottom of the second, Elias Diaz walks and then is advanced home by a double from Elehuris Montero and a single from Nolan Jones. Things were looking bad when the Padres rallied to bring two more runs in at the top of the third.

Then a series of unexpected small successes lined up in the bottom of the fourth. Montero started things off with a sharp grounder to left field off his first pitch to land himself on first. Nolan Jones then managed to get on due to a fielding error by the Padres first baseman. Brenton Doyle followed with a line drive to the gap in left field for a single to load the bases. Brendan Rodgers stepped to the plate as the eighth hitter in the order that night. Rodgers was facing a 0-2 count when Michael King decided to challenge him with the four-seam fastball high and inside. Rodgers returned the ball to the sixth row of seats passed the left-center wall. Not only did that hit bring in four runs to give the Rockies the lead, but it also gave Rodgers his first grand slam of his major league career.

The Rockies went on to score twice more for a comfortable SD 4, COL 7 win. The home crowd was excited to see their team win, but the SD 5, COL 2 loss the next day seemed to return everyone to the reality of this season after the Padres scored four of those runs in the top of the first inning during Wednesday’s game. In the last game of the series, the Rockies came alive and gave the hometown crowd some unexpected excitement on a Thursday afternoon.

Thursday’s game was pre-empted by STEM Day at Coors Field, which meant the stands were swelled with 10,000 students, parents, and faculty from around the state who gathered to celebrate science, technology, engineering, and math. The Rockies sponsored a great show for the kids before the game, then got things off to a first inning lead. San Diego answered with runs in the second, third, fourth, seventh and eight to swell to a 9 – 4 lead over the home team. With the stands full of disappointed children’s faces, the Rockies did something they have not been able to do before in this season; they rallied back.

What looked like another loss to that point, quickly turned into a hitting frenzy for the Rockies in the bottom of the eighth. Rodgers started the rally with a grounder to right field that earned him second base. Then Sean Bouchard showed good plate discipline by drawing a walk off a full count. Hunter Goodman then stepped to the plate, having been called up from the Albuquerque Isotopes for being on a 7 home run hitting streak, but unfortunately, he was 0-for-2 on this day. Goodman took two balls to start, then launched a nearly centered changeup 448 ft over the left center wall to record his first major league homer and RBI. The rookie’s bat was infectious because then it was single, walk, single, run scored. The crowd was on their feet when Ezequiel Tovar stole home on a passed ball to tie the game, but Coors Field exploded when Doyle worked his way around and stole home on the next wild pitch enabling the Rockies to take the lead.

A 6-run comeback and a grand slam win in front of the home crowd is the kind of magic the fans want more of. The Rockies have dug a deep hole with 19 losses over the first month of the season, but it is not too late to start tipping the scales back. The wins could start flowing with more regularity as the Rockies dial in the batting order producing these types of outcomes.


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