Chicks Dig the Long Ball

If facing Zack Greinke (0-1, 15.75) to open the 2016 Major League Baseball season was supposed to be a character builder, the Colorado Rockies have a lot of  character.  Rookie Trevor Story got under a Greinke fastball in the 3rd with one in and runners on 2nd and 3rd and lifted it into the right-field stands to put the Rockies out to a 4-1 lead.  They would eventually run it to 7-1 before a bunch of drama in the middle innings, then Nolan Arenado delivered a coup-de-gras in the 8th to propel Colorado to a 10-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday night at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Jorge De La Rosa got the start against Greinke, and was OK early, getting nicked for one in the 2nd when David Peralta singled with one out, Yasmani Tomas doubled him to 3rd, and Greinke knocked him in with a Baltimore chopper over the head of DLR.  Colorado answered big in the top of the 3rd. DJ LeMahieu led off with a sharp single to right and moved-up on a De La Rosa chopper over a charging Jake Lamb.  Charlie Blackmon plated LeMahieu with a double into the right-center gap to tie the game, then Story dropped his bomb about 10 rows over the right-field wall.  Carlos Gonzalez took Greinke deep with a line-shot to right center, then Gerardo Parra doubled with one out and LeMahieu knocked him in with a 2-out single and Nick Hundley on 1st for a 6-1 Colorado advantage.

Story would lead-off the 4th with a large solo shot to left that ran it to 7-1, but De La Rosa, who had a disappointing night, gave 2 back in the bottom of the inning on a Peralto single and Lamb homer.  DLR couldn’t make it out of the 5th, surrendering a leadoff single to Segura and getting burned on another, disputed Baltimore chopper (looked safe to me— I don’t know what ROOT was looking at) by Chris Owings to bring Paul Goldschmidt to the plate.  DLR wanted nothing to do with Goldshmidt, walking him on 4 pitches, then got Welington Castillo and Peralta on a pop fly and a strikeout, but Tomas singled to make it 7-5, and after De La Rosa walked Lamb, Rockies’ manager Walt Weiss was forced to pull the left-hander for Justin Miller (1-0, 0.00), who struck-out pinch hitter Phil Gosselin.

In the 6th it was Miller who got in trouble.  Nick Ahmed singled leading-off and Segura drove him to 3rd with a single, then Owings lined a screamer toward Arenado, who turned-in his first defensive gem of the season, snaring the drive and diving to the bag to double-off Ahmed.  Miller set down Goldschmidt, now batting with 2 out, finishing-off what turned-out to be the first of 4 scoreless innings by the Colorado pen.

When the 8th inning rolled-around, Dbacks manager Chip Hale had Andrew Chafin on the hill, and Chafin walked Blackmon with one out and allowed a Gonzalez single with 2.  Hale turned to right-handed Silvio Bracho to face Arenado, and “the Book” failed as Arenado blasted Bracho’s first offering into the left-field night, running the score out of the Dbacks’ reach at 10-5.  Boone Logan, who pitched a clean 7th, and Chad Qualls handled the 8th for Colorado, and Miguel Castro worked his way through the 9th to seal victory number 1 in game number 1 for the local nine.

The Division rivals go back at it tonight.  Chad Bettis will go for Colorado against Arizona’s second big offseason splash, right-hander Shelby Miller.  Game time is once again 7:40 in Phoenix.

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Pooter
Pooter
4 years ago

I said it before the season and I will say it again after one game. If the starting pitching can battle out there, eat innings, and keep the Rockies in the game then I like their chances this year. I feel like with this bullpen, especially when Motte and Ottavino return can be like the Royals bullpen and this lineup is deadly with two MVP candidates and a great supporting cast. The rotation people need to step up…. So far… Read more »

Colorado Thistle
Colorado Thistle
4 years ago

Many of my baseball friends think Weiss is terrible. I’m neutral on him, but last night’s double switch was a classic overthinking move. Just because you can double switch doesn’t mean you have to. Replacing DJ in the lineup with Adames nearly cost them the game in the 6th when Adames couldn’t get to a ball DJ would’ve had. Just a terrible coaching decision. But for Nolan and his Magic Glove, we probably would’ve lost that game.

Bob K.
Bob K.
4 years ago

Weiss also demonstrated that he clearly has no understanding of how to use platoon players by playing Reynolds against a right handed pitcher.

sdcarp
sdcarp
4 years ago

The fact that JDLR couldn’t handle the “stress” of that inning kills me and was the root cause of the whole chain of events (independent of Weiss’s decision being correct or incorrect). JDLR just has no mental toughness. He loses focus so easily.

Bob K.
Bob K.
4 years ago
Reply to  sdcarp

I have a different view of that. I believe that Nick Hundley is not very good at calling a game especially when De La Rosa is pitching. Last year McKenry was JDLR’s personal catcher because even Weiss recognized that Hundley does not know how to handle JDLR. Did you see the spring training game where Hundley got an error because he couldn’t even throw the ball back to the pitcher? If you want better from De La Rosa, don’t have… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh
4 years ago

The double switch was done cuz WW wanted miller to get 4 outs, not just 1 batter

Bob K.
Bob K.
4 years ago

You are absolutely correct but even the announcers were surprised that it was DJ that got pulled instead of Mark Reynolds.

sdcarp
sdcarp
4 years ago
Reply to  Bob K.

I hear what both of you guys are saying (and agree). My point is it shouldn’t have come to that……JDLR needs to be able to get through that inning. Bob – you’re correct regarding JDLR and a personal catcher. But I think that proves my point (to some extent). It’s unfortunate JDLR needs a personal catcher because he’s a head case. That being said……it’s also very well documented that Hundley does have defensive/pitch framing/game management issues. I think we can… Read more »

Bob K.
Bob K.
4 years ago
Reply to  sdcarp

JDLR was a head case before the Rockies ever traded for him. Bob Apodaca deserves an extreme amount of credit for turning him into an effective pitcher. For a head case, the Rockies have gotten an awful amount of mileage out of him. He holds the most wins of any Rockies pitcher ever, the most strikeouts ever, the most wins at Coors Field ever and the highest winning percentage at Coors Field by anyone who has more than a couple… Read more »

Colorado Thistle
Colorado Thistle
4 years ago

Understood, but he could’ve batted Miller.

Bob in WV
Bob in WV
4 years ago

What a night! Stayed up to 4:30am watching this after seeing ‘Nova pull off that great shot. There was a lot of good in this game that is being discussed, but one play that is barely mentioned which helped open the floodgates was that pulled back bunt and slap hit by JDLR. It was a little thing, but it’s those little things that help win games. Solid game all around. Great to see Nolan pick up where he left off… Read more »

Bob K.
Bob K.
4 years ago
Reply to  Jeem

Boone Logan got 5 outs in a very well pitched outing. Chad Qualls only needed to get one out in the 8th and had to pitch to 2 batters to get that one out.

roxnsox
roxnsox
4 years ago

This chickie’s diggin’ the long balls, yessss! Fun to see the kid set the bar and the other sluggers go, “OK! I’ll play!” And amen to the comment Tulo Who from last night. I had the exact same reaction. I was one of his fans/defenders, but I don’t miss him anymore. Wheeee! Too bad about DLR. At least he didn’t throw a fit. But it’s depressing. Spilly was funny as usual. He’s imposing a dollar fine for every Story pun… Read more »

Bob K.
Bob K.
4 years ago

Dbacks option Silvino Bracho to AAA as a reward for giving up Arenado’s 3 run homer.

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