It’s been 20 years since the Colorado Rockies opened a season with 4 consecutive wins, and if you’ll remember, they made the playoffs that year, falling in the 1st round to the eventual champion Atlanta Braves. They matched the mark Friday afternoon with a 5-1 Opening Day victory over the Chicago Cubs. Troy Tulowitzki had 2 RBI, Justin Morneau homered, and the bullpen logged 5 innings. Christian Bergman (1-0, 0.00), who pitched the 5th, was awarded the win.
Tyler Matzek started for the Rockies and really labored, lasting into the 5th, when Jorge Soler walked leading-off and Anthony Rizzo knocked him to 2nd with a single. Colorado manager Walt Weiss had seen enough by then and called for Bergman, who induced ground balls from Starlin Castro, who hit into a double play, and Mike Olt, who unsuccessfully tried Nolan Arenado for the 3rd out. The Cubs had scored their only run in the 3rd, when Soler led-off with a single and moved around to 3rd on an HBP and Castro single. Soler scored on a sacrifice fly from Matt Szczur.
The Rockies had taken a 1-0 lead in the 2nd when Matzek, who hit 8th in the order, doubled with 2 out and DJ LeMahieu, who was 3 for 4, lined a single to center. LeMahieu singled with 1-out in the 5th, moved to 2nd when Corey Dickerson was walked, and both runners scored on a Tulowitzki double. In the 6th, Justin Morneau, in on a double-switch with Bergman, led-off and lined Brian Schlitter’s 2nd pitch into the left-field pavillion to stretch the lead to 3-1. After Nick Hundley grounded-out, Charlie Blackmon walked and LeMahieu hit his 3rd single, then Dickerson drove them both home with a “should have been” double (Dickerson over-slid 2nd and was tagged-out), putting the Rox out to the 5-1 lead they would ride to the victory.
Brooks Brown relieved Bergman and contributed 2 big innings, escaping a walk in the 6th and a single in the 7th. Rafael Betancourt was flawless in the 8th, as was Boone Logan closing. The Black Bean, Jonny “Sparkplug” Herrera, was in the house, flying-out to home boy Carlos Gonzalez leading off the 9th.
It’ll be night baseball at Coors Saturday. Good buddy Jason Hammel goes for Chicago against Colorado’s Kyle Kendrick. Game time is 6:10 MDT.