On Wednesday before the game, it was presumably Brandon Barnes who called out the team and asked them to wear high socks so they can start playing professional baseball. They responded with a 6-4 victory over the Washington Nationals. They went with the same mojo tonight and rolled to a 8-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was a pitching duel through six innings between Brett Anderson and Charlie Morton with the Rockies scoring the only run on D.J. LeMahieu’s leadoff triple and Josh Rutledge brought him home with a two-out double to save the embarrassment of possibly stranding LeMahieu at third base with no outs. It was part of Rutledge’s four-RBI night.
Anderson was mowing down the Pirate lineup except for a fifth inning hiccup. He gave up a single and a walk to start the fifth inning. Jordy Mercer came up and he hit a one-hop bouncer to Culberson where he stepped on the bag and threw the ball around the horn for a possible triple play. The outs were recorded at third base and first base. The second base umpire called Rutledge’s foot off the bag and gave a safe signal. Walt Weiss had appealed the play for review in New York but apparently it was inconclusive so the call stood. Culberson replaced Nolan Arenado at third base because Weiss saw that Arenado did not bust up the line on a check swing back into the pitcher’s box. So he was removed as punishment for not playing baseball the right way.
Colorado and Anderson were still hanging on to a precarious 1-0 lead going into the seventh inning. After a one-out walk, Anderson didn’t have a feel for the ball due to a blister starting to develop. Tommy Kahnle, the best Rule 5 pick in Rockies’ history, came on and slammed the door facing just two Pirate batters for the final two outs of the inning. Ben Paulsen got the second biggest inning of the season started with a double. Baby Bull drove Paulsen home with a double of his own. D.J. LeMahieu had a seeing eye single through the left side to put the runners on the corners for pinch hitter Drew Stubbs. He bounced a double over the drawn-in infield to make the score 3-0. Nazty was walked intentionally to set up the double play. Rutledge laced a gapper to clear the bases to pad the lead to 6-0. Then CarGo hit a slump busting two-run shot to put the game away at 8-0.
Matt Belisle was the only Rockie pitcher who had a rough night. He gave up two seeing eye grounders and two walks sandwiched around a sacrifice fly to the warning track in center field. Weiss removed Belisle to get Zero in the game. A pop up and a grounder later the game was over preserving Belisle’s stats.
High socks and good pitching is an excellent combination and Tyler Matzek will be asked to keep the win streak going tomorrow. The game will be at 6:10 MDT.