Colorado climbed above .500 for the first time since the season opener with a victory in a 11-10 slugfest. Kyle Freeland continued to struggle badly giving up five runs in just three innings before being removed by Bud Black. He gave up two more home runs, including one to the opposing pitcher. The Chettis and Jairo Diaz combination threw a combined four shutout innings. With a 8-5 lead, Mike Dunn and B-Shaw imploded giving up five runs in the eighth to give the lead back to Arizona 10-8. Then Scott Oberg and Seunghwan Oh threw up zeroes over the last two innings before Colorado walked off Arizona to complete the four-game sweep.
The Rockies responded to every Arizona tally with their own tallies. Dan Murphy singled in two runs and Tony Wolters hit a sac fly in the first to tie the game at three each after the first. David Dahl hit a two-run shot in the bottom of second to counter opposing pitcher’s solo shot to enable Colorado to take a 5-4 lead. RyMac launched a two-run homer after Arizona scored one run in the top of the third to give the Rockies a 7-5 lead. Wolters had a single to drive in RyMac in the fifth for a 8-5 lead. After Arizona exploded for five runs in the top of the eighth to take a 10-8 lead, Ian Desmond hit a solo shot to narrow the deficit to 10-9. MVP candidate Nado had the game tying single in the same inning to draw them even 10-10. Colorado had their fourth walk-off of the current home stand when Murphy made the D-backs pay for intentionally walking Nado with two outs and Story standing on third base.
The offense is pretty much humming along when they need it most to turn the season around. It was the Pittsburgh series when they finally realized that they had to stop swinging at bad pitches and start taking more walks. They are seeing the benefits when the balls are put into play in critical situations. It helped that Murphy was starting to find barrels much more frequently after hearing sdcarp’s comment that first base position is a black hole. The catcher position has miraculously been in the top 10 in the majors in productivity. Chuck Nazty is eligible to come off the IL June 4th. That will boost the Rockies offense tremendously lengthening the lineup with Yonathon Daza taking up a spot on the 25-man roster. That will allow Desmond and Tapia to split time in the OF along with Chuck Nazty and David Dahl. Since Brendan Rodgers arrived last week, the second base position suddenly looked much better.
The biggest issue is in the pitching staff, both rotation and bullpen. The bullpen picture has gotten clear in the last couple of weeks. McGee, Oh, and Dunn (why did he pitch 8th today?) are to pitch in low leverage situations. Estevez and Shaw are showing flashes but remain too inconsistent. Chettis has been a revelation lately and surely will move towards the back end when Chris Rusin is activated off the IL. Oberg and Wade Davis are the 8th and 9th inning guys. But the rotation needs a lot of work, but a lot of work has been done to solidify the SPs. K-Free is surely headed to Albuquerque as BB has waited long enough to no avail. Marquez and Gray are set as the top two. Jeff Hoffman and Antonio Senzatela showed in their recent start that they are still a work in progress but keeping the Rockies in games. BB needs to find a replacement for K-Free. If they don’t want to call up Peter Lambert just yet, then pick up the phone and pay Dallas Kuechel to come here. Show Colorado that we are serious about the postseason by offering the most attractive deal to Kuechel.
But for now the four SPs need to keep the Rockies in the games and let the offense do their thing on a nightly basis. Today’s walk-off set the franchise record (4) for most walk offs on a single home stand. After a 0-5 start at Coors Field, they are now 15-12 in LoDo. (15-7 last 22 home games). They have a +1 run differential now. It might look ugly but that includes the dry spell when Colorado lost 12 of 13 games in the first two weeks of the season getting flogged by every opponent.. Their 28-27 record moved them up into third place just a half game behind San Diego. The focus is on the wild card race if we believe the Dodgers are a runaway division winner. Colorado is just 1.5 games out of WC2 and 2.5 games out of WC1. In April, they were dead last in RISP situations, but in May they are in the top five or so in RISP situations.