Beauty

Colorado Rockies information: The fantastic thing about batting round


A rare and beautiful thing happened on Thursday.

Yeah, a decisive 9-1 win over the Giants was great, but that’s not exactly what I mean.

In an even rarer occurrence, the Rockies rallied and batted around in the fourth inning in a seven-run frame.

Of course, it had to come after the Giants struck first and took a 1-0 lead on a Michael Conforto homer. But that’s fine.

For the second time this season, the Rockies strung hits together, went through the lineup and started again. These kinds of innings used to be famous in Colorado. They used to be what made watching the Rockies fun — an especially explosive show of power from an already productive offensive team that usually loses games because of pitching and not hitting.

On Thursday, the Rockies got both. Cal Quantrill became the first starter to notch two wins (Peter Lambert has two, but they both came in relief) and the Rockies took advantage of the spacious gaps at Coors Field. Eleven Rockies came to the plate and recorded eight hits — one homer, two triples, three doubles and two singles. The inning started with six straight hits that resulted in six of the inning’s seven runs. There have been eight times this season when the Rockies totaled less than six hits in the entire game, let alone hitting six in a row.

The players needed a day like this. The fans certainly deserved it.

In the glorious fourth inning, Ezequiel Tovar tripled and doubled. Charlie Blackmon tripled, Elias Díaz and Sean Bouchard added a double each and Brenton Doyle served up the big one with a three-run homer.

This is what the Rockies should be.

The other time the Rockies have batted around this season came in a 10-9 come-from-behind win against the Padres on April 25. San Diego was up 9-4 going into the bottom of the ninth and the Rockies exploded for one of the best of their now eight comeback wins. The Rockies sent 11 players to the plate and scored six runs on five hits.

Some elements from that win are similar to Thursday’s win. The Rockies were boosted by a three-run homer, this time by Hunter Goodman, and they benefited from extra-base hits as Díaz and Brendan Rodgers each doubled. The biggest difference against the Padres is that the Rockies benefited from two walks, a wild pitch and a passed ball. Most of the credit goes to the Rockies, who still struck out twice in the inning, but some of the collapse was also self-induced by San Diego. Against the Giants, Colorado only struck out once and didn’t benefit from any free passes, errors, wild pitches or passed balls. Thursday’s win was all because of hitting.

As the Rockies enter Friday’s series against the AL West first-place Rangers as the worst team in baseball with a 9-28 and a .243 winning percentage, the question remains: can the Rockies carry over the momentum from Thursday’s batting-around victory?

The Rockies have yet to win back-to-back games. That won’t get any easier as the 22-27 Rangers, the defending World Series champions, come to town, especially with former Rockie Jon Gray (1-1, 2.50 ERA) on the mound on Friday night.

The Rockies get to stay at Coors Field and can at least try to keep dropping balls in the gigantic outfield. Over the last four games, the Rockies have averaged seven strikeouts per game. In the 33 before, they averaged 10 a game. Perhaps things are moving in the right direction with more hits and fewer strikeouts.

To keep it that way and build on Thursday’s momentum, the Rockies need the bats that came through in the two batting-around innings. That means Hunter Goodman and Sean Bouchard need to be in the lineup, even if that means Elehuris Montero is not and Goodman plays first base. Only one catcher should ever be in the lineup, so no more Díaz as DH. Either Jacob Stallings or Díaz play and the DH needs to go to a rookie or Blackmon, to open a spot in the outfield for a rookie.

After the Rangers series, the Rockies head to San Diego, San Francisco and Oakland for a nine-game road trip. Colorado needs some big rallies, even if they aren’t batting-around size, in order to start gelling as an offense that can begin to show glimpses of what Rockies baseball should be.

★ ★ ★

Tovar possesses unwavering belief in himself, Rockies | MLB.com

Ezequiel Tovar continues to shine in his sophomore season. His glove is amazing. He’s hitting .269/.314/.400/.714 with three homers, eight doubles, 14 runs scored and 13 RBI. He’s living up to his high expectations. Even better, he’s got a great attitude, despite the Rockies record. Thomas Harding has some excellent quotes from Tovar in this one.

Colorado Rockies need even more exciting pitching on the farm | Mile High Sports

Drew Creasman highlights some of the positives from the Rockies starting rotation and some of the prospects in the system, while also pointing out the ever-present need for more pitching.

Injuries & Moves: Jones ramping up baseball activity | MLB.com

There’s good news about Nolan Jones. Before Thursday’s game, he played catch in the outfield. He is on pace to keep adding more activity, but Bud Black said Jones will probably spend some time on a MiLB rehab stint before rejoining the Rockies.

★ ★ ★

On the Farm

Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes 12, El Paso Chihuahuas 8

The Isotopes hit six homers in a shootout victory on Thursday. Michael Toglia and Julio Carreras each hit two-run home runs, while Drew Romo, Aaron Schunk, Grant Lavigne and Coco Montes hit solo shots. Montes also doubled in a three-hit night, and Jameson Hannah and Sam Hilliard both added RBI doubles as Albuquerque notched 15 hits. The Isotopes committed two errors, which helped lead to a six-run El Paso inning in the fifth. Karl Kauffmann only gave up four earned runs, but a total of seven, and Austin Kitchen gave up one unearned run through the first five innings as Albuquerque’s lead was cut to 10-8. Matt Koch threw two scoreless innings with a strikeout to earn the win and improve to 3-1 on the season.

Double-A: Reading Fightin’ Phils 10, Hartford Yard Goats 8

Drew Romo and Sterlin Thompson both homered, but it wasn’t enough to fend off a rally from the Fightin’ Phils on Thursday. Veen finished with four hits and scored two runs, while Thompson posted three hits and drove in three runs. Warming Bernabel also added a two-run double on a night when the Yard Goats out-hit Reading 15-10.

High-A: Hillsboro Hops 3, Spokane Indians 2

Hillsboro’s Jean Walters hit a bases-loaded, walk-off, RBI single to top the Indians on Thursday. Spokane started strong when Juan Guerrero doubling with one out and Kyle Karros reached on an error to put runners on the corners. Guerrero and Karros then scored when the Hops made another throwing error on a Jesus Ordonez grounder. Bryant Betancourt had two of the Indians six hits. Chase Dollander struck out 10 Hops in five innings, while giving up two runs on six hits with two walks.

Low-A: Fresno Grizzlies 3, Modesto Nuts 2

Jason Hinchman hit an RBI single in the fifth inning to cut Modesto’s lead to 2-1 and then hit a two-run double in the seventh to put the Grizzlies in place to capture the win. The Nuts out-hit Fresno 6-5, but also committed two errors.

★ ★ ★

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