Contact CU Independent Sports Staff Writer Jake Mauff at Jacob.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Colorado Rockies now sit at .500 on the season, going 1-2 in their series against the San Diego Padres. It was an interesting three games from start to finish.
Suffice it to say the Rockies pitching wasn’t prepared for the Padres in its first two games at Coors Field this season. In those two games, the Padres scored a combined 29 runs. This comes after not scoring any runs in their first three games of the season, the first team in MLB history to fail to do so.
No one took advantage of the hitter’s paradise that is Coors Field more than Padres left fielder Matt Kemp, who currently leads the team in most offensive categories. He had 10 RBIs in this series, all of which attributed to the first two blowout games.
This may have been the Padres overcompensating for their historically bad start to the season, but it may have also been due to the Rockies pitchers being incompetent. Either way, it was not a great series for Colorado pitchers.
April 8: San Diego 13, Colorado 6
Taking the mound for the Rockies in the team’s home opener was Jordan Lyles. Lyles had a good three innings, until he gave up five runs in the fourth. Colorado brought Chris Rusin in, only to give up three more runs in only a little over an inning of pitching. That came out to a grotesque 20.25 ERA for Rusin.
The Rockies tried to counter in the fourth, with center fielder Charlie Blackmon driving in second baseman DJ LeMahieu. Rookie shortstop sensation Trevor Story came to the plate and proceeded to hit one out of the park. Three runs in an inning is never a bad thing, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Padres barrage.
San Diego had already done their damage, so it wasn’t enough when Story hit another dinger in the ninth. Colorado fell 13-6. Of the six runs that the Rockies scored, four of them were driven in by Story.
April 9: San Diego 16, Colorado 3
The Story train seemed to stop the next day when play resumed. But it wasn’t just Story — it was every Rockies player. San Diego did their scoring in bunches, scoring six in both the fourth and the ninth.
This was Kemp’s shining performance of the week. He hit two deep and drove in six. Second baseman Cory Spangenberg hit a three-run shot in the fourth only to see Kemp top it with an even longer three-run homer later that inning.
The Padres kept the Rockies at bay from the plate all game. This led to the uninspiring final score, 16-3.
April 10: Colorado 6, San Diego 3
On Sunday, Chad Bettis went to the mound, hoping to provide Colorado some quality innings after the previous day’s dismantling. He did a pretty good job in doing so. The right-hander lasted an impressive seven innings, tallying an equally impressive one earned run and six strikeouts.
While Bettis held the fort, the Rockies got hot early. Left fielder Carlos González hit a home run in the first, with third baseman Nolan Arenado doing the same thing in the next at-bat.
The game drew close when Bettis left. It was 4-2 and the top of the eighth, with Boone Logan on the mound. Spangenberg stepped up and drove in the runner-on-base for the Padres. Now 4-3, the Rockies began to bite their fingernails.
It was a relatively quiet scene from there. In the bottom of the inning, the Rox countered the one-run effort by San Diego with another back-to-back homer situation, this time Story and González being the ones behind them. Colorado would go on to win 6-3.
With his three runs in this series, Story set a Major League record by hitting seven home runs this early in the season, the most by any player in their team’s first six games.