The Rockies started the 2019 season with a bang, winning the first two games of their opening series against the Marlins in Miami. These were double-barreled wins featuring super pitching performances and hot hitting from their young line up.
In Thursday’s opening day matchup, Kyle Freeland showed that he is ready to pick up where he left off last season when he finished fourth in the National League Cy Young Award voting. He pitched seven innings allowing only one run on two hits with five strikeouts while the Rockies hitters drove in six runs on nine hits. Rockies 6, Marlins 3.
Friday’s game was a repeat of the same mix of excellent pitching and timely hitting as the Rockies beat the Marlins 6-1. German Marquez was on the mound for the Rockies flashing the same kind of control he featured last season when he notched 14 wins and 11 losses which included an impressive total of 230 strikeouts. This time around he pitched six innings and like his buddy, Freeland allowed only one run on two hits with seven strikeouts. The Rockies hitters scored six runs on 11 hits.
Unfortunately, Saturday’s 7-3 loss was a bummer for several reasons – the loss of course, but also a disappointing start for Tyler Anderson who allowed five runs in just five innings. Adding to the downside of the outcome was the injury to first baseman Daniel Murphy who fractured the index finger of his glove hand scooping a grounder for an out. He will be seeing a hand specialist in Phoenix, Arizona, but it looks as if he’s going to be on the injured reserve list for a while. Not to worry. The Rockies have slick-fielding Mark Reynolds to fill in until Murphy returns.
Sunday’s finale was a mixed bag. The Rockies were shutout 3-0 but Jon Gray was impressive as he showed his stuff for 6.2 innings allowing three earned runs while striking out 10. Remember pitching six innings while allowing three runs or less is considered a quality start. Given their hitting in the first two games, the Rockies ability to come up with at least three runs seemed likely. It was not to be due to an outstanding performance by the Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara who pitched eight innings (the longest start of his career) allowing only four hits.
Now the Rockies head up the road to play a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays. Then they’ll return home to Denver for what will be an exciting home opener Friday, April 5, with their Western Division archrival, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 2018 season was an exciting one for Rockies fans as their team made it to the playoffs for a second year in a row – a club first. Rockies fans should also be aware that their support has encouraged the owners to invest in an even brighter future. Some interesting numbers: Of the 30 Major League teams the Rockies ranked seventh in attendance last year with 3,015,880. Their payroll for the 2019 season is $146,892,905 which ranks 12th. After 25 years, the Rockies owners and management have made this club a franchise to be reckoned with.
A final note. The national media experts are essentially betting against the Rockies, projecting only an 81-win season. That’s 10 games less than last season. Let’s watch the Rockies prove how wrong they are.
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |