The Tower of Doom at Elitches in Denver is a simple concept. After being brought high into the sky, patrons are dropped at high speeds, only to land softly back on land. After freefalling over the weekend, the Colorado Rockies found their soft landing.
For the San Francisco Giants, Manager Bruce Bochy’s final year has been a disastrous one. At 33-44, the club is likely to finish dead last in the National League West. As a result, the Rockies took advantage in a 2-0 win to open a three-game set.
Ahead are takeaways from the victory.
Rockies’ resolve shines through the darkness after dreary weekend
This isn’t your grandfather’s Rockies. No longer does the club endure lengthy losing streaks after gut-wrenching losses, rather, they bounce back.
Against the Dodgers, the Rockies’ weekend was about as bad as it gets. In three games, their bullpen allowed three walk-off home runs. To make matters worse, all three were off the bat of a rookie, a first-time feat in league history.
Much like they did after blown leads to the Padres though, the Rockies bounced back.
The offense sputtered, producing only a pair of runs in the win, but the pitching shouldered the load. After a great outing by Jon Gray, the bullpen went three scoreless innings, including a perfect frame from Sunday’s walk-off victim, Scott Oberg.
Rockies’ leaders have often stressed the need to rebound from tough losses, much the same way the “good teams” do. For the time being, it appears they belong in the same sentence with every team they face, the Dodgers notwithstanding.
Gray nails down another quality start for rotation
Lost behind the daze of three consecutive walk-off losses has been the resurgence of the Rockies’ rotation. In the first seven games of their road trip, they’ve now piled up five quality starts, including Jon Gray’s latest outing.
The results for Gray came largely without trouble.
After two Giants got on base in the first, the rebounding starter regained ground. In two of the next three innings, he faced the minimum, setting down seven consecutive hitters. Much of the success came without his usual myriad of punchouts.
Through the entire streak of hitless Giants, Gray induced four groundballs and two flyballs. Among them, he notched only a single strikeout.
At a possible turning point in the contest, Gray also came through. Leading off the fifth inning, Raimel Tapia misplayed a ball in left field, allowing Joe Panik to reach second. The starter didn’t waver, striking out two of the next four batters to end the threat.
Gray’s whiff total finalized at six in his six scoreless innings. He only allowed only four hits in his lockdown performance. With the start, his season earned run average dropped to 3.92, the best mark among Rockies’ starters. In two starts at the newly-minted Oracle Park, his ERA sits at 0.71.
For Tuesday’s start, the club plans to call up Chi Chi Gonzalez. Given his lack of experience in the majors, having a rested bullpen ready to come to the youngster’s aid will be pivotal.
The Real Dahl keeps raking
An All-Star snub has yet to stop the production of David Dahl.
In his latest shot to prove voters wrong, Dahl made Drew Pomeranz pay. With the score knotted at zero in the early going, the outfielder made quick work of a misplaced fastball:
Person Making a Phone Call: Hello! I would like an oppo home run, please.
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) June 25, 2019
Along the bay, the Rockies have endured constant struggles this year. Prior to their latest series opener, they’d hit a mere .163 at Oracle Park in 2019. The trend continued Monday, with the club combining to go 5-for-32 in the win.
The lack of success from those around him made Dahl’s opposite-field dagger a catalyst in breaking their losing streak.
On the year, Dahl’s now hitting .318 and has a pair of home runs in his last two games. The recent stretch is a signal that his power is beginning to gain steam as the summer months approach.
Rest day proves helpful for Arenado’s mini slump
Refusing to use a toe injury as an excuse has been the mantra for Nolan Arenado. Despite playing through the ailment, the effects were revealing themselves.
Since he left Thursday’s contest against the Diamondbacks with a left big toe contusion, he’d stumbled. In 11 at-bats, he’d been able to tally only two hits, good for a .182 average. The lone glimpse of success was a solo home run in Los Angeles.
Manager Bud Black has reiterated multiple times that the injury isn’t going to force the club’s star third baseman to the 10-day injured list. Instead, he relegated Arenado to the bench for their series finale against the Dodgers.
After the brief stint out of the lineup, Arenado slightly regained his footing against the Dodgers. The All-Star finalist went 1-for-2 with two walks.