Some days just go the exact opposite of how you’d expect.
Devastating injury news, a sudden call-up and the possibility of being swept is not typically a positive formula. In a lost year, the Colorado Rockies have dealt with too many days that obscure circumstances bit them. The result, instead, was a 7-2 win in the most unusual of ways.
Leading the way for the Rockies was Tim Melville. With an average body and nap-worthy name, the club was given their best debut start of the year.
Ahead are takeaways from the win.
Melville makes his way through seven, dazzles in debut
The story of Tim Melville is an interesting one. After only two games in Independent League, he was given a chance to prove himself in Triple-A with the Albuquerque Isotopes.
For his next step forward, the right-hander impressed in his Rockies’ debut. The start came on the heels of a season-ending foot injury for Jon Gray.
Armed with a low-90s fastball and a pair of breaking pitches, Melville was able to slice through one of the league’s most potent offenses. Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar and David Peralta went a combined 2-for-9. He went a career-high seven innings and allowed a mere one earned run and two hits.
Adding to his resume, Melville also tallied the first hit of his career in the fourth inning – a run-scoring single. In the sixth, he added yet another RBI with a perfect bunt down the first-base line:
Tim Melville navigates the squeeze bunt masterfully, safely steering in his second run of the day. pic.twitter.com/zBzIjaYMdm
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 21, 2019
Melville’s pair of RBIs in his debut was only the second instance in franchise history for a pitcher.
The nod was only Melville’s fourth career start in the majors. In that span, he’s already appeared for four different teams – the most for any player since 1966 before their eighth game. After Wednesday’s career-best outing, his career earned run average fell to 8.27.
With Gray out for the year and Kyle Freeland dealing with a groin strain, the club could go several ways with their rest-of-season rotation. Melville made a solid case to be involved.
Aiding Melville’s efforts was an offense that refused to slow down.
Offense creates death by a thousand cuts for Diamondbacks
No one is going to confuse Mike Leake with Max Scherzer. With the fourth-lowest average velocity in the league, he’s forced to focus on location.
The Rockies took a patient approach to the plate in the outburst and the results were eight hits, none of which reached even the warning track of Chase Field. In the first inning alone, both Trevor Story and Raimel Tapia hit past a shifted infield – a trend that continued throughout the contest.
In his six, five-run innings, Leake only induced four swings and misses.
Interestingly enough, the solid day at the plate came without Nolan Arenado. In his stead, Bud Black put Charlie Blackmon into the third spot in the lineup and Raimel Tapia at the top. The latter went 2-for-5 on the day.
Outside of Ryan McMahon, every Rockies’ hitter was able to tally at least one hit in the matchup. The output was their fourth of seven-or-more runs in the last five games. They’ve gone 3-2 in that span.
Rockies’ injury bug making its way through the roster
The year is relatively over for the Rockies. Even without injuries, the hole they’ve dug in the National League standings has become too much to overcome.
Injuries are coming in droves nonetheless. Gray’s aforementioned injury is only one of many for the club that has put the club behind.
Scott Oberg, Seunghwan Oh, Mike Dunn, Harrison Musgrave, Chris Rusin and Chad Bettis have all been sapped from the roster throughout the year. On the offensive side, they also lost All-Star David Dahl in recent weeks to a high ankle sprain.
September call-ups are well known for giving youngsters a chance to provide their case for early consideration to be on the next year’s roster.
Injuries have ensured that the time for try-outs came early for the Rockies. Dom Nunez, Melville, DJ Johnson and Yonathan Daza – among others – are all sure to have their chance in upcoming coming weeks.
With hopes of returning to contention, the Rockies’ front office is hoping their system provides a large boost heading into 2020.