Rockies threaten to blow lead again, hold on in smothering of Padres

Jun 15, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon (19) heads home to score a run in the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After a game in which the Colorado Rockies gave up the worst ninth-inning comeback in their history, the only direction to go was up.

The emotions of the lackluster effort evaded their latest game as the Rockies soared past the San Diego Padres 14-8. A litany of hits once again paved the way after a downtrodden effort for German Marquez, with the veterans in the outfield shouldering the largest load.

Ahead are takeaways from the victory.

Blackmon makes franchise history

Charlie Blackmon has already begun to establish himself as the league’s headliner amongst leadoff hitters. Once again, the outfielder made history in the club’s latest win.

Prior to Saturday night, no Rockies’ hitter had ever registered four-or-more hits in three consecutive games. That is until Blackmon had a crack at the milestone.

With his 4-for-4 start to the game, including a double and three singles, Blackmon completed the feat, ballooning his batting average on the year once again to .332. As it stands, the veteran is on pace to hit for his highest single-season average, as well as besting his previous career high of 213 hits.

Blackmon’s explosion has directly coincided with an outburst from the club. With his .450 average at Coors Field leading the way, the Rockies have tallied six-or-more runs at home seven times in the last 10 tries, including their 14-run effort on Saturday.

Desmond proving doubters wrong

Of the Rockies’ bevy of current players, none have received the same level of criticism as Ian Desmond. Those naysayers, alongside his hot streak, are beginning to change their minds.

If an inside-the-park home run on Friday wasn’t enough to turn the tide, a 419-foot grand slam was the next best thing:

During the homestand, Desmond’s latest performance brought his average to .476, along with three home runs and 12 RBIs. The highlight-reel showing also extended the outfielder’s season-high hit streak to nine games.

The gripes about his contract have always been misplaced due to the pact being out of his control. For the things he can control, Desmond is doing his best to make his efforts worthwhile.

Marquez finds his footing early, falls apart late

The first three hitters of the night to face German Marquez all reached. For the third time in as many starts, it appeared the “ace” of the staff was caught folding once again.

Two strikeouts and a groundout limited the damage to three runs, though a wild pitch and an error in left field turned a bad situation worse. In the next four innings total, the hurler allowed a single run.

In the same run-limiting span, Marquez struck out six additional hitters to bring his single-game total to eight, tied for his second-highest total of any start this year. Adding to the performance was another run driven in with a double to left field, his third extra-base hit of the year and 10th RBI.

Things spiraled in the sixth and final inning of Marquez’ outing. After allowing one hit among two outs, he allowed a pair of two-out singles and a walk, with the final base-clearing blow from Eric Hosmer forcing the hand of Manager Bud Black.

In all, Marquez’ roller coaster outing resulted in 5.2 innings, seven earned runs allowed and 10 hits. In 16 starts, he’s now allowed four-or-more runs in half, bringing his season earned run average to a mediocre 4.57.

The rise is a far cry from Marquez’ 3.77 ERA last year that included a 2.61 mark in his final 14 starts. With the rest of the rotation struggling, the Rockies have leaned on their top starter often in times of strife. In recent turns, that onus has been unfulfilled.

Padres endure the wrath of the umpire

Bill Welke has been in the majors for over 18 seasons, playing the role of judge and jury behind the plate and in the field. The complaints from the Padres’ battery throughout the night weren’t well received by the veteran umpire.

Due to arguing balls and strikes throughout the night, Welke sent both Manny Machado and Matt Strahm to the visitors’ clubhouse early, as well as Manager Andy Green.

The final strike that sent Machado over the edge was outside the zone, sending the much-maligned third baseman into a fury:

A simple lip reading suggests that the words exchanged from Machado to Welke were out of bounds.

With the calls for automated umpires growing, the constant struggle between hitters and the rule makers of the league is growing. A tipping point appears to be nearing.

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