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DENVER – David Dahl’s solo blast in the sixth inning Friday night capped a 5-2 victory, punching a ticket to the playoffs for Colorado and marking the first time in franchise history the team has made consecutive playoff appearances.
After the team’s brief celebration, Dahl returned to the clubhouse before Saturday’s game to praise the Rockies and keep an eye on the goal of winning the National League West for the first time in twenty-six seasons, then celebrating more properly.
Dahl spoke with BSN Denver about the success of the 2018 squad at 20th and Blake.
“It shows a lot about us as a team and organization. We know we’re ready to go. We’ve just got to out and win today.”
The blast against the Nationals was also Dahl’s fifth consecutive game with a home run, placing the Alabama native on a special list of Rockies players: Dante Bichette (1995), Larry Walker (1999), and Nolan Arenado (2015).
When asked about his thought process at the plate in order to get into such a hitting groove, Dahl shrugs and explains his simplistic approach.
“Just not thinking (too much). Trying to have good at-bats. That’s all.”
Veteran Matt Holliday has been influential in simplifying Dahl’s approach since the start returned to the team in late August.
Instead of chasing results, the 24-year-old focuses on the basic tenets of a good at-bat.
“You just get a good pitch and don’t miss it. Try not to do too much. Execute in situations. Little things like that.”
Slightly overlooked during this five-game power streak is the twelve runs batted in Dahl has provided in the middle of the lineup.
In the midst of not only a surge in production this week, Dahl has also put up impressive numbers throughout the month.
Since the start of September, Dahl is fourth in the majors with 24 runs batted in and his 1.043 OPS in 81 plate appearance is fourth in the National League, good for 0.8 WAR.
Manager Bud Black feels that Dahl has handled himself well during this important stretch of games despite his lack of experience in big games late in the season.
“Has he been through a pennant race? No. But I think he has the type of makeup where he can handle this because of his self-confidence and just his personality allows him to handle this pennant race.”
Black has been utilizing the young star on a daily basis as his left fielder and third hitter during the recent stretch of winning baseball:
“I think that David, being in the big leagues now for a number of years, even though it’s been interrupted by injuries and maybe not consecutive stretches of games, I know he had his rookie year with some at-bats and performed, but as the years have gone by, that settles you in. And I think David has been settled in a lot of ways.”
Dahl is appreciative of the opportunities and responsibilities that come with being penciled in the lineup ahead of MVP candidates Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story.
“It’s nice. Just coming to the ballpark and knowing I’m going to be in the lineup is a good feeling. I just want to go out and have some good at-bats.”
Dahl was moved up in the batting order to third on September 19, just ahead of Nolan Arenado. After that loss, the Rockies has reeled off nine straight victories, outscoring opponents 57-12 during this stretch.
The Rockies have not won nine straight games since they had a ten-game streak in September of 2010.
Regardless of his recent play, the playoff berth and the support of the fans at Coors Field, David Dahl knows the National League West is what’s really at stake.
“It’s awesome. It’s something going into the season you want to do. We clinched a postseason berth, but we’ve got more work to do.”