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Carlos Gonzalez blasts two homers as Blackmon manufactures walk-off run

David Martin Avatar
July 25, 2015


Charlie Blackmon scampered home and slid head-first in to home plate on a wild pitch to give the Colorado Rockies a 6-5 walk-off victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.

The Rockies centerfielder essentially single-handedly won the game for his club in the 9th. With the score tied, Blackmon got on base with a bunt single. He wisely dropped a bunt towards third base, against a shift. He made it to first base, then stole second base after a review reversed the original call. After moving to third base on DJ LeMahieu’s ground out, he was able to score when Reds reliever Ryan Mattheus fastball in the dirt that squirted just far enough away to allow Blackmon score.

Blackmon may have stolen the spotlight in the 9th inning, but the game belonged to Carlos Gonzalez. The Rockies superstar has found his groove. After starting the season so poorly, CarGo is showing everyone why the Rockies committed so much money to him.

Down 3-2 in the bottom of the 6th inning, Gonzalez drilled a first pitch changeup deep into the mezzanine level of right field, 478 feet from home plate to tie the game at three. In the 8th inning, after the Reds had re-taken the lead 4-3, CarGo did it again. He blasted another changeup well over the fence. This time it was to right-center field. It went three feet shorter, landing 475 feet from home plate.

When Carlos Gonzalez is on, he is as good of a hitter as nearly anyone in the game. The ball makes a different sound off of his bat than most players. The speed in which pitches leave his bat is fun to witness. When he hits a ball and drops his bat, it isn’t quite like anything else in baseball.

Friday night’s game was probably what the hopeful fans of the Rockies believed they would see more often in 2015. This Rockies team has some talent, and they have the ability to win games like they won on Friday night. They haven’t been able to do it very often for a variety of reasons. Some have been injury-related, others have been a lack of talent. However, the game on Friday should bring a small amount of hope to those fans who are still hanging on.

There is no way around the fact that the Rockies are mired in another awful season. They are destined to finish no better than fourth in the National League West unless something crazy happens. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t work to get done in the final months of 2015.

The reality is, the 2015 season was never intended to be a season in which the Rockies were going to contend. This is the time where they are supposed to be building for the future and figuring out who they are as some of their better prospects, including Jon Gray, get better and work their way to the big leagues. It is a season in which the Rockies could start the process of changing the mindset in the clubhouse and not allowing excuses to permeate throughout the organization.

For the past two months it seemed that there hadn’t been any changes. It seemed like it was status quo for the Rockies. It looked like it was back to going through the motions and magically hoping that something would be better for them next year.

Friday night’s game, however, showed that there still might be some reason for hope. There have been some walk-off wins during the two-month stretch, and they have had some comebacks. However, there was something different about Friday night. Maybe it was because Eddie Butler was on the mound, someone who the club is relying on heavily to be a contributor if the Rockies are going to turn things around in the next few seasons.

Whether the Rockies turn things around in 2016 largely depends on the way they play down the stretch in 2015. If the Rockies mail it in and go through the motions, they won’t take the necessary steps in order to become a better team a year from now. However, if they play with a sense of urgency and a fire in their belly’s to win and get better, they could start on the right foot in 2016 and be just a little bit better than they are currently. If that happens, they are one step closer to climbing out of the mud pit that they are currently mired in.

The Rockies need more games like Friday night if they want to become a respected team.


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