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Colorado Rockies play the way they were designed to in win over Marlins

David Martin Avatar
June 7, 2015


Saturday afternoon at Coors Field is exactly what the front office envisioned when they put together the Colorado Rockies. The home team drilled the Miami Marlins 10-5 in a game that was full of both really good pitching and really good hitting.

Despite having the talent to do it, the Rockies haven’t been able to put up many games like Saturday, where they are hitting on all cylinders. It is a tough model to win with, but when the offense slugs the way they are designed to, it is fun to watch.

First, on the mound. Fill-in starter Chris Rusin might have shed his role as a fill-in. For the third time in as many outings, two coming as starts and another in a relief role when he was asked to come in for a re-injured Jordan Lyles, Rusin has been phenomenal. On Saturday he battled a Marlins team that boasts power, along with speed. It’s an offense that hasn’t performed up to it’s capabilities, but has the firepower to do so.

Rusin was phenomenal. The left-hander mixed speeds and kept the Marlins off-balance through seven innings. In those seven innings he gave up just two earned runs on seven hits. He struck out eight and walked only two. His crowning achievement on the day may have been striking out Giancarlo Stanton in four consecutive at-bats.

Not only was Rusin good at getting outs, he was efficient at it. It took him only 99 pitches, 67 strikes, to get through seven innings. It wasn’t the type of outing that is expected for a guy who is summonsed from Triple-A to fill-in for a few starts while the team deals with injuries. Usually the expectations for a guy like Rusin is to pitch five or six decent innings, giving up three or four runs, but leaving with the club in a good enough spot to score some runs and maybe win the game. Instead, Rusin is delivering outings that are more in line with a guy who has no intentions of getting called into the managers office to be told that will be heading back to Triple-A.

Rusin deserves a ton of credit for the work that he did on Saturday, but for the job that he has done as a whole since he joined the team 12 days ago. However, on Saturday, the offense paved a smooth road for him to ride on. He was backed by a four run 1st inning, highlighted by a Nolan Arenado triple.

The Rockies offense didn’t let up after a strong 1st inning. Wilin Rosario, the converted catcher, has been very good for the Rockies since his return from the minor leagues. He clubbed two home runs in his effort on Saturday, one no-doubter to deep left-center field, then came up again the following inning and tomahawked an eye-high fastball into the left field bleachers that got out in a hurry, but was never more than 15 feet in the air.

Carlos Gonzalez also continued to emerge from his two-month long slump. He crushed a slider on the outer half of the plate far beyond the wall in right-center, beyond the visitors bullpen and into the fountain area closest to the pen.

Those three guys stole the highlight reel for the Rockies, but they weren’t the only members of the Rockies who had big games. In all, the team scratched out 17 hits. Charlie Blackmon continued heating up, going 3-for-4 with a walk and DJ LeMahieu went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI.

This is what the Rockies were built to do. When things go right, games like Saturday are the result. It isn’t always going to be that easy, but when the opportunities present themselves, the Rockies need to be ready to pounce.

The Rockies offense was good, but the key to success in the big leagues begins and ends on the 10-inch hill that resides 60 feet, 6 inches away from home plate. If the Rockies starters can perform at a high level, this offense is good enough to make games interesting. The Colorado starters don’t have to be as good as Rusin was on Saturday, but good enough to make things close.

The goal for the Rockies should be to get back to being respectable. Games like Saturday’s will certainly take them in the right direction to reach that goal. If they can shed the losing mindset that has permeated this club in 2015, they may be able to build on a new mindset and make some noise in 2016.


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