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Five run 8th, Nolan Arenado homer propel Colorado Rockies

David Martin Avatar
June 26, 2015


Everyone associated with the Colorado Rockies, including their fans, held their collective breath in the top of the 6th inning.

Nolan Arenado, racing in to catch a foul ball near the plate, collided with catcher Michael McKenry, knocking his face against the catcher’s helmet and dropping to the ground. He laid on the ground, only getting up to his knees before slowly heading back to the dugout with head athletic trainer Keith Dugger.

The Fox Sports Arizona television crew openly wondered if Arenado might be hurt, possibly his neck or a concussion. The camera in the dugout showed that Arenado had gone down the tunnel towards the clubhouse for additional tests. Due up third in the inning, Arenado would need to figure out if he was hurt or not fairly quickly. After two quick outs, Arenado rushed out of the dugout and grabbed a bat. On the first pitch he saw, he drilled his 20th home run of the season, tying up the game and getting the scoring started for the Rockies.

The home run that Arenado hit wasn’t something that could be chocked up to Coors Field and hitting at altitude. Rubby De La Rosa, the Diamondbacks starter hadn’t given up a home run since June 8th.

With the Rockies down 2-1 in the 8th inning, Troy Tulowitzki came into the game as a pinch hitter. An area that he has struggled with in his career, Tulo rose to the occasion. He parked a 1-0 fastball into the bullpen, once again tying the game up. The Rockies went on to score five runs in the 8th inning, runs they would end up needing.

As would be expected, Boone Logan struggled and gave up two runs without recording an out. Without taking away the positives of the Rockies victory, is there a single person who still hears Logan’s name announced as warming up in the bullpen without wondering exactly how many runs he will give up before being yanked from the game? It seems like a foregone conclusion that Logan will fail. However, Walt Weiss still calls his number in situations that don’t seem to work for him.

The game was supposed to be the ultimate battle of the roses. Jorge De La Rosa was taking on Rubby De La Rosa on the mound. The battle was looking like the perfect headline until the Rockies De La Rosa had to come out of the game in the 6th inning with a re-occurrence of his cut finger. It quickly ended the pitcher’s duel and should strike a certain amount of concern into the immediate future of the Rockies.

The great news for the Colorado is that they had a tough loss on Wednesday night, but were still able to bounce back on Thursday and pick up a win. While the Rockies are certainly struggling, still sitting in last place in the National League West, they have shown growth. Wins like Thursday’s are a huge swing in mentality from the team that took the field in 2014. The Rockies would have likely lost Thursday’s game in 2014. There would have been a myriad of excuses, including facing a pitcher like Rubby De La Rosa, who was really on his game before Arenado got to him.

The key for the Rockies in 2015 isn’t in the wins and losses column. While wins always matter and should always be the focus, the Rockies are in need of a new mindset. They aren’t going to contend in 2015. They absolutely must find a way to change the losing ways that have been accepted for far too many years.

The way that the Rockies have bounced back after tough losses is a sign that they are headed in the right direction. They certainly still have a long way to go, and they have other issues that are very important to the future success of the franchise. However, fans have to look for the small victories in a season like the Rockies are in the midst of. It isn’t going to be a quick turnaround for the franchise. It is going to take quite some time to get where they need to be.

The fact is, with players like Arenado, who doesn’t seem to be effected by anything, and is constantly playing with a ton of intensity, the Rockies have someone who they can build around. His intensity seems to be infectious and he doesn’t have to talk a big game, he looks like he is able to lead by example and lift the team on his shoulders with one great play or one big swing of the bat.

A win is always a good thing, but the way the Rockies pulled off the victory made it even better. This team has a long way to go, but they are slowly moving forward.



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