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On Sunday, the Colorado Rockies wrapped up a stretch of 46 consecutive games played against teams with winning records.
That hasn’t happened since the 1926 Philadelphia Phillies found themselves in the same kind of schedule gauntlet. Understandably, those ’26 Phils only managed a record of 15-32 over that span.
With a gutsy 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves, capping off a four-game sweep of the NL East leaders, the Rockies improved their record over this insane stretch to an eye-popping 30-16. That even includes some highly-improbable, late losses in St. Louis and Milwaukee.
This has arguably been the single most impressive collection of games played in the history of the franchise, though I suppose September of 2007 may have something to say about that.
German Marquez was fantastic with only a pair of stumbles in an otherwise remarkably efficient and effective outing.
He pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits, but felt in control for almost the entire game, especially in the middle innings when the Atlanta offense simply could not square up the baseball.
The Braves got on the board first, as they have done throughout the series, mounting a rally after Marquez recorded two very quick outs in the top of the first. But after Freddie Freeman barely got a piece of a pitch it looked for a moment he had struck out on, he smashed a double off the wall in center field, nearly going yard.
Marquez then worked around Nick Markakis, issuing a free pass but Johan Camargo jumped on the first pitch he saw in the next at-bat, hitting a grounder back up the middle for an RBI single.
That lead only lasted as long as it took for Colorado to get a chance to answer. Trevor Story, in the first at-bat of the top of the second, went down and got a low-and-away fastball, somehow pulling it over the wall in left for his 26th home run of the season.
Colorado took the lead in the third on DJ LeMahieu’s second home run in three at-bats. Delivering the big blast in extras last night on a deep drive to center, LeMahieu went down and golfed one out to left against Sanchez, scorching a no-doubter into the bleachers. That was followed by a blooping double off the bat of David Dahl who was able to score easily on a sinking single to center from Nolan Arenado who extended out of the zone on a 3-1 pitch in order to drive in the run, giving the Rockies a 3-1 lead.
The Braves got one back in the sixth, again Freeman and Camargo doing the damage. The former led off the inning a single and moved up on a pitch in the dirt that Tony Wolters wasn’t able to smother. He advanced to third on a groundball out by Nick Markakis and scored once again on a Camargo single back up the middle, though this time Marquez was ahead in the count 0-2.
Adam Ottavino came on for the eighth and worked a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout, getting Ozzie Albies, Freeman, and Markakis in order.
The Rockies got some insurance in the top of the ninth. Gerardo Parra produced a one-out single to left in front of a Ryan McMahon single up the middle but Parra was thrown out trying to reach third on the play. McMahon was able to move up to second when reliever Brad Brach balked. That ended up being big when Carlos Gonzalez lined a two-out single to left, scoring McMahon to give the Rockies a 4-2 lead.
Wade Davis came on in the ninth and struck out Camargo but gave up a single to Ender Inciarte to bring the tying run to the plate. He got Charlie Culberson to pop up to first but McMahon dropped it, resulting in an error. It was no matter for Davis, though, who bounced back to strike out the former Rockie.
Inciarte stole second with catcher Tyler Flowers at the plate but again it wouldn’t matter to the Rockies closer who made it a strikeout of the side, getting Flowers on a curveball in the dirt to end it.
German Marquez: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Adam Ottavino: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Wade Davis: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (S: 35)
David Dahl: 2-for-3, 1 R
Trevor Story: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI (HR: 26)
DJ LeMahieu: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI (HR: 11)
Ryan McMahon: 1-for-4, 1 R
Carlos Gonzalez: 1-for-1, 1 RBI
After an off day, the Rockies return home to finally face a team under .500 but it is still a divisional battle with the San Diego Padres. Tuesday evening’s matchup features Tyler Anderson against Robbie Erlin, first pitch at 6:40 Mountain Time.