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Rockies sweep Diamondbacks, eliminating their rivals from the postseason

Drew Creasman Avatar
September 23, 2018

There may be no such thing as moral victories or silver linings if the Colorado Rockies end up missing the postseason. But there is a simple sweet irony in going to Arizona and sweeping the Diamondbacks in their home ballpark, eliminating the team that knocked them out a season ago.

There’s no way that doesn’t feel good. But this club knows there is much work to be done.

Kyle Freeland, in another bid to get his name higher up that list of Cy Young candidates, battled traffic all day but turned in another superb outing, keeping the Diamondbacks scoreless. He allowed seven hits (all of them singles) and walked a batter but struck out six and never gave in, lowering his ERA to 2.84 which is the fourth best in the National League.

I would say that is despite pitching half his games at Coors Field, but he’s better at there, so for the first time in history, you could argue that it is because he is pitching half his games… at home.

Colorado’s offense didn’t exactly light the afternoon on fire, managing just two runs on seven hits while going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

But that turned out to be plenty on an afternoon in which the Rockies pitchers did not give an inch.

The Rockies loaded the bases against Zack Godley in the first but could not score with strikeouts going to David Dahl, Gerardo Parra, and Ian Desmond.

But they managed to scratch a run out of a far less promising opportunity in the third. DJ LeMahieu opened it up with a single to right and was replaced at first by Dahl when he beat out an attempt at a 3-6-1 double play. With speed on at first, Nolan Arenado produced his best contact of the road trip, crushing a baseball into the left-center field gap allowing Dahl to score the first run of the game.

Freeland worked out of his first real jam of the day in the fourth. Eduardo Escobar led off with a single but Paul Goldschmidt flew out to center. David Peralta then singled up the middle but Freeland got weak outs from Nick Ahmed and A.J. Pollock to leave them where they stood.

His offense rewarded that effort by getting their pitcher another run of support. LeMahieu again began things, this time with a walk. After a Dahl flyout, Arenado also walked which gave another chance to Parra, who has the Rockies best batting average (.318) with runners in scoring position this season. He came through again with a solid line drive single to center, scoring LeMahieu from second. Desmond ground into a double play, though, and the Diamondbacks were able to avoid the big inning.

Arizona once again applied some pressure to the Rockies’ starter with a leadoff walk for Ketel Marte. Freeland bounced back with a pair of strikeouts but Chris Owing lined a single to right to put a runner in scoring position and a pair aboard. Again, Freeland didn’t let the traffic bother him, getting a popout from Escobar to end another rally quietly.

He worked around a Peralta single in the sixth and found the leadoff man on base once again in the seventh after a Garrett Hampson error allowed Marte to reach first. After another pop out on the infield Owings got Freeland with another single that moved Marte over to third. Calm and collected after a visit from manager Bud Black, Freeland induced one more pop up that Desmond hauled in for the final out of the frame.

Adam Ottavino came on in the eighth and won a seven-pitch battle with Goldschmidt, getting the called strike on a two-seam fastball on the edge. But he lost his command in a five-pitch walk to Peralta and a six-pitch free pass to Ahmed. Black went to Seunghwan Oh and the move paid off when the mid-season acquisition worked out of the jam with a strikeout of Pollock and a fly out from Marte.

With his strikeout of Goldschmidt, Ottavino took sole possession over Curtis Leskanic for the most strikeout by a relief pitcher in Rockies franchise history with 108.

Wade Davis worked a clean inning with a strikeout in the ninth to put the final stamp on a fantastic team pitching performance and the sweep of their division rivals.

Colorado improves to 85-70 but with both the Cardinals and Dodgers winning again will just maintain pace and remain 1.5 games back in both the Wild Card and NL West.

Final Stats:

Kyle Freeland: 7 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

Adam Ottavino: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Seunghwan Oh: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Wade Davis: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (S: 41)


DJ LeMahieu: 2-for-4, 1 R

Nolan Arenado: 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB

Gerardo Parra: 1-for-4, 1 RBI

Garrett Hampson: 2-for-4

Charlie Blackmon: 1-for-4, 1 BB

What’s Next:

The Rockies return to Denver on Monday to begin their final homestand of the season. They’ll start with a four-game set against the Philadelphia Phillies who have really struggled in the final month. The pitching matchup sees LHP Tyler Anderson face off against RHP Zach Eflin. First pitch at 6:40 Mountain Time.


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