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Walk off win ends Colorado Rockies slide

David Martin Avatar
April 23, 2015

Daniel Descalso had his first chance to make an impact on the 2015 Colorado Rockies in the 9th inning of a 4-4 game. He took advantage, lining a 0-1 fastball into left-center field, giving the Rockies a 5-4 walk-off win and snapping their five game losing streak.

Descalso may have been the 9th inning hero, but his hit couldn’t take the spotlight off of two guys who the Rockies have to be very excited about.

The Rockies may have two superstars in Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, but don’t tell Corey Dickerson and Nolan Arenado that. The two young Rockies, both out of the starting lineup a night ago, came through in huge ways for the club when they needed it most.

Dickerson, dealing with a plantar fasciitis in his left foot, drilled two home runs on the night, the latter of the two tying up the game in the bottom of the 8th inning with the Rockies down a run. The home run came on a changeup that Dickerson hit to the deepest part of the park in left-center field.

“I’m trying to have the same approach”, Dickerson said. “We are trying to go out there and not care who is on the mound, just go out there and win a game.”

Dickerson hit the tying home run in the 8th, and his first came in the bottom of the 1st, with the Rockies down a run. It gave Kendrick a reprieve from his first inning mistake.

With Dickerson doing his thing at the plate, Nolan Arenado was impressing both on the plate and, as usual, with his glove. Arenado has made a habit of making tough plays look routine at third base. In fact, he makes so many good plays that it is hard to remember each one. There were no fewer than four good plays that Arenado made on Wednesday. Each one slightly different in difficulty, but none routine. His glove at third base doesn’t go unnoticed by the Rockies pitching staff.

“Nolan made some outstanding plays out there,” starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick said. “He makes it easy to go out there and get ahead in the count and throw strikes.”

Arenado made plays defensively, but he also made an impact at the plate. Despite a sore wrist that kept him out of the first two games of the series, Arenado went 2-for-4 with a double. His single, however, was the difference-maker. Leading off the 9th inning with the game tied, Arenado lined a fastball from Padres reliever Shawn Kelley the opposite way for a single. He moved to third on Michael McKenry’s single to center, then scored when Descalso put the ball into center field for the win.

Make no mistake, the Rockies live and die by what Troy Tulowitzki can do for them. He is their star. Carlos Gonzalez, to a lesser degree, is also a game-changer for the Rockies. However, the success that Arenado and Dickerson continue to have is changing the balance of this team. Those two guys are becoming enough of a factor at the plate that opposing pitchers can’t simply get through Tulo and CarGo and relax.

That is good news for the Rockies, who have been deprived of homegrown talent since Tulowitzki’s rookie campaign in 2007. Both homegrown talents in Dickerson and Arenado have a chance to sit next to Tulo and CarGo as the face of this Rockies franchise for the next several years. Both players have proven that their early success is no fluke. They aren’t just good players, they are impact players who can change the course of the game.

For his part, Kendrick did what the Rockies needed desperately. Despite falling apart in the 7th inning, Kendrick provided a solid outing, good enough to keep his team in the game and the bullpen out in their right field perch. The Rockies bullpen has been taxed all season long, especially over the past two nights with their starters inability to work deep into games. The outing provided the team a chance to use their bullpen as they pleased, instead of being forced to use guys in spots that they aren’t designed for.

The outing from Kendrick is probably what the Rockies were hoping for when they signed the righty in the offseason. They don’t need him to pitch seven shutout innings like he did in Milwaukee for the opener, they need him to be a productive starting pitcher who can pitch deep into games and keep the team in the game long enough for the offense to do it’s job. That is exactly what he did on Wednesday. The line wasn’t great, seven innings pitched with four runs allowed, but it was enough to provide a chance for the Rockies to get the bats going.

The win puts the Rockies above .500 once again and gives them a chance to split the series with the Padres on Thursday afternoon and go into the weekend series against the Giants with a little momentum.

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