When the Rockies were held scoreless on Friday night against the Texas Rangers, it snapped a National League record of 11 straight Opening Day games in which they had hit a home run.
Considering the streak produced only three trips to the playoffs, such a detail should not warrant major conclusions about the future of this or any other season.
We’re also talking one game in which anything can happen.
Instead, let’s talk about three games.
David Dahl will in a National League batting title
With all three hits on Opening Day and another in game two, Dahl extended his hitting streak to 12 games dating back to July 24, 2019. During that string of play, he batted .340 (17-50) with five doubles, a triple, two home runs and six runs batted in.
It was also Dahl’s second consecutive Opening Day in which he had three hits, making him the first Rockies batter with game one trifectas since Carlos González in 2010-11.
The 26-year-old’s offensive ability have never been a question and, even with some lost time in the majors due to unfortunate injuries, Dahl has been a career .297 hitter. The proclivity with which the Rockies have created batting champions due to their environment is unmatched.
It’s for that reason Dahl has a strong chance to join the likes of Andrés Galarraga, Larry Walker, Todd Helton, Matt Holliday, González, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, DJ LeMahieu and Charlie Blackmon in being crowned the batting king.
Trevor Story is a perennial MVP candidate
The Irving, TX product was fortunate enough to steal the first base in the history of Arlington’s Globe Life Field. Never one to be satisfied, Story just missed becoming the first player to homer in the Rangers’ ballpark by one bat. However, he did become the first visiting player to do so and the first player of any kind to hit a pair of long balls in the same contest.
Story is no stranger to the members of the Base Ball Writer’s Association of America (BBWAA) following an eighth and 12th place finish in NL MVP voting in 2018 and 2019, respectively. It’s not a stretch to think he could take his game to the next level and leapfrog Nolan Arenado as the team’s MVP with only one-year before he hits free agency.
Story’s ability at the plate is also matched by his defensive prowess at shortstop. After an error on Friday night, he made a few dazzling plays in the field.
It’s entirely possible the 2019 Rawlings’ Gold Glove Award finalist could have a 59-game errorless streak to become only the third Rockies’ shortstop to win the grand prize following Neifi Pérez (2000) and Troy Tulowitzki (2010-11).
The Rockies possess two pitchers capable of throwing a no-hitter on any day
If you forgot about the near no-hitter by German Márquez in San Francisco last April, the 20th Opening Day starting pitcher in franchise history provided another reminder of his shutdown abilities with 5.1 innings of hitless baseball against the Rangers.
The performance was actually his sixth career start in which he held opponents hitless through at least five innings, extending his club record over Ubaldo Jiménez, the only pitcher to ever hurl a no-hitter in purple.
Not to be forgotten is Jon Gray retiring the first eight batters faced the next night before a fly ball evaded Dahl’s grasp.
The Wolf of Blake Street has long pitched with no-hit stuff dating back to 2015 when he allowed only a solo homer to the Mets during six innings of work under the bright lights of New York in just his second start in the majors.
Youngsters like Tapia, McMahon and Hilliard will determine Rockies’ success
With four All-Stars atop the lineup and a starting rotation with an intriguing mix of promise and polish, the Rockies will not be heaping too much pressure onto the younger players on the club any time soon.
While it will be important for all three to contribute, multiple options exist for Colorado to get production out of left field and the right side of the infield.
Anyone who could suggest their combined 0-for-23 in the first series of the season should also be surprised Texas was able to record even one out against Dahl following his 3-for-3 day at the plate on Opening Day.
Think Márquez will come away from every start this season without a win? We don’t need DraftKings to make that bet, buster. Let the kids play. They’ll be fine.
Kyle Freeland is ready for Cy Young Award consideration once again
The lefty looked really good on Sunday in his first road win since Opening Day 2019. He may not have been good enough to earn the win had two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber stayed in the game, but that’s beside the point.
Freeland struggled throughout 2019 after turning heads with a remarkable 2018. A normal offseason can be a challenge for any player looking to make a rebound, but what the Denver native had to overcome mentally during the additional downtime during the pandemic was nothing short of torturous.
The 27-year-old still has a way to go before fans and critics believe he’s a different pitcher than the one with a 6.73 ERA, but he’s on that path and taking a deep sigh of relief.
With the absence of Shaw and McGee, Rockies bullpen is the best in franchise history
Addition by subtraction is a phenomenon not uncommon to many sports teams, but when it’s a matter of depth, nothing produces increase like addition.
The weekend’s success has to be one of the highlights for Colorado as the purple ‘pen gave up only one run in 9.2 innings, something only three other clubs could match through the opening weekend. They did not surrender a single home run and were also without Scott Oberg, the most reliable arm on the roster.
Though it will still take some time until the relief corps can be described as competent, this was as great of a start as anyone could have expected, especially following two saves courtesy of Wade Davis.
Colorado has the best record in baseball later than any point in franchise history
In the latest delayed start to a season in the sport’s history, Colorado hasn’t proved anything yet. A record of 2-1 that creates a 14-way tie atop the baseball standings is not quite the same as a topping 29 other teams after the 100-game mark.
Like so much from the weekend, it is icing on the cake.
Now, all the Rockies need to do is get back in the kitchen and show off some more baking skills.