When facing a Colorado offense that has yet to demonstrate the ability to hit from top to bottom — much less be consistent overall — the strategy of opposing pitchers has become increasingly clear: Don’t let the Rockies’ big dogs beat you.
To that end, hittable pitches are coming at a premium for both Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado as teams look to bypass Colorado’s two most potent bats.
Blackmon walked once and Arenado twice in Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Brewers, bringing the centerfielder’s 2018 walk total to 20 and the third basemen’s to 21, ranking both players in the top 20 in the National League in the category.
Manager Bud Black said he’s aware of how the opposition is attempting to work around the duo, but believes it won’t be an effective long-term strategy.
“At some point, the opposing pitcher’s going to pay because you can’t keep putting guys on base,” Black said. “Nolan and Charlie have got to continue to show patience, and take their walks, because eventually that will come back to bite the other team.”
As for the rest of the Rockies’ lineup?
They realize they must leverage the well-established plate reputations of Blackmon (.274, 11 homers) and Arenado (.316, eight homers).
“Those guys do a lot of damage when they get pitches,” shortstop Trevor Story said. “They’re very patient and they’re not going to get themselves out, so there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for other guys to come up with runners on, and we’ve got to come through.”
Five takeaways from the Rockies’ loss on Thursday:
No. 1 — The damage to German Marquez’s pitching line could’ve been greater had it not been for the unusual 1-3-5 double play to end the Brewers’ threat in the fourth. With one out, Ryan Braun hit a comeback grounder at Marquez, and the ball hit off his leg and careened to the side of the mound. The righty recovered for the out at first, and then Ian Desmond hosed Christian Yelich attempting to advance to third.
Just your run-of-the-mill 1-3-5 double play. pic.twitter.com/RNM2JLm2Fz
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 11, 2018
No. 2 — Lorenzo Cain’s homer off Marquez on the first pitch of game was the sixth time in franchise history that the Rockies have given up a dinger on an opening pitch. The last time it happened was May 30, 2016, when the Reds’ Zack Cozart went yard off Chad Bettis.
No. 3 — D.J. LaMahieu continues to be a steadying presence in the shaky Rockies’ lineup, as the second baseman was 2-for-4 to extend his season-high hitting streak to six games, over which time he’s hitting .348.
No. 4 — The Rockies still haven’t overcome a deficit of two or more runs to win this season, and Thursday’s lack of a comeback wasted a solid outing by the bullpen in which four arms combined for 4 ⅓ scoreless innings.
No. 5 — Colorado is now 1-5 in series openers at home this year, and the Rockies’ 6-9 overall mark at Coors Field …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – Sports