For those who spent much of last season clamoring for the Colorado Rockies to move Charlie Blackmon out of the leadoff spot and into the heart of the order to get the most out of his power, Monday was a glorious day.
In the first inning of a 5-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs, Ian Desmond led off---as we were told the Rockies would try---and struck out looking. DJ LeMahieu followed with a single up the middle and Blackmon walloped a two-run home run to put the Rockies on top early. LeMahieu and Blackmon are both batting .400 this spring
This worked exactly as designed.
It's just one sample as small as the come but this was certainly the image people have had in mind when dreaming about Blackmon further down in the lineup.
Trevor Story had another fantastic day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI double. He is hitting .417 and slugging 1.083.
It was an all-around ugly day for Rockies pitching. Tyler Anderson couldn't find the zone early, surrendering three walks and three hits, including a home run to Anthony Rizzo. He did manage to keep the run total to only two with all that traffic over two innings.
Newcomer to the organization, and former first-round pick who has struggled to stick in MLB, Brooks Pounders had by far the best outing for any Colorado pitcher, allowing one hit but striking out the side in the third.
Bryan Shaw was tagged by the remarkably hot Ian Happ for a home run in the fourth and Mike Dunn gave up four hits but just one run in the fifth. Adam Ottavino loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a single but slithered out of it by inducing a double play.
Yency Almonte has been brilliant this spring but he was mowing down Cub's hitters in his first inning but took a line drive off his pitching shoulder in the ninth. He successfully lobbied to stay in the game but gave up a long opposite field home run to Ryan Court. That was followed by a walk, a wild pitch, and a walk before Bud Black decided to get the youngster out of there.
He looked like a totally different pitcher after taking the line drive. Austin House recorded two quick outs to finish off the ninth.