Rookie launches one of five Rockies homers in victory over Padres
By Owen Perkins
Special to MLB.com |
DENVER -- Rumor has it he made his bat out of a tree felled by lightning in his boyhood home in Texas. Others say he learned to play in a magical corn field in Iowa. Whatever the truth is, rookie Trevor Story has had a first week that is the stuff of legend, rewriting the record book as he's collected over a half-mile of homers in his first half-dozen games in the big leagues.
Lightning struck in the eighth inning in Sunday afternoon's 6-3 victory over the Padres, when Story drove a Brandon Maurer offering 425 feet into the left-field seats for his seventh home run in six games. He holds the record for most home runs through his first six Major League contests, as well as the record for most homers through a team's first six games of the season. But from the confident 23-year-old's perspective, the best may be yet to come.
"I haven't faced a lot of these guys, so it might take a couple times to get familiar with these pitchers," Story said. "You can watch them on video, but I think it's a little different when you actually are in the box facing them. I feel good hitting pitches right now."
Story is the master of the understatement. The raw rookie has handled his unprecedented success well, shaking off a "bad" day Saturday, when he didn't homer and only collected one hit, extending what is now a six-game hitting streak to kick off his career. He came back to earth and spent a rare day beneath the radar before returning Sunday to the new normal and his 189-homer pace.
"If that's normal, that would be pretty nice," manager Walt Weiss said. "He's on quite a run."
Story has changed the look of the Rockies lineup. Placed in the two-hole as a "table-setter" to get on base in front of big guns such as Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado, he now has nearly half the team's homers and over twice the tally of any other Colorado player.
"If he keeps doing that, I'm OK, I don't care," Gonzalez said of Story's penchant for circling the bases and robbing his teammate of RBI opportunities. "I'll take 40 RBIs with 40 homers if we reach our goals. Our goal is to win."
For his part, Story acknowledged that the best place he's ever had a chance to hit is in front of Gonzalez, who earned his second National League Silver Slugger Award last season.
"That's [huge] for me," Story said. "A lot of pitchers don't want to pitch to him, so I think that gives me some pitches to hit. It's also having that kind of protection. It showed today what he can do."
Gonzalez had two homers Sunday -- and two RBIs. He's been part of all three back-to-back homers the Rockies have hit this season, pairing with Story on Opening Day, Arenado in the first inning Sunday and Story again in the eighth to add a pair of insurance runs to the victory.
"I don't want to make him mad or take his stakes," Story said of Gonzalez. "I guess that's a good problem to have."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.