'I'm being a little methodical right now,' Rockies' leadoff hitter says
By Jack Etkin
Special to MLB.com |
DENVER -- Charlie Blackmon finished Saturday's 7-4 win over the Mets on a 11-game hitting streak, one game shy of his career high.
"I didn't know I was in a hitting streak," Blackmon said before the game. "I don't like to talk about hitting streaks. I would prefer in the future that you don't even bring it up, to be honest, because I'm not a big stats guy."
The Rockies' leadoff hitter, Blackmon missed 13 games while on the 15-day disabled list with turf toe on his left foot. He was activated April 29 and has since gone 21-for-59 (.356) with four doubles, two homers, 10 RBIs and five runs scored. During his streak, which included three-hit games Wednesday against the D-backs and Friday against the Mets, Blackmon has gone 17-for-43 (.395).
"I know I can feel a lot better," he said. "I'm not by any means being aggressive or feeling like I'm going to hit [for] extra bases. I kind of got to where I [am] by simplifying and thinking more like contact, singles oriented. ... I'm being a little methodical right now. I'm not just letting it loose."
Manager Walt Weiss said having Blackmon back is ideal since it allows other players to return to their normal spots in the batting order and because Blackmon works so hard at hitting leadoff and "takes pride in being a catylist for our offense."
"Hitting leadoff is not just a place [where] you can plug anybody in there and they feel comfortable," Blackmon said "So I feel bad when I'm not there; someone else has to be there seeing the first couple pitches of the game. It's never a comfortable feeling if you're not used to it."
• Carlos Gonzalez, who has not homered in 98 at-bats, was dropped from third to fifth in the lineup for the first time this year. Although he entered Saturday hitting .295 with four homers and 12 RBIs, Gonzalez, who is hitless in his past 13 at-bats, has gone 17 games since his last RBI on April 24.
Manager Walt Weiss said he was "just trying to take a little heat off CarGo."
"I think he's putting a lot of pressure on himself being in that three hole and he's struggling right now," Weiss said. "And I know he's wearing it. He's grinding right now."
• Left-hander Tyler Matzek (anxiety) began a rehab assignment with High Class A Modesto on Wednesday. On both Wednesday and Friday with Modesto, Matzek walked the one batter he faced on four pitches that were not close to the strike zone.
General manager Jeff Bridich said the plan is for Matzek to again face one batter Sunday for Modesto as the Rockies bring him along slowly in hopes Matzek will regain his control.
Jack Etkin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.