Black sees improvement in at-bats after historically rough series vs. D-backs
By Max Gelman
DENVER -- The Rockies' offense, much-maligned throughout August, took some steps forward in Monday's 4-3 win over the Giants.
Coming off a series in which they went 2-for-30 with runners in scoring position, the Rockies matched that hit total Monday by going 2-for-9. Both hits came in the fourth inning -- starting pitcher Chad Bettis drove in Carlos Gonzalez and DJ LeMahieu singled Bettis home.
"It's been a rough week for us, but I'm glad [Bettis] came through with that RBI to tie the game," Gonzalez said. "This means more than just winning, this shows that we don't have to do anything crazy to win ballgames. … Sometimes you don't have to hit the ball over the fence to win the game."
Gonzalez added that he felt more relaxed in general, as his leadoff double got things going for Bettis to bring him home. The Rockies re-arranged their clubhouse furniture before Monday's game, trying to move past the disappointing sweep by the D-backs and loosen things up.
Manager Bud Black noticed the Rockies taking better at-bats as well. Though eight of the Rockies' nine hits came in the first four innings, they still took advantage of opportunities they weren't capitalizing on previously.
"There have been some at-bats lately where I thought where we were a bit too overzealous, too anxious," Black said. "Sometimes in our haste to get the hit, to be the guy, we've come out of a good at-bat at times. So today I didn't see it. We had a lot of at-bats today, but I only saw a couple bad at-bats."
Monday, LeMahieu notched a tiebreaking hit in the fourth inning with his sharp ground-ball single up the middle.
"We haven't set the world on fire offensively the last couple weeks," LeMahieu said. "But I was just trying to have a good at-bat [in the fourth], and it happened to be with guys on base, and it put us up a run there."
The Rockies on Monday still weren't their first-half selves with RISP, when they led the Majors with a .309 average in such situations. Gerardo Parra ended the fourth with a bases-loaded groundout, Trevor Story struck out with a runner on second in the eighth and pinch-hitter Pat Valaika struck out with the bases loaded before Gonzalez's walk-off walk.
But, Black said, the Rockies can use Monday's positives to try to get on a roll.
"We got enough offense today," Black said. "It wasn't a game that I think we can really hang our hat on in terms of really pounding the ball, but you've gotta win them all different ways."
Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.