For the first time this season, seven-time Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado was not in the starting line-up on Sunday when the Rockies will face the Mariners in Seattle.
His absence cost the Rockies in a 5-3 defeat.
There were solid reasons for manager Bud Black’s decision to join Arenado – the third baseman hit only .185 after an 0-for-5 performance on Saturday night that left six men behind – but Arenado’s glove was missed.
In Seattle’s key three-run seventh inning, substitute third baseman Chris Owings couldn’t quite play on the infield-hit by Kyle Lewis – a play Arenado probably would have played. Then Kyle Seager chopped a ball to Owings for a possible double play, but Owings bumped the ball for his first error and then made a rushed wild pitch to first for his second error. That double error opened the door for a sacrifice fly by Evan White and back-to-back RBIs-singles by Tim Lopes and Dee Gordon.
Before the game, Black said Arenado “looks a bit awkward” in the batter’s box, saying the time was right to give Arenado a day out of the starting line-up. The two discussed the decision on Saturday evening.
Asked if Arenado’s slump was “ in his head, ” Black replied, “ I think it’s more a matter of getting a few mechanics straight. He looks at the record a little nervous. Maybe a little overly aggressive. He seems to be under a few throws … (hits) a few fly balls and a little under them. “
Arenado struckout only four batters in 54 at-bats and hit three homeruns in the beginning. He went 0-for-14 after three consecutive games in which he homered, August 3-5, and the three home runs are his only extra-base-hits of the season. Arenado’s OPS is only .614 and he has only produced five RBIs from the cleanup spot.
Arenado is constantly working on his at bat and he’s a tough self-critic. Black said that’s a good thing – usually.
“He cares deeply about this organization and his performance,” said Black. Sometimes he can beat himself up. But I think I’d rather have one player like that than the other.
So again, he will come out of here, as we all know, he will work through this. I’m sure he will be watching a lot of video today; he will spend some time in a cage. There will be talks with our hitting coaches. today was just a good day not to play against Nolan. “
Wolters sits down again. Number 1 catcher Tony Wolters didn’t start for the fourth consecutive game, but Black said Wolters is healthy. Black explained that Elias Díaz, who did not play in the first 12 games but started for the second time in three games on Sunday, was a better game against Mariners left-handed Justus Sheffield. However, Diaz went 0-for-3.
Chuck’s Nazty. Charlie Blackmon extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double to right field in the first inning. He hits .551 (27-for-49) during the streak, with 12 runs scored, five doubles, three homeruns and 18 RBI’s.
Blackmon is one of only 29 players in the live-ball era (1920-present) with a batting average of over .450 after his team’s first 15 games. The last to do it was teammate Matt Kemp (with the Dodgers in 2012). Blackmon’s .458 average is level with Willie Mays (1960) for the 21st highest batting average in the first 15 games.
Diamondbacks LHP Robbie Ray (1-2, 9.45 ERA) at Rockies RHP Jon Gray (0-1, 3.31)
6:40 PM Monday, Coors Field
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: KOA 850 AM / 94.1 FM
Gray is still looking for his first win, despite pitching fairly well, and despite opponents hitting him only .194. He returns to Coors Field, where he has a record of 25-11 with an ERA of 4.34. His .694 home win rate is the second in franchise history after Jorge De La Rosa’s .726 clip (53-20) among pitchers with 50 or more starts in Denver. However, Gray is 0-2 with a 6.08 ERA in five starts at home vs. Arizona. Ray adjusted his delivery in the off season and the results so far have not been good. He gave up six runs over five innings in his last start in Houston, but Ray was encouraged. “Results aside, I feel like my last outing was a big step forward. I feel like I’m putting it together, ”Ray told reporters. Nolan Arenado in Colorado has cracked Ray to hit .341 (14-for-41) with three home runs and a 1,160 OPS. Charlie Blackmon also owns Ray: .435 (20-for-46) with five homers and a 1,284 OPS.
Trending: Charlie Blackmon went 2-for-3 on Sunday and expanded his hitting streak to 13 games. He hits 27-for-51 (.529) with five doubles, three homeruns and 18 RBI’s on the streak.
In order: The Rockies need more production from the bottom of their order. The last four batters in the starting line-up went 0-for-15 with six strikeouts in the 5-3 loss in Seattle.
- Tuesday: Diamondbacks RHP Zac Gallen (0-0, 2.81) at Rockies Kyle Freeland (2-0, 2.41), 6:40 PM, ATTRM
- Wednesday: Diamondback RHP Luke Weaver (0-3, 12.19) at Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (3-0, 2.65), 1.10pm, ATTRM
- Thursday: free