Charles in Charge: A Swing and A Hit

Charlie Blackmon is on the attack.

Since his installation into the lead-off role at the big-league level, Blackmon made an effort to work counts, and see more pitches. That may be changing. Blackmon showed signs this spring and in the season-opening series at Arizona that he's going to take on that old-time philosophy to hitting.

See it, Hit it.

He did that the last two nights against the Diamondbacks.

After swinging and missing the first pitch from Robbie Ray in the fourth inning on Friday, he hit the next pitch for a three-run home run that at the time tied the score at 7-7 in the fourth inning.

Blackmon the Aggressor was back at work on Saturday.

With the Rockies down 1-0 in the sixth inning against D-Backs ace Zack Greinke, Blackmon jumped on a first-pitch curveball, and with a swing of the bat the score was tied 1-1. Then, in the eighth, after a swing and a miss at the first pitch thrown by Fernando Salas, Blackmon drilled a fastball for a second-pitch home run, giving the Rockies the 2-1 lead, which was the final score.

"I think it's good to be able to hit early in the count, as well as late in the count," Blackmon said. "That's something you need to do to be a complete hitter, and that's part of the progression for me."

History says it doesn't hurt Blackmon to be aggressive.

Blackmon arrived as an aggressive hitter, and in his first full big-league season, primarily hitting at the top of the lineup, Blackmon hit .385 swinging at first pitches. He swung at a first pitch 70 percent of the time in 2014. His average has gone up the last three seasons, but his aggression hasn't. He has taken more than 90 percent of the first pitches in each of the last three years.

Blackmon wasn't overly aggressive in the three games in Arizona. He took the first pitch in all but one plate appearance. He took a ball six times, a called strike five times, and swung and missed once.

Blackmon has actually had decent success against Greinke, other than last year. He has a career .269 average against Greinke, who has allowed NL hitters to hit .235 against him. A year ago, however, Blackmon hit .188 against Greinke. In his career, other than 2017, Blackmon has a .306 average against Greinke. The home run on Saturday was, however, his first ever off Greinke.

Saturday's game was the ninth multi-home run game of Blackmon's career -- the eighth in which he hit two home runs. He  had three home runs in an Aug. 12, 2016 game at Philadelphia. Only two of his multi-home run games have been at Coors Field. Three of them have come in Philadelphia. 

Tracy RingolsbyComment