Friday 4X4: No Clutch, No Problems
It certainly wasn't the norm. The Rockies were hitless in 11 at-bats with runners in scoring position at Washington on Thursday night. They, however, beat the Nationals, 5-1. How? Chad Bettis and DJ LeMahieu, that's how.
It was LeMahieu leading off the game with a home run, Chris Iannetta, the next hitter, drawing a walk, and scoring with two outs on Nationals second baseman Howie Kendrick's error on an Ian Desmond pop up. Then LeMahieu doubled home Gerardo Parra with two outs in the second, and he added a two-run, home run in the sixth.
It was the 18th time in Rockies history that they had 11 or more at-bats in a game with a runner in scoring position but didn't get a hit. It was the fourth time out of those 18 games that the Rockies won.
LeMahieu's big game on Thursday isn't a one-time deal. Since Nationals Park opened, he has the highest career batting average among active players with at least 60 plate appearances. Oh, and teammate Nolan Arenado is No. 3 on the list.
Bettis added another chapter to his successful battle back from testicular cancer. He dominated the Nationals in putting together the seventh start of his career in which he worked at least seven innings and allowed one or no earned runs.
Trevor Story struck out four times in the Rockies victory on Thursday. That gives him 20 strikeouts in 14 games this season, tied for the fifth highest total in the game. But it's not like the problem is day-in-day-out. He tends to strike out in bunches. Eleven of the strikeouts have come in three games -- three at Arizona on March 29, four at Arizona on March 30 and four at Washington on Thursday. The other nine are spread over 11 games.