Sunday 4X4: Blackmon Tightened Up, Not Concerned

It was apparent something was amiss in the ninth inning on Saturday night. With the scored tied at 2-2, two men on and no outs, Charlie Blackmon, who set an MLB record for leadoff hitters with 103 RBI last year, fouled off one bunt attempt and then popped up in foul territory on another bunt attempt.

Manager Bud Black said Blackmon experienced back tightness before the game, and played through the problem, but the tightness became a bigger problem as the game went on.

Blackmon downplayed the problem.

"It was a little tight most of the game and it just got tighter," he said. "I've dealt with it before, and I have been all right. It's not something new. I don't think of it as an injury. It's more of a spasm."

Blackmon said it's an issue that has flared up at times in the previous seasons. If that's the case than it probably isn't severe.  Since he became the Rockies everyday center fielder in 2014, Blackmon has played more games than any other center fielder in MLB.

Tony Wolters worked Arodys Vizcaino for a bases-loaded walk that gave the Rockies a 3-2, 10-inning walk-off victory on Saturday night. It was the Rockies third consecutive walk-off victory in which a walk pushed home the winning run. It also was the Rockies first extra-inning walk-off victory since Aug. 19, 2016 when they beat the Cubs 7-6 in 11 innings.

In between the Rockies had seven walk-off wins, all of which concluded in the ninth inning.

The Braves bullpen is hard to hit. Rockies hitters were 3-for-16 against the relievers in 3 2/3 innings in Saturday's 3-2, walk-off victory. But the Rockies did draw five walks from the Braves relievers, including the final three Rockies hitters. 

After Carlos Gonzalez doubled with one out in the ninth, Arodys Vizcaino struck out Ian Desmond for two outs, but then came an intentional walk to Gerardo Parra, and unintentional walks to Trevor Story and Tony Wolters to force in the game-deciding run.

Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino struggled to throw strikes a year ago, but he's on target this season. He leads NL relievers with 11 strikeouts, and has allowed only three baserunners -- one hit, one walk and one hit batter. 

Tracy RingolsbyComment