For the first time in fifteen years, the Rockies have swept the Giants at home, and they did it handily. Kyle Freeland was terrific, having his best start of the year, and the Rockies offense again came to play. They finished with a score of 8-0 to sweep the suffering San Francisco team.
For the second game in a row, Charlie Blackmon led off with a triple and scored in the first inning. This time Blackmon scored on a sac fly, but it still gave the Rockies an early one run lead that they would hold onto for the entire game. The Giants would manage six hits throughout the game and also walked three times, but they never pushed a run across and have now fallen to 6-13.
On the back of Senzatela’s terrific start, Freeland came out on Sunday and out-pitched Senzatela by going seven innings and allowing zero runs. He walked only one and struck out three, but the Giants could just never get on the board to make it a close game. This is fantastic news for the Rockies as it gives them two straight games with blowout wins where the bullpen did not have to work hard at all.
What it also presents are some challenges with the looming players on the DL. Three players are set to come off the DL sometime in May and with that the Rockies will have decisions to make. It is hard for any of Parra, Blackmon, or Cargo to lose playing time. Parra and Blackmon have both been fantastic, with Parra starting and staying strong and Blackmon coming into his own recently. Then you have Cargo and what he presents as an ever looming presence to get hot and carry the Rockies for a week.
There is also Mark Reynolds at first who has been terrific showing that he truly has reinvented himself as a hitter. While he did go 0-4 on Sunday, he has been great all year long showing increased power from last year while still showing discipline and the ability to hit for average. So while the Rockies have starters playing major roles that they just cannot remove, they will be given the ability, with Ian Desmond at least, to use him as a utility role player filling in around the diamond. The outfield is currently weak in regards to having a right-handed hitter, Stephen Cardullo being the only one. But with Desmond, the Rockies can give any three of the outfielders a night off, a couple of the infielders a night off without having to worry about depth.
David Dahl coming off the DL, which there still isn’t a real timetable one, would raise more questions as it gives them just another lefty. Right now, Cargo seems to be the odd man out with his recent struggles, but it is just so hard to remove him with his past. Dahl could fill in for any of the lefty outfielders and at any position, but what his role is remains to be seen.
Tom Murphy is the other player that should come off the DL and he has a much more obvious and straightforward role, relieve Dustin Garneau of his major league duties. Garneau has not been terrible, but he has been far from good and the prospect of what Murphy brings both offensively and defensively far exceeds anything Garneau brings. The Murphy/Wolters platoon will greatly benefit the Rockies once Murphy is ready to come off the DL.