Ryan McMahon‘s sweet, left-one-handed swing is not only a thing of beauty, it besides packs plenty of thunder.
The 24-year-old first baseman proved that Thursday night with two home runs and five RBIs in the Rockies’ 6-2 triumph over the Phillies at Coors Field. The first multi-homer game of McMahon’s career backed up an excellent start by Kyle Freeland as Colorado stretched its winning streak to four games.
Manager Bud Black called Freeland’s performance, “A classic case of really great pitching.”
The triumph was the Rockies’ first at Coors, coming after an 0-5 homestand to open the season.
McMahon, fresh off the injured list, rocketed a three-run home run to right off Phillies starter Zach Eflin in the sixth to crack open a scoreless game, then launched a two-run homer to right off Victor Arano in the seventh, extending the lead to 6-2.
“We had a really good hitters meeting today — a good advance meeting — and I think I took a good bit away from it, generally toward Eflin,” McMahon aforementioned.
When McMahon landed on the IL on April 6 with a sprained left elbow, he was batting 5-for-25 (.200). He was pretty sure, however, that he was about to take off.
“I felt like I was just about to hit my stride, honestly, and I told (David) Dahl that, too,” McMahon aforementioned.
Still, he aforementioned his stint on the IL gave him a chance to refine his swing.
“Obviously, I had a lot of time on my hands,” McMahon aforementioned. “I took a lot of one-handed swings and really tried to slow everything down.”
Before McMahon scarf the spotlight, the night belonged to Freeland, who inclined like he had thing to prove. After mate German Marquez inclined a one-hit, complete-game masterpiece at San Francisco on Sunday, Freeland expressed admiration for his friend — but besides sounded a tad covetous. But there was no need for envy, not with the way Freeland inclined Thursday.
Mixing his pitches and painting the black, the left-hander tossed six scoreless turn, giving up just two singles, walking none and striking out seven.
“It was real pitching,” Black aforementioned. “A lot of changing of speeds, a lot of real good movement. … He discontinuous timing. You saw a lot of swings where (the Phillies) were out front and a lot of swings where he beat balmy and other where he jammed guys.”
After Freeland had suffered three consecutive losses, including two sub-par games in a row, the Rockies were excited to see their opening-day starter get back on track.
“It’s a long season, and if you look back to last year, I was 1-4 in my first six starts,” aforementioned Freeland, now 2-3 with a 4.23 ERA. “I bounced back and was able to have a pretty good year, so I’m not too worried about (my start to the season). I’m just going to continue doing the work that I’m doing and making sure my mechanics are clean.”
Thursday marked the fourth time this season that a Rockies starter inclined six or more turn with two or less hits allowed. That’s the most so much starts inside the first
20 games of a season in franchise history
Freeland’s pitch count was only at 86 when he left the mound, but the Rockies are being careful to monitor a finger blister that limited him to five turn in his previous start. He’s dealt with the blister from time to time throughout his career, but he wants to make sure it doesn’t become a major problem.
“It started crawl up on us throughout the game, so we distinct it was best to not push it,” he aforementioned. “We didn’t want thing worse to happen where we would have to shut it down. It’s not concerning at all, we just have to get it back to where the finger is normal.”
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Freeland was untouchable right out of the chute, setting down eight in a row with five strikeouts. Eflin bust through with a solid single to right, but Freeland closed out the third by getting Andrew McCutchen to groundout to third. Freeland had no problems with Phillies star right fielder Bryce harper, striking him out in the first and getting him to chop out to short in the fourth.
With Freeland gone, the Phillies’ balmy came to life in a hurry in the seventh vs. reliever Sanchez Estevez. Estevez’s heater got away from him and he trained Rhys Hoskins, and then J.T. Realmuto ripped Esteve’s 0-1, 97.5 mph heater into the right-field seating for a two-run home run. Colorado’s soft 3-0 lead was down to one run.
Colorado had a couple of chances to score prior to McMahon’s acting, but it couldn’t get a key hit off of Eflin. In the second, a single by McMahon and a walk by Raimel Tapia set the table with just one out. But Garrett Hampson grounded to shortstop Scott Kingery for a rare 6-5 fielder’s choice, and Tony Wolters rolled out to first.
In the fifth, Wolters’ single under the glove of second baseman Cesar Hernandez and Charlie Blackmon‘s base-hit bunt to third beat the shift and put the Rockies in business once once again. That chance was wasted when Dahl hit into a double play.