Charlie Blackmon has an uncomplicated view on hitting.
“You’re only as good as the pitches you swing at,” Blackmon said.
It would seem Blackmon has been getting some good pitches to hit.
The Colorado outfielder extended his hitting streak to 12 games by going 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs Saturday night as the Rockies defeated the host Seattle Mariners 5-0 behind a combined one-hitter.
The Rockies will look to sweep the three-game series when it concludes Sunday afternoon in Seattle. Colorado is 11-3, matching the 2011 club for the best 14-game start in franchise history.
A four-time All-Star, Blackmon also went 3-for-4 in the series opener and is batting .446, second in the major leagues to San Francisco’s Donovan Solano (.462).
During his hitting streak, Blackmon is batting .521 (25-for-48).
“I’m just trying to focus in the zone and not do too much. You don’t have to take some incredible swing to hit a pitch if it’s right down the middle,” Blackmon said.
Blackmon has been working with hitting coach Dave Magadan to cut down on swinging at pitches outside the strike zone.
“Charlie’s done a really good job of that,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He’s one of the better players right now who is controlling the strike zone. And he combines it with power and average, which is a great advantage for us to have a player like that.”
Blackmon also credited the club’s portable pitching machine, which can be calibrated to match the spin of the opposing pitcher.
“We have the pitching machine, and that’s something I think is going to help us on the road produce a little bit, and we had a pretty good day at the plate for our whole offense,” Blackmon said. “It’s one game, a small sample size. I wouldn’t chalk it up to ‘the Rockies are amazing on the road’ just yet. I think we’re on the right track.”
Right-hander German Marquez (2-1, 1.89 ERA) will look to help the Rockies continue their winning ways Sunday. Marquez is coming off a home start against San Francisco in which he struck out nine in 7 1/ 3 innings of a 5-2 victory. Marquez is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in one career start, which came in 2018, against Seattle.
Mariners left-hander Justus Sheffield (0-2, 9.39 ERA), who is scheduled for his 10th career start, is still seeking his first big-league victory. He’ll be facing the Rockies for the first time.
The Mariners hope to have catcher Austin Nola back in the lineup.
With starting catcher Tom Murphy on the injured list since the beginning of the season with a broken bone in his left foot, Nola has filled in admirably, batting .324 with a home run and seven RBIs in 12 games.
But Nola got crossed up by rookie Yohan Ramirez on Friday night, taking a 95 mph fastball to the base of his thumb and wrist on his glove hand while expecting a slider.
Nola missed Saturday’s game.
“It’s just puffy,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We got very lucky. Nothing was broken there. There’s just no reason to jam him in the lineup (Saturday). We’ll give him a day and try to calm that down a little bit. Hopefully, he’ll be available to start the game (Sunday).”
–Field Level Media