As soon as the final out was recorded on Thursday, Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black was seen flashing a huge smile.
It was understandable.
Before the 5-0 win over the host Philadelphia Phillies, the Rockies had endured a frustrating eight-game losing streak. They began Thursday with the worst record in the National League. Now they seek a second straight win on Friday as the four-game series continues.
C.J. Cron, who historically had a lot of success against the Phillies, struck for a home run, a single and two RBIs in the series opener.
“Big win for us, for sure,” Black said. “The effort’s been there, the preparation, the focus, the energy. We just haven’t done it between the lines.”
After a strong pitching performance Thursday from Ryan Feltner (5 2/3 innings), Justin Lawrence (2 1/3 innings) and Pierce Johnson (one inning), the Rockies will hand the ball to Noah Davis (0-0, 0.00 ERA). The rookie right-hander has never faced the Phillies.
In his first major league start Sunday against the Seattle Mariners, Davis tossed five scoreless innings, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out five on 95 pitches.
“I felt like I was locked in from the beginning,” said Davis, whose only previous major league outing was a relief appearance in the 2022 season finale. “Once I got through the first inning, I felt like I was in the game, like I could go out there and do my thing.”
The only negative for the Rockies on Thursday was that Jurickson Profar was called out on strikes due to a clock violation in the seventh inning. Profar wasn’t set to hit with the required eight seconds left on the clock.
The Phillies, after winning two of three on the road against the Chicago White Sox this week, came home and fell flat in the shutout loss.
Philadelphia mustered just six hits and no player had more than one. The hosts went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. The Phillies looked out of sync and received two timing violations for not being in the batter’s box in time.
“We need to keep grinding,” Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson said. “We need to come back (Friday) and get after it again.”
Aaron Nola (1-2, 5.91 ERA) will take the ball for the Phillies on Friday. The veteran right-hander is 4-1 with a 3.35 ERA in seven career starts against the Rockies.
After a slow start to the season, Nola was effective in his latest outing against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. He gave up five hits and three runs, two earned, with four strikeouts and three walks in a resounding 14-3 victory. The performance dropped his ERA from 7.04 to 5.91.
“I thought he was good,” Thomson said of Nola. “I think those long innings affect him a little bit, but in the last two innings, he was really good.”
The Phillies received some good news that Edmundo Sosa’s sore back didn’t appear to be serious. Thomson said that the infielder is likely to be available for Friday’s game.
Sosa hasn’t played since leaving last Saturday’s game against the Reds.
–Field Level Media