In discussing Freeland’s slow start, Black complimented the Cubs, saying, “They put the ball in play, and if you do that enough, eventually some balls are going to go through.” That statement touched on the Rockies’ biggest issue so far: they entered Friday night hitting .212 with runners in scoring position (23rd in the Majors) with 18 strikeouts (seventh-most).
Heading into Friday, No. 9 hitter José Iglesias had done the best (3-for-5, two RBIs) with runners in scoring position, and while Charlie Blackmon went 3-for-23 to start the year overall, each of those hits came with runners in scoring position. Kris Bryant was 1-for-9 in the same situation, while Brendan Rodgers was 0-for-7 with two strikeouts and two walks.
Bryant hit safely in his first six games with his new club, but Rodgers was struggling in all situations, starting out 2-for-23.
“I think he’s pressing now,” Black said of Rodgers. “He looks like he’s sort of feeling for the ball with his swing. That’s not a great thing. And it looks as though he’s a little bit behind the fastball. That’s not a great thing, either. A couple knocks in over 20 at-bats is not Brendan-like.
“Start of the year? Magnified, because it’s the start of the year.”