Diamondbacks vs. Rockies Opening Day Weekend Series Recap

The Arizona Diamondbacks started their 2024 season off with a bang on Opening Day. They were off to the races early on, when Lourdes Gurriel Jr. started his season off strong with a two-run blast in the first inning. The Rockies fought back in the second inning, as a double from third baseman Ryan McMahon brought them back within one run with an RBI double. That would be the only run scored by the Rockies that night. The DBacks answered back in the third inning, collecting a new franchise record of 14 runs in an inning on Opening Day. Rookie Blaze Alexander gave them their 16th run, with his first ever MLB hit. Zac Gallen’s line was 3 K’s, 1 ER, 3 hits, 2 BB, in 5 innings of work. Scott McGough, Miguel Castro, Kyle Nelson, and Luis Frias all came in to relieve Gallen. Everyone did their part and pitched a combined scoreless outing. This was the perfect Opening Day, as towards the end the DBacks had the luxury of resting some of their starters. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Ketel Marter came up huge, as Gurrilel was 3-5 with 5 RBI, and 1 homer, Marte was also 3-5 with 3 runs scored, and 1 RBI. Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland struggled, only surging for 2.1 innings, and he gave up 10 ER.  He was relieved by Anthony Molina, who gave up 6 ER. The rest of the Rockies’ bullpen shut the DBacks down, not allowing anymore runs. The Diamondbacks won 16-1, starting the season off 1-0.

Game two of the season almost went as well as game one. Merril Kelly had a stellar outing, as he pitched 6.2 innings, with 1 ER, 3 hits, and 8 K’s. The offense started off similar to the night before, as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit his second home run of the season. He was followed by Christian Walker, who added on with his first homer of the new season. Joc Peterson made his DBacks debut, and was engraved into team history, with his 4-4 performance. Ketel Marte became the first DBack ever to start the year off with back to back games with 3 hits. Alek Thomas blew the game open with a three run shot, putting Arizona up 7-1. Merril Kelly was relieved by Joe Mantiply, Ryan Thompson, and Kevin Ginkel. Mantiply gave up two runs, but luckily for the Diamondbacks that was all the Rockies had. The Rockies started Cal Quantrill, and he gave up five runs in 5 innings. He was later relieved by Jake Bird who gave up two runs in 2 innings. Again, this was another great game for the DBacks, winning 7-3, and improving to 2-0.

Game three of the season, opposed the DBacks their biggest challenge early on in the year. Tommy Henry struggled in his outing, only pitching four innings. He could not make it out of the fifth, giving up 3 ER, then with 4 K’s, 6 hits, and 2 BB. Luis Frias came in the fifth inning, and gave up 2 ER.  Rockies left-fielder Nolan Jones battled Frias, and eventually won the 11 pitch at-bat with a two-run triple. Eugenio Suarez, who has had a hot start to his DBacks career, hit his first long ball of the season, and at the time putting the Diamondbacks up 3-2. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. remained hot, driving in the game’s first run, and hitting his third home run of the year. He is the first DBack in team history to hit three in the first three games of a season, as well as the first DBack with 8 RBI in the first three games. Arizona would have something promising going through the sixth and seventh innings, but they could not capitalize. They trailed 7-4 heading into the eighth. Bryce Jarvis looked like he had it going for the DBacks, with two scoreless innings of relief, but in his third inning of work he gave up a long ball to Brenton Doyle. This put the Rockies up 9-4. Closer Justin Lawerence came on in the ninth to try and finish off the DBacks, and he was successful as the Rockies won 9-4. The starter for the Rockies Austin Gomber threw for 4.2 innings, 6 hits, 3 K’s, 3 BB, and 4 ER. The Rockies bullpen shut down the DBacks, not allowing any runs. On a positive note for Arizona, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has shown that he could be in for a career year, with his hot start. The DBacks dropped to 2-1.

In the final game of the series, the Diamondbacks were set with postseason phenom Brandon Pfaadt to make his first start of 2024. The Rockies threw their RHP Ryan Feltner. The DBacks kept the trend of scoring in the first inning alive, starting with a Lourdes Gurrilel Jr. RBI single scoring Corbin Carroll, followed by a Christian Walker two run home run. Arizona led 3-0. Diamondbacks’ outfielder Alek Thomas exited the game early due to left hamstring tightness, and was later replaced by Jake McCarthy. Colorado eventually got one run back, after catcher Jacob Stallings drove in Michael Toglia with an RBI single. Brandon Pfaadt pitched five solid innings, allowing 1 ER, 5 hits, and 6 K’s. He was ultimately able to escape a bases loaded jam, only allowing the one run. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Ketel Marte went to second base after an error was made in the Rockies outfield, Tucker Bernhardt scored making the score 4-1. Still with two outs, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit an RBI double, that being his 10th RBI of the early season. DBacks led 5-1.Gurrilel sets a DBacks record, he also becomes the first player in the National League since former Rockie Trevor Story had 10 plus RBI’s through the first four games in 2016.  Scott McGough, Ryan Thompson, and Kevin Ginkel were all lockdown out of the bullpen relieving Brandon Pfaadt. Ryan Feltner gave up 5 ER off of 5 hits, and the Rockies bullpen was solid, shutting the DBacks out the rest of the way. The Arizona Diamondbacks won 5-1, improving to 3-1.

Overall, this was a great way to start out the new season for the Diamondbacks. The showed an electric offense, along with a pitching staff that has potential to be great, with their new addictions coming into play shortly. This should be a fun year for DBacks fans, as the team looks to get better each step of the way. The Diamondbacks will host the New York Yankees on Monday, and will be set for a three game series. Righty Ryne Nelson will make his season debut for the DBacks facing Yankees’ Luis Gil.


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