DENVER -- Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez entered Tuesday's 15-12 loss to the Nationals batting just .214 with one home run in 19 games. But on a chilly and wet night at Coors Field, where a number of drives by Rockies hitters ended in a Nationals glove at the warning
DENVER -- Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez entered Tuesday's 15-12 loss to the Nationals batting just .214 with one home run in 19 games. But on a chilly and wet night at Coors Field, where a number of drives by Rockies hitters ended in a Nationals glove at the warning track, Gonzalez blasted a 436-foot homer in the second inning off Washington starter Joe Ross.
Gonzalez also had a deep drive to left-center in the seventh inning for a sacrifice fly. Those swings could signal that he's starting to heat up at the plate.
"I think it's just a matter of time," Gonzalez said. "Definitely tonight I felt better at the plate. One of the things I always tell myself when I have to play in conditions like this early in the year: the same things you're feeling at the plate is the same way the pitcher is feeling. They're going to make a lot of mistakes because it's kind of hard to feel the ball out there."
Ross admitted the weather conditions made things more difficult on the mound.
"It's not ideal, temperature-wise," Ross said. "I just tried to compete with what I had today. … Everyone says stuff's not going to move as much [at Coors Field], and that was kind of the case today, but you've gotta make an adjustment."
Gonzalez's homer came on a slider from Ross, and left the bat with an exit velocity of 104.15 mph, per Statcast™. It was his first extra-base hit since April 16 (a span of 21 at-bats). And he had to hit it into a swirling wind at Coors Field on a 43-degree night at first pitch, which was delayed 66 minutes by rain.
"That's one of the things that when it's cold and windy like it was tonight, the ballpark plays pretty fair," Gonzalez said. "You've gotta square the ball well to hit it out of the ballpark, and that was the case for me. On any other day, the balls we were hitting to the warning track would've been home runs, but it plays fair when it's cold. It was a long day."
It was a long day that went late into the night, but despite coming up short against the Nationals, the Rockies are hopeful that what they saw from Gonzalez is a sign of things to come.
"Carlos is getting closer," said manager Bud Black. "He's close to breaking out, for sure."
Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.