DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado wants to lift his team to the postseason so bad it hurts.After being hit hard on the left hand by a baseball twice in the previous five days, Arenado ignored the pain and had a two-run triple to spark an early rally in
DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado wants to lift his team to the postseason so bad it hurts.
After being hit hard on the left hand by a baseball twice in the previous five days, Arenado ignored the pain and had a two-run triple to spark an early rally in an 8-4 victory over the Brewers on Friday night.
Arenado was part of a surging offense that also enjoyed home runs from Charlie Blackmon, Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gonzalez as the Rockies pushed one game ahead of the D-backs for the top National League Wild Card spot, while also denting the Brewers' playoff hopes.
Arenado was hit by a pitch Sunday in Miami, then took a bad-hop grounder off the hand during Thursday's 10-4 loss to the Braves. But the throbbing, not to mention the bad luck that leads to the same spot being hit twice, wasn't going to stop him. A Rockies offense that has had three decent games, after going eight games without scoring more than three runs, needed him.
"I just want to play," Arenado said. "If we were in the Dodgers' position, I probably would take a couple days, you know? But we don't have that luxury. These are big games. Milwaukee's only 5 1/2 back now that we won. I want to play every day, and I want to help this team out any way I can.
"I believe, for instance, me being in the lineup, it helps [DJ LeMahieu], or whatever. There's little things to the game that people don't understand. I know that I can do that. I'm hurting, but it's not the worst thing I've ever been through."
Since the first time his wrist was injured, Arenado has missed just one start, and he entered as a reserve in that game. He also has had three doubles, a homer and a triple, all while hurting. Not only that, but he nearly had another homer Friday on a towering 448-foot drive to left that curved just foul.
Sometimes you have to deal with some hurt to help an offense that had been hurting.
"We had a good night a couple nights ago and scored a bunch of runs [in a 17-2 win over the Braves]; yesterday we were held down," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "Time will tell."
Put pounding opponents at home has always been a part of the successful Rockies seasons. If they can have nights like Friday more often than not, they can make up for downturns that often occur on the road. They have 20 games at home (where they are 38-23) and 20 on the road (30-31) the rest of the regular year.
"Tonight was special," Gonzalez said. "The fans showed up. Normally, when we have a weekend at home we have a lot of fans. They understand that this is a big series for us. We know that this is a big series. We're really happy we started the series the right way."
Blackmon, who hit his 28th career first-inning leadoff homer, said, "When you're talking about the postseason, the margin for getting in and not getting in is very small."
It's a pain Arenado and the Rockies don't want to experience.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and** like his Facebook page**.