With 495-foot homer, McMahon ascends to Rockies' top spot

August 10th, 2022

DENVER -- The Rockies’ Ryan McMahon works at being a "next at-bat" kind of guy.

He was not going to be the one to admire one of the longest home runs in Coors Field history Tuesday night -- a 495-footer off the Cardinals’ T.J. McFarland in seventh inning of the Rockies’ 16-5 romp. But even he chuckled at the suggestion that the hit was more like a good drive on the golf course.

“Sure, yeah, a little bit, sure,” McMahon said, breaking into one of his biggest smiles of the season.

In real time, a couple teammates had a more-enthused reaction to McMahon’s 11th dinger of the season, which measured as the third-longest at Coors and longest by a Rockie since Statcast began measuring in 2015. It also tied for the sixth-longest anywhere in that time period.

The majestic blast was one foot shy of this year’s longest MLB homer by the Marlins’ Jesús Sánchez at Coors on May 30.

(In Coors lore, many will say McMahon’s blast goes down as fourth-longest, since a 496-foot shot -- under old-time measurements -- by the Dodgers’ Mike Piazza in 1997 will never be forgotten in these parts.)

While McMahon saw most of the ball’s flight, he dropped his bat and trotted it out like any other homer. But on-deck hitter Randal Grichuk -- who in his first game against the Cards, his original team, had a career-high five hits that included a three-run shot -- tracked every inch of the ball’s flight. It sailed several rows above the circular sign honoring the retired number of Todd Helton.

“His swing is pretty,” Grichuk said. “I’ve loved it since the first day I saw it, since before I got here. For him to catch one smooth like that, it’s fun to see.”

Brendan Rodgers, the runner at second base for the two-run shot, shuffled while following the flight, then ambled to the plate at a pace barely faster than a walk.

McMahon seemed most excited at his teammates' reactions.

“The boys in the dugout were hyped for me -- a couple of them yelled down and told me [the distance], so it was a fun experience for me,” McMahon said.

C.J. Cron’s three-run homer in the first inning off All-Star Miles Mikolas and Grichuk’s homer off Packy Naughton capped a nine-run third (the biggest inning by an NL team this season) gave the Rockies a 12-0 lead.

By the seventh, McMahon could tee off, again, against McFarland. McMahon is 3-for-7 with a double, two homers and four RBIs in their left-on-left matchups.

“I’ve seen him before, I know how he likes to come at me,” McMahon said. “When you have success against a guy, you usually keep sticking with the same approach.”

Manager Bud Black said, “That was a good swing, sort of down in his area where he’s extremely powerful … for whatever reason, he sees him well, and he’s got good, raw power.”

The Rockies went 2-6 on their last road trip. Some of the losses were close and several players, including McMahon, had solid trips. Since the start of the trip, McMahon has gone 10-for-26 (.385) with three home runs and nine RBIs.

But after enjoying the homer and his teammates’ reaction to it, McMahon snapped out of celebration mode.

“This game is very humbling,” he said. “I’m going to keep going.”

Still, the "next at-bat guy" had one that he can’t help but cherish ... when he lets himself.