McMahon's hot streak continues as he delivers game-winning homer

May 23rd, 2024

OAKLAND -- Third baseman ’s two-run, 12th-inning homer gave the Rockies a 4-3 victory over the Athletics at the Coliseum on Wednesday and put a four-game losing streak to bed.

McMahon is in dreamy times -- homers in his last three games, four in his last seven and nine on the season. And his left-on-left shot against Kyle Muller averted a nightmare. Before that swing, the Rockies were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and had wasted (again) eight stellar innings from starting left-hander Austin Gomber.

McMahon, 29, has seen times of aspirations realized, with postseason trips in his first two seasons of 2017 and 2018 and days of hopes dashed during his eight seasons in purple.

In the third year of a six-year, $70 million contract, McMahon finds himself a veteran with a Rockies team full of guys in their grocery-Ramen-twice-a-day period. They muddle through with a 16-32 record but expect to go from renters to moguls.

Wednesday’s game aside from McMahon’s blast offered enough reason for the record. They were 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position on the night.

But before the previous four games, they had won seven straight.

“You can lean on that memory -- like, we’ve done this before,” McMahon said. “It just always gives you hope, which is a lot better to have than no hope.”

McMahon’s homer picked up rookies Jordan Beck (strikeout and popout with the bases loaded) and Hunter Goodman (1-for-5 with a double), and sophomore Ezequiel Tovar (0-for-6) and Brenton Doyle (strikeout with two on in the seventh). They’re beginning journeys they believe will lead to the postseason, where McMahon has been.

Just like them, McMahon dreams, too.

Well, when there is time.

“During the season, I’m a big day-by-day guy,” McMahon said recently. “You rock with the guys you’re with in the locker room then. You enjoy every moment because you never know when it’s going to be your last, and I try not to look too far ahead.

“During the offseason, I daydream about it all the time. I’m like, ‘This is how it’s going to look.’”

The Rockies hope that enough waves of players they draft and/or develop will come together for a winning future. Often, however, teams part with players they’ve raised to quicken the process. While the Rockies are not known for such, general manager Bill Schmidt has said he’s not opposed to the right deals.

A big offer could change things, but indications are the Rockies have identified McMahon as a player whose value to them is greater than what they can receive by dealing him -- a-la the Orioles with Cedric Mullins and the Diamondbacks with Ketel Marte. McMahon has wanted to be a beacon, and he is showing it.

“We’re seeing it before our eyes,” manager Bud Black said recently. “That comes with maturity. That comes with confidence. It comes with a genuineness of care about the team and about the individual.”

Lefty pitcher Kyle Freeland, currently on the injured list but willing to participate in the future plan, said of McMahon, “He’s working with young guys coming up, showing them a proper way to do things.”

In and around his pregame routine, McMahon participates in card games or quiet conversations.

“I know what it’s like to feel like I’m not sure I belong here, things like that, so I try to be available for questions and to let them know they are part of the team,” McMahon said.

In subtle ways, during the road trip, which ends on Thursday, McMahon’s actions have pointed to why the Rockies believe he may be a pillar.

After his key error in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Giants, McMahon clapped his hands toward his teammates to indicate he was over it. He gave a reassuring glove tap to reliever Tyler Kinley after he gave up the deciding homer in Tuesday’s 5-4 loss to the Athletics.

Wednesday, in the 11th and 12th, McMahon practically walked eventual winning pitcher Nick Mears (three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings) to the mound, instructing on defensive positioning and reassuring.

“Anytime ‘Mac’ comes to the mound, it gives you a calming feeling – brings you down a tick,” Mears said.

It’s also reassuring to see a game come to McMahon, with his .306 batting average and .891 OPS.

“It’s not how we drew it up, but a lot of good performances today -- Gomber was great,” McMahon said. “And I hit a mistake slider.

“We won. That’s all that matters.”