Goodman's 1st MLB homer sparks statement comeback effort

September 18th, 2023

DENVER -- Move over Dante, Vinny, Ellis and Larry. There’s a new bomb squad on Blake Street, proving it’s still never over at Coors Field, where blowouts become nail-biters in the blink of a bat swing.

The day after the Rockies celebrated the Blake Street Bombers -- with Dante Bichette, Vinny Castilla, Ellis Burks and Larry Walker throwing out the first pitch -- a couple of the next generation of Rockies went yard in a big way, turning a stingingly lopsided affair into a game inches from being tied before the Rockies fell, 11-10, to the Giants Sunday, while still taking three of four from the playoff contenders.

For , it was his first big league homer in his 17th game since his debut on Aug. 27 in Baltimore. He sparked a 10-run rally that nearly turned the tide on the Giants over the game’s final four frames.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” manager Bud Black said of Goodman’s power potential. “It just doesn't happen as a fluke when you hit Minor League homers. He's still figuring some things out, but it's a good swing for power.”

Fans thirsting for offense weren’t going to find their cup of tea in the first five innings. It was 1-0 Giants after five -- reminiscent of the 1-0 lead San Francisco had taken to the bottom of the eighth on Friday before Colorado went on to win, 3-2.

But with the echoes of the original Bombers still bouncing around Blake Street, where they spent the weekend extolling the virtues of hard-hitting offense at Coors Field, Goodman was glad to be part of a power surge in purple pinstripes.

“Everybody's going up there and taking the at-bat seriously,” Goodman said of the late, never-say-die rally. “You're just trying to pass the bat to the next guy and get the rally going.”

Goodman’s uninterrupted tour with the Rockies represents the third league he’s played in this season, slashing .239/.325/.523 with 25 homers in 91 games with Double-A Hartford and .371/.418/.903 with nine homers in 15 games with Triple-A Albuquerque before earning his August callup. He’s slashing .250/.290/.482 in 17 games in the Majors.

Goodman has delivered on virtually every level since his callup. The Rockies have been waiting to see his power play at the Major League level. Turns out, he’s got the homer in his big league tool belt.

“It was good to finally get the first one,” Goodman said. “As much as you want to say it doesn't wear on you and you're not thinking about it, it's always in the back of your mind. You're like, ‘When's it gonna happen?’”

Many watching thought his first swing in his first big league game was going to be the ideal calling card when he took Jack Flaherty to the warning track at Camden Yards.

“I thought it had a chance there,” Goodman recalled. “It was a little higher and I had a little more time to watch, so I thought it had a chance, but it ended up getting caught.”

The Rockies have showcased the foundation for a dynamic lineup of the future with rookies like Nolan Jones (.412 average with runners in scoring position), Brenton Doyle (his ninth home run gave him his fourth three-RBI game of the season and second this month), Ezequiel Tovar (9-for-24 with seven RBIs on the homestand), Goodman and Elehuris Montero (active 25-game on-base streak). They have displayed the potential pop to be heart-of-the-order hitters complementing young veterans like Brendan Rodgers and Ryan McMahon, 2023 All-Star Elias Díaz, former MVP Kris Bryant, and the ageless Charlie Blackmon.

Is Blake Street ready for a Bomber revival?

“Nolan is showing power in the Major Leagues,” Black said. “He’s showing growth as a hitter. Brenton’s ball was hit almost up on the concourse, so the raw power is there. Hunter hit [34] homers in the Minors this year, [36] last year. There’s a home run there, and it's a good swing. So the potential is there.”

After being down 9-0 after the top of the sixth, the Rockies got the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and Blackmon, the potential winning run, at the plate. His flare toward right was just soft enough for Giants second baseman Thairo Estrada to leap and snare it, but the statement from Blake Street was clear.

“These guys are playing all 54 outs,” Black said of his young team. “These guys were built the right way.”