Nolan Jones hits a homer after a rain delay

Denver – When it rains, it pours.

That was figuratively speaking right before their thrilling 5-4 win over the Padres at Corsair Field on Sunday afternoon, when they discovered franchise quarterback Charlie Blackmon had a fractured right hand, adding to his already long list of injuries.

And it was just right near the end of the game, when the skies opened up and it started to rain before a flood washed up the field on Ryan McMahon’s thrilling home run in the bottom of the ninth. Then, after a rain delay of 1 hour and 25 minutes, Nolan Jones smashed a 472-foot homer to right center field to win it.

It was MLB’s longest home run since Statcast began tracking in 2015.

Suddenly, with many veterans sidelined, the Rocky Youth movement accelerated.

“There is some symmetry there, isn’t there?” Bad Black manager said. “You don’t like to see your team’s injured list look like that. That’s not how you draw it. You like young players to come in when you want them to come. But now it’s out of necessity.”

They say necessity is the mother of invention. And in the case of The Rockies, that could lead to the franchise learning much more quickly what its future holds. As Black pointed out, it’s not perfect – evolving requires upgrading at the right time to specializations and careful cultivation when it’s there.

A few hours later, Montes found himself at the plate representing the home run against veteran Luis García in the eighth inning, his team losing six for their seventh consecutive contest.

“He threw me a first pitch slider and I chased after him,” Montes said. “And I kind of sat on him again, thinking he’d come back to her, and he left me good ground to hit on.”

Montes pinned him to the left field bench for a two-run homer.

“What Koko did today was amazing,” said McMahon, whose heroic deeds would come shortly thereafter. “The kid is a ball player, man. You guys are going to really enjoy watching him play.”

McMahon isn’t a “baby” in traditional baseball parlance, but he’s not old either. And he’s continued his excellent stretch in the plate since May 25, doing so with the dramatic flair usually found in movies.

As the incessant rain began to turn into torrential rain, it looked like the gloomy weather would serve as a metaphor for the Rockies’ current state amid losing 11 in 13 games. It didn’t help that McMahon fell into an 0-2 hole leading off in the ninth against lefty reliever Tom Cosgrove, who didn’t allow a run during his first 14 MLB starts.

“I’m not going to lie – I didn’t see the ball well the first two pitches,” he said. “I saw it well the third time around.”

Once McMahon’s game-tying drive settled into the seats, the competition was behind.

When play resumed, Padres reliever Brent Honeywell got the first of two scores before Jones stepped to the plate. The 25-year-old/first baseman has already impressed during the home run, hitting a 483-foot home run earlier in the week and stealing a base in four straight games.

But, as with McMahon, none of that mattered in the moment. And Jones made the most of it, destroying a changeup for Honeywell almost as influential as his predecessor to claim the Rockies’ biggest victory of 2023.

With veteran stars like Blackmon, Chris Bryant and CJ Crone sidelined to a team searching for the next chapter, poetic “symmetry,” as Black called it, wasn’t lost on Jones.

“It’s really fun,” Jones said. “The past two days haven’t gone the way we wanted… It’s huge.”

For Blackmon, facing the franchise for more than a decade and one of the most beloved players in Rockies history, the next four or six weeks will be hard to miss. But at least he can see what the future might look like for the football club as he sits down.

“It’s really interesting to see,” Blackmon said. “On paper, we don’t have anything close to Plan A right now. But I’d say our Plan B looks pretty good.”

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