The 2019 season is turning in to a season to forget for the Colorado Rockies. Starting the season with expectations of making the postseason for the third consecutive year, the Rockies find themselves with the third-worst record in the National League. Injuries have depleted the roster, and Wednesday provided even more bad news – starting pitcher Jon Gray, the only consistent starting pitcher for the Rockies this season, was put on the 60-day injured list with a fractured foot.
Tim Melville navigates the squeeze bunt masterfully, safely steering in his second run of the day. pic.twitter.com/zBzIjaYMdm
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 21, 2019
Enter Tim Melville. Melville was called up from Triple-A for an emergency start for the injured Gray. Not only did he lead the Rockies to a much-needed victory, he provided the biggest feel-good story for team badly needing one this season.
At 29-years of age, Melville never really found a place on a big-league roster. He bounced around from team to team, and prior to Wednesday only made six appearances in the Majors. He made three appearances for the Reds in 2016, one start for the Twins in 2017, and two relief appearances for the Padres in 2017. He wasn’t even on a Major League roster to start the 2019 season. Instead, he was playing in the independent Atlantic League.
The Rockies took a chance and signed Melville to a Minor League contract and sent him to the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. With the ‘Topes, he made 17 starts in 18 appearances, going 10-5 with 94 strikeouts and a 5.42 ERA.
On Wednesday he got his break when Colorado came calling. And he was just what the Rockies needed to snap out of their two-game losing streak. Melville was brilliant in his seven innings. He gave up one run on two hits and two walks. His only blemish was a long home run to Ketel Marte. He struck out four batters and at one point retired 11 straight D-Back hitters. The bullpen, unreliable for most of the season, closed out the game with only one more earned run in the eighth.
Sparked by the incredible performance of Melville, the offense woke up as well. Nolan Arenado, Daniel Murphy and Ian Desmond had the day off, so the Rockies had a chance to see how the young players of the future would do. Backing up their pitcher, the Rockies scored seven runs. Charlie Blackmon was 2 for 5 with 2 RBIs, while catching prospect Dom Nunez was 2 for 3 with an RBI. Not only did Melville show brilliance on the mound, he also showed he could hit. In the top of the fourth inning, Melville recorded his first Major League hit and RBI, driving home Garrett Hampson on a single. He also recorded another RBI in the sixth with an incredible squeeze-bunt scoring Yonathan Daza.
While 2019 is a lost season for the Colorado Rockies, Tim Melville provided the feel-good story of the year. And after this performance, maybe, just maybe he finally found his spot on a big-league roster.
Featured image courtesy of The Denver Post
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