The kids are alright.
Following Colorado’s 6-5 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, Rockies manager Walt Weiss didn’t recite the title of the famous The Who song verbatim. But he did say something close.
“The young kids have really showed up well. The back-to-back homers …” Weiss said of David Dahl’s and Tom Murphy’s fourth-inning blasts. “It got us going a little bit. We were stalling some, having a hard time putting something together. Got a couple quick strikes. Yeah, the young kids have really been impactful.”
Colorado fans in attendance might have got a glimpse of the future in that frame. Dahl came up to face Albert Suarez with the Giants leading 4-1. The game felt in danger of slipping away. Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa’s high-wire act wasn’t going well up to that point. Then Dahl smacked a 437-footer to right center. Murphy came up next and hit a homer of his own to left.
All of a sudden, the Rockies only trailed by a run. They would go on to win in the ninth on Cristhian Adames’ two-run double. Adames’ walk-off was probably the enduring image from the game. But perhaps the most significant sequence was Dahl and Murphy going back-to-back. It was a look at the future, which looks bright in LoDo for the first time in a long time.
The 22-year-old Dahl’s now logged 42 games since getting called up. All he’s done is slash .333/.380/.535, stolen five bases and hit six bombs. He’s recorded a hit in all but six games while providing some excellent defense at whatever outfield spot he’s thrust into that night.
Murphy, 25, has now played five big league games in 2016. He tore up Triple-A — hitting .327/.361/.647 with 19 homers in 80 games — before earning the promotion. So far, the early returns are good. He’s got six hits, including two round-trippers. Not enough games to draw any conclusions, but encouraging nonetheless.
The Rockies aren’t going to make the playoffs this year. They’re 67-73 — seven games out in the National League Wild Card race. Players are openly talking about .500 as a season-ending goal. But there’s real hope.
Throw Dahl and Murphy in with Trevor Story, who’s still the MLB shortstop home run leader despite not playing since July 30, Raimel Tapia, Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, Tony Wolters and the productive veterans already on the roster, and you have the makings of a dangerous team.
Here’s a lineup the Rockies can trot out next year, provided everyone’s healthy and none of the veterans are traded away:
- Charlie Blackmon
- D.J. LeMahieu
- Nolan Arenado
- Carlos Gonzalez
- Trevor Story
- David Dahl
- Tom Murphy
- Raimel Tapia
- Pitcher X
“Dahl’s been great. He’s playing great ball,” Arenado said after Wednesday’s win. “Obviously, Adames is playing better. Guys are contributing. Murphy’s playing great. It’s great to see.”
This team is close. Arenado sees it. A year from now, it will be a major disappointment if they’re not in the thick of the playoff race.
“The future is bright here,” Arenado said.