Bud Black Encouraged Rockies Playing Dodgers ‘Toe-To-Toe’ In ‘Hard-Fought Games’
Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black in the dugout at Dodger Stadium
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

As the Los Angeles Dodgers opened the 2019 MLB season with an impressive 8-2 record, it included sweeping the Colorado Rockies in a three-game series at Coors Field in early April. Until Friday, that marked the lone matchup between the two National League West foes.

The Rockies dropping the three games to the Dodgers was part of a woeful 3-12 start to the season. They went into the weekend series at Dodger Stadium on an extended 37-22 stretch.

It was good for the second-best record in the NL during that span, fittingly trailing the 43-17 clip the Dodgers produced during that same period of time. The Rockies’ first visit to Dodger Stadium since Game 163 decided the NL West last season has been less than desirable.

After suffering a 4-2 walk-off loss in the series opener, the Rockies squandered three separate leads and again fell in walk-off fashion on Saturday.

Rockies manager Bud Black opted to find a silver lining with the two games, noting his club has pushed the Dodgers to needing heroics in order to earn the back-to-back wins, per Nick Groke of The Athletic:

“We’re playing right with them. These games come down to the end, what more can you say? From our end, we want to win these games. But we can play with them. These are hard-fought games. What does it mean? It speaks for itself how these games are going. We’re playing them toe-to-toe.”

Saturday’s win was the Dodgers’ 10th in a row against the Rockies, which set a franchise record. The 2003-04 clubs won nine straight against Colorado, which the 2017-18 Dodgers had matched before surpassing the mark.

In both losses for the Rockies, their bullpen has failed to back an encouraging outing from their starter. That was again the case in the series finale, as the Dodgers completed an improbable third consecutive walk-off victory.

While the Rockies were one game from winning the NL West last season, the Dodgers’ reign figures to extend to a seventh consecutive division title. Their six-game winning streak has put them 13 games ahead of Colorado for first place and three games up on the Minnesota Twins for the best record in baseball.

The Dodgers and Rockies will quickly get reacquainted with the start of a four-game series at Coors Field on Thursday.