Rockies Square Off Against the NL's Elite in Atlanta

The Colorado Rockies lost the opener of their three game road series with the Atlanta Braves by a score of 4-1.

The Rocks ran into Atlanta's ace in Tommy Hanson who was nearly lights out in his 7 innings of work. Hanson struck out six and walked only one while the Braves' potent offense went to work.

Atlanta's dynamic duo of 21-year-olds Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman are developing quickly, turning the middle of the Braves' order into one of the best in baseball.

Heyward broke into the league as a 20-year-old rookie sensation who was the frontrunner in the NL's Rookie of the Year race before Buster Posey emerged with a strong second half. Heyward finished the 2010 season with 18 home runs and 72 RBI's in 142 games. What's interesting about these two 6'5" left-handed power hitters is that they were actually roommates during the 2010 season. They both lived in an apartment about halfway between Turner Field in Atlanta and the stadium of the Braves' AAA affiliate in Gwinnett. After breakfast, both players would go their separate ways. While Heyward way being praised as a star rookie in Atlanta, Freeman worked hard each day to join him in the big leagues.

Freddie Freeman, who had 24 at-bats at the end of 2010, opened 2011 as one of the top rookies in the game and has done nothing to diminish those views as he has accumulated 11 home runs and 38 RBI's.

The Rockies held their own throughout much of the game despite only four hits. Ubaldo Jimenez (who had one of the hits) looke sharp despite the loss. He struck out an astonishing seven batters in his first three innings.

The major story of the game for the Rockies was the apparent injury to star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Tulo left the game after grounding into a double play to end the fourth inning. While running to first, he felt tightness in his right quadricep and was replaced by Jonathan Herrera. If Tulowitzki is out for more than a couple games, the Rockies will struggle greatly to put up enough runs to bail out their weak pitching staff. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is also out with a bruised right wrist, so the rest of the Rockies' lineup must collectively fill the holes left by the injured superstars if they hope to remain within striking distance of the division leading San Francisco Giants.

Back to the Colorado Rockies Newsfeed