Rockies’ Scott Oberg, Ryan McMahon, Matt Holliday key postseason hopes

Rockies’ Scott Oberg, Ryan McMahon, Matt Holliday key postseason hopes

  13 Sep 2018

What do Scott Oberg, Ryan McMahon and Matt Holliday have in common?

At the all-star break, none of them was considered essential to the Rockies’ postseason chances. In fact, McMahon was still making his bones at Triple-A Albuquerque; Holliday was in baseball limbo, a seven-time all-star without a team; and Oberg, having missed time with a back injury, was trying to regain his form after an early-season tuneup at Triple-A.

Now those three are key to Colorado’s quest for its first National League West title. The Rockies entered Wednesday night’s game against Arizona with a one-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West and a 2½-game lead over the Diamondbacks.

Holliday, the 38-year-old slugger who has been a force at the plate, made his ninth start in left field Wednesday night. Holliday had recorded a hit in 10 of the 13 games in which he played, batting .321 (9-for-28), with two home runs. He was 3-for-4 with a double and a home run as a pinch hitter.

“Matt has done an outstanding job for us, but he’s not the only one of our guys to contribute off the bench,” Manager Bud Black said. “Like I’ve said all season, it’s going to take everyone on our roster to get where we want to go.”

Oberg, who struggled out of the gate, posting a 6.97 ERA in nine appearances, has been Colorado’s steadiest reliever, and he has earned Black’s trust. Indeed, Oberg has supplanted struggling Bryan Shaw as one of Colorado’s late-game set-up men.

“For me it’s been about getting ahead of guys early and utilizing my four-seam fastball,” said Oberg, who entered Wednesday’s game 7-0 with a 2.44 ERA and .221 batting average against. “I’ve learned how to spot it where I want it. I’m staying aggressive with every pitch, and I think I’ve got much better in-game awareness.”

Oberg had posted a 1.22 ERA with 33 strikeouts and just six walks since his recall May 28. He has become one of Black’s favored right-hand men.

“Of course I don’t think about about that in the moment, but when I get back to my apartment at night, I look back and think, ‘Wow, that’s all right.’ It’s nice to see the fruits of your labor pay off,” Oberg said.

McMahon, 23, made Colorado’ opening-day roster but struggled out of the gate and was optioned to Triple-A twice this season. His versatility has given him playing time — 20 starts at first base, eight and second and eight at third — but he still comes off the bench a lot. It’s a job he’s relishing.

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