Ryan McMahon records 5 RBIs moving to second base
SAN DIEGO — Performances have been painful at times for Rockies third baseman Ryan McMahon. But on Thursday, when he returned to the dugout after hitting a three-run homer as part of a five-RBI day, earning a 7-3 victory over the Padres, he felt a little hurt. .
Manager Bud Black moved McMahon from his usual third base to second, one of his old positions. Regular second baseman Brendan Rodgers took a break from his rare day off to greet McMahon, shall we say, enthusiastically.
“He doesn’t know how strong he is,” McMahon said. “He gave me a lump in my chest and [almost] hit me on the buttocks.
McMahon and the Rockies needed opportunities for full-contact affection.
Not only had Colorado lost five straight, including the first four of the five-game series with the Padres, but Thursday’s win was only their fourth in 15 games since the All-Star break. McMahon needed not just Thursday, when he tied his career single-game record for RBIs — all against formidable Padres starter Joe Musgrove — but his performance throughout this series. He went 7 for 15 with six RBIs and one stolen base, and can use that as a starting point to turn around a tough season.
All the while in San Diego, the Rockies seemed bogged down. They watched the already intimidating Padres trade and trade until they were giddy with World Series dreams. They were the foil for huge crowds at Petco Park. And the entire roster Rockies have been trying to shake off their individual struggles.
In the first year of a six-year, $70 million contract, McMahon has nine homers, having finished the past two full seasons with 24 in 2019 and 23 last season. He’s batting .241 with a .336 on-base percentage, but with a lower-than-expected .384 slugging percentage. While he says he hasn’t chased the numbers – “I stopped watching them a long time ago”, he joked – he said his disappointment with the season weighed on him.
“I need to have a nice little chat with Buddy before the show,” McMahon said. “He kind of brought him back to Earth. “Just go focus on those things and play, and don’t worry about it.” I just got good reminders. We catch up, we see different things in this game, and we start worrying about the bad things, instead of just being a good teammate playing good baseball every day.
McMahon could see more time at second or even first base as the Rockies try to find starts for No. 6 prospect Elehuris Montero, who went 1 for 4 with three strikeouts on Thursday and had hits in all three starts in San Diego. McMahon, a standout second- and third-place defender, is fine with moving around defensively for more chances to solidify his offensive game.
McMahon’s first hit on Thursday, a two-run double after the first base in the third inning, was the type of hit he was looking for. Musgrove tried to go inside with a fastball but missed home plate. McMahon, who has good plaque awareness but didn’t perform as well against the heaters as he expected, burned it.
“I perfected myself,” McMahon said. “I was going to let him hit me if he painted the edges. I was just trying to dominate the middle. It helped me achieve my best swing.
Says Black: “I liked that he was on the fastball, and he got the break ball dangling and hit it in the seats.”