Rockies Capitalize on Weekend Visit to Washington, D.C.

The Rockies have struggled on the road since their inception as part of NL expansion in 1993. 

Don't tell the Washington Nationals.

The Rockies have had a winning road record only once in their first 25 years of existence -- 41-40 in both 2009 and 2017

Don't tell the Nationals.

The Rockies are coming off a weekend visit to Washington, D.C., in which they won three out of four from the Nationals, and on Sunday they pulled out a 6-5 victory on a ninth-inning home run by Ian Desmond.

Same Ian Desmond, who is still a favorite at Nationals Park with a fan base that remembers him wearing a Nationals uniform his first seven big-league seasons.

Also the same Ian Desmond who went to the plate in the ninth inning against reliever Sean Dolittle in a 2-for-38 slump in which he had 14 strikeouts.

"After my (previous) at-bat, I went to the outfield feeling like things were coming back," said Desmond. "When the rain comes, the sun always comes after. I felt like good things were coming. And what a perfect moment for it to come back. Hopefully I can move on from that last swing."

But then there is something about Nationals Park that brings out the best in the Rockies. Their only winning record in a current NL ballpark is at Nationals Park.

And to think, the Nationals had Stephen Strasburg on the mound to start the game. Strasburg does have the third best career winning percentage among active pitchers with at least 100 starts, and is 42-23 lifetime at Nationals Park in 101 career starts.

Strasburg, however, and the Rockies don't mix. The Rockies are now 5-4 in games Strasburg has started against them. And his 4.19 career ERA against the Rockies is his second highest against an NL team, behind only a 5.30 ERA against the Brewers.

The Rockies did flex their muscles. Not only did Desmond hit his home run in the ninth, but DJ LeMahieu and Charlie Blackmon both homered. LeMahieu gave the Rockies a brief, 5-4 lead in the top of the eighth when he connected against Shawn Kelly. Blackmon tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth off Strasburg.

It was the 11th time the Rockies have hit three or more home runs in a game against the Nationals since they moved from Montreal to Washington, D.C., in 2006, and the sixth time the Rockies had three or more in a game at Nationals Park.

The most bizarre thing was Rockies pitchers walked 10 batters and the Rockies still won the game. The Rockies have walked 10 or more batters in a game 42 times, but have won only six of those games. The club record is 12 walks in a game, but that has not happened since 1999.

It is early, but the Rockies are 7-4 on the road, having won three of four from the Nationals after opening the season winning one of three at Arizona and winning and taking three of four at San Diego as well as in Washington, D.C. Big deal? Well, since 2007, the Rockies have advanced to the post-season three times, but they still have the worst composite road record in baseball since the start of the 2007 season.

Tracy RingolsbyComment