Monday 4x4: Desmond Renewing Vows With Long-Time Approach at Plate
Ian Desmond decided to try the latest fad of creating a hitting stroke designed to provide loft when contact is made. Now, he knows better. The lesson was difficult, and Desmond has returned to his old approach.
"A few years ago, I made a commitment that I was going to be married to my swing," Desmond said Sunday. "During the off-season and spring training, I cheated on my swing. You stray, you pay. She has made me pay for about a month and change. We are in counseling. Hopefully, we are getting back on good terms."
There are indications things are getting better. Desmond woke up April 22 hitting .151 with twice as many strikeouts (22) as hits (11). Things began to change that day. In 12 games Desmond has hit .250 and has had an impact. He has four doubles and a home run among the 11 hits, including doubling to drive in one run and score another in the Rockies 8-7 win against the Mets on Friday, and two home runs, including the game-winner in the eighth, in Sunday's 3-2 victory.
Desmond on the Rise
|Through April 21||73||9||11||1||0||4||11||0||3||22||1||0||37||0.151||0.182||0.329|
|Since April 22||44||4||11||4||0||2||5||2||2||9||2||1||19||0.25||0.313||0.477|
Adam Ottavino earned the save in Sunday's 3-2 victory, his first save since Sept. 30, 2016. His struggles last season were severe enough that he only had two save opportunities -- on April 6, and June 25.
He recorded the three outs in the ninth inning with three strikeouts, but mixed in was a one-out walk, and two-out single. Ottavino, however, didn't waiver, but he did downplay how he has handled pitching with men on base this season.
"Honestly, I haven't had that much traffic," he said.
Talk about a marked change from one season to the next. A year ago, among pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched, Ottavino had the fourth highest base runners per nine innings ratio in MLB. This year, among pitchers with at least 15 innings pitched, he has the third lowest ratio.
|Sean Doolittle||Was||15.2||4.6||13.79||Sam Dyson||Tex-SF||54.2||16.46||5.6|
|Josh Hader||Mil||20||4.95||19.35||Josh Smoker||NYM||56.1||15.82||10.86|
|Adam Ottavino||Col||19||6.16||16.58||Chris Beck||CWS||64.2||15.45||5.85|
|Dan Winkler||Atl||15.1||6.46||12.91||Adam Ottavino||Col||53.1||15.36||10.63|
|Jeremy Jeffress||Mil||18.2||6.75||6.75||Jhan Marinez||TexMilPitt||58.1||14.97||6.94|
|Archie Bradley||Ari||19||7.11||9||Jeremy Jeffress||Tex-Mil||63.1||14.92||7.25|
|Robbie Erlin||SD||19||7.58||8.05||Drew Storen||Cin||54.2||14.82||7.9|
|David Robertson||NYY||17.1||7.79||10.9||Scott Oberg||Col||58.1||14.81||8.49|
|Yoshihisa Hirano||Ari||15||7.8||8.4||Aaron Loup||Tor||57.2||14.67||9.99|
|Carl Edwards Jr.||ChC||16||7.88||15.19||Warwick Saupold||Det||62.2||14.51||6.32|
|Drew Steckenrider||Mia||16||7.88||12.38||Source: Stats, In.|
The Rockies lead MLB with 33 home runs on the road, but then they have played more road games (23) than any other team. The telling stat for their power surge away from Coors Field is, however, illustrated by the fact they have the second highest NL home home run per at-bat ratio on the road, less than an at-bat behind the Cardinals.
|St. Louis Cardinals||23||22.22||Charlie Blackmon||82||10|
|Colorado Rockies||33||23||Nolan Arenado||67||5|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||21||23.86||Ian Desmond||77||5|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||27||25.63||DJ LeMahieu||53||5|
|Atlanta Braves||26||25.81||Chris Iannetta||54||2|
|Washington Nationals||19||27.05||Trevor Story||86||2|
|New York Mets||17||31.41||David Dahl||24||1|
|Chicago Cubs||19||34.47||Carlos Gonzalez||62||1|
|Milwaukee Brewers||18||34.94||Gerardo Parra||70||1|
|San Francisco Giants||16||36.69||Tony Wolters||26||1|
|San Diego Padres||13||39||Source: Stats, Inc.|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||15||46.93|
With the weekend sweep of the Mets at Citi Park the Rockies are 15-8 against NL East teams, and more impressively they have a 3.35 ERA in those 23 games, having allowed an average of .213 in those 23 games against NL East teams.
Impressive? Well, the Rockies have had an ERA lower than 4.00 against NL East teams only once in their previous 25 years of existence.
Strong Arming the East
Source: Stats, Inc.