Big Night in Arlington: The Beginning or a Mirage? Time Will Tell

Let's just say with the way things have gone lately, the idea that the Rockies could survive on the road after the home team takes a 5-0 lead in the first inning seemed outlandish. Heck, the Rockies had never in their history won a road game when trailing 5-0 after the first inning.

Emphasis on the past tense.

It was just the fourth win in 14 games for the Rockies, a struggle that saw them drop from the NL West leader to the fourth team in the five-team standings.

Not only did the Rockies rally from that five-run deficit to stun the Texas Rangers 9-5 in Arlington, Tex., on Friday night but they did it with big efforts from a trio of folks who have been in extended struggles -- right-hander Chad Bettis, first baseman Ian Desmond and third baseman Nolan Arenado.

It allowed the Rockies to enjoy what was only their fourth win in 14 games.

Start with Bettis. Yes, he is now 5-1. No, that doesn't tell the whole story. He picked up the victory on Friday night. It was his first decision -- not just win -- in his last eight starts. He has a 7.78 ERA in those eight starts. 

So when he gives up five runs in the first -- including two-run home runs to both Jurickson Profar and Joey Gallo -- it didn't really seem the Rockies were in a position of strength. But then came a six-run Rockies rally in the top of the second, and then Bettis took off, dominating the Rangers lineup.

"It was time to go," said Bettis. "Those guys battled. For them to put up six after I gave up five was huge. It was not only seeing that, but it was hearing what was going on in our dugout. I felt like I needed to go out and show those guys thanks for picking me up."

Bettis did.

In pitching 5 2/3 innings, Bettis faced only 17 batters in getting his final 15 outs -- thanks to a double play. And by the time he departed with two out in the sixth, the Rockies were leading 7-5.

"I cleaned a lot of things up," said Betis. "The last four innings I figured out a lot of stuff. That's what I am going to build on."

Six Weeks of Struggles

Date Opponent W L IP H R ER HR BB SO
5/5/2018 @NYM W 2-0 1 0 7 6 0 0 0 1 2
5/11/2018 Mil L 11-10 0 0 5 10 7 7 1 3 3
5/17/2018 @SF W 5-3 0 0 6 5 3 3 1 2 5
5/22/2018 @LAD L 5-3 0 0 5 3 2 2 0 3 4
5/28/2018 SF W 6-5 0 0 6 10 5 5 1 0 2
6/3/2018 LAD L 10-7 0 0 5.2 7 5 5 2 0 6
6/9/2018 Ari L 12-7 0 0 4 5 5 5 3 2 6
6/15/2018 @Tex W 9-5 1 0 5.2 6 5 5 2 3 6
W L INN H R ER HR BB SO
Totals 1 0 37.1 46 32 32 10 13 32

Desmond is the guy who got it all started. He homered in the top of the second to produce the Rockies first run, setting the six-run inning in motion, and for good measure, he homered again in the game. 

Big deal? Well, it was only the 11th time in franchise history a Rockies player had a multi-home run game on the road against an American League team. And for Desmond, it was his second multi-home run game of the season, but only the sixth of his career.

POWERFUL STATEMENT

Multi-HR Games at AL Ballparks Desmond Multi HR Games
Player Date Opp HR Date Opponent HR
Larry Walker 6/25/2004 Cle 3 8/11/2010 Fla L 9-5 2
Nolan Arenado 5/3/2015 SD 2 8/11/2010 Fla L 5-9 2
Ian Desmond 6/15/2018 Tex 2 8/10/2015 @LAD W 8-3 2
Charlie Blackmon 6/21/2016 NYY 2 5/3/2017 @SD W 11-3 2
Michael Cuddyer 6/26/2013 Bos 2 5/6/2018 @NYM W 3-2 2
Seth Smith 6/21/2011 Clev 2 6/15/2018 @Tex W 9-5 2
Ty Wigginton 6/22/2011 Cle 2
Ty Wigginton 6/26/2011 NYY 2
Troy Tulowitzki 6/23/2009 LAA 2
Ian Stewart 6/13/2008 CWS 2
Ryan Spilborghs 6/10/2007 Bal 2

More importantly for Desmond and the Rockies, it is the continuation of what has been his recent recovery from a miserable start. When the game ended Friday night, Desmond's batting average was .203, the first time he has been at .200 since April 10. In 17 games since May 27, Desmond has hit .298, raising his average from .173 to .203.

Date Vs. AB H 2B 3B HR RBI AVG SLG
5/27/2018 Cin 3 1 0 0 1 2 0.333 1.333
5/28/2018 SF 3 2 0 0 0 2 0.5 1
5/29/2018 SF 5 2 1 0 0 1 0.455 0.818
5/30/2018 SF 4 2 0 0 0 0 0.467 0.733
6/1/2018 LAD 5 0 0 0 0 0 0.35 0.55
6/2/2018 LAD 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.333 0.524
6/3/2018 LAD 3 1 0 0 1 3 0.333 0.625
6/5/2018 @Cin 4 1 0 0 0 0 0.321 0.571
6/6/2018 @Cin 2 1 0 0 1 2 0.333 0.667
6/7/2018 @Cin 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.323 0.645
6/8/2018 Ari 3 0 0 0 0 0 0.294 0.588
6/9/2018 Ari 3 0 0 0 0 0 0.27 0.541
6/10/2018 Ari 4 2 0 0 0 2 0.293 0.537
6/12/2018 @Phi 4 1 0 0 0 0 0.289 0.511
6/13/2018 @Phi 4 1 0 0 1 2 0.286 0.551
6/14/2018 @Phi 3 0 0 0 0 0 0.269 0.519
6/15/2018 @Tex 5 3 0 0 2 2 0.298 0.632
AB H 2B 3B HR RBI AVG SLG
Since May 27 57 17 1 0 6 16 0.298 0.632
Before May 27 179 31 7 1 8 23 0.173 0.424
Season 236 48 8 1 14 39 0.203 0.424

And then there was Arenado. His RBI-double in the second brought to an end an 0-19 stretch, the longest of his career. It is one of six hitless streaks of 15 or more games for Arenado, including a 15 at-bat hitless streak  he suffered through just a week into his big-league career back in May of 2013.

It came after manager Bud Black decided to give Arenado Thursday off.

"It was a breather," he said. "It doesn't mean I'm going to go out and get a bunch of hits every time I have a day off, but I felt good," said Arenado.

Streak Began Through
0-19 2nd AB June 8, 2018 1st AB June 15, 2018
0-18 2nd AB July 11, 2013 2nd AB July 21, 2013
0-17 2nd AB Aug. 25, 2015 3rd AB Aug. 29. 2015
0-16 5th AB May 5, 2013 2nd AB May 11, 2013
0-15 1st AB May 21, 2016 3rd AB May 25, 2016
0-15 4th AB July 26, 2016 1st AB July 30, 2016
Tracy RingolsbyComment