They're back: Desi and Cargo Are Stars of Rockies July Show
In the opening weeks of the season, when the Rockies were struggling through an inconsistent time, Ian Desmond and Carlos Gonzalez drew the brunt of the criticism from certain segments of the media and the fan base.
Rockies manager Bud Black preached patience.
There is, as the late-Jim Fregosi would often say, a reason the back of their baseball cards were cluttered with numbers -- because they had a track record for producing runs.
And there were issues both players had to deal with. Desmond had made some adjustements in his approach at the plate in search of increasing his power, and Gonzalez was among the free agents sitting at home without a contract when spring training started, finally coming to agreement with the Rockies but not until the exhibition season was underway.
There were two reasons for a belief that both Desmond and Gonzalez would be just fine.
For one, they both remained strong factors in the clubhouse. They weren't feeling sorry for themselves. They were making sure their teammates kept a focus on the job at hand.
The other, is they both had a history of being big-time performers.
History has become reality.
The Rockies are enjoying the best July in the National League, they find themselves just two games back of the NL West-leading Dodgers, and a half-game back of the Diamondbacks in the bid for the second NL wild-card spot.
And while they have been overshadowed by Nolan Arenado taking over the NL lead in home runs, and a pitching staff that has the second lowest ERA in MLB for the month of July, Desmond and Gonzalez have played critical parts in the Rockies resurgence.
It's been a step-by-step ascension, but both have shown steady improvement each month of the season.
On the Upswing
With the revival of Gonzalez and Desomond, the Rockies have six players hitting better than .290 in the month of July -- leaving one outfield position and catcher as the only missing ingredients in the staring lineup. Recent call up. Tom Murphy leads catchers at .240.Gerardo Parra, the third starting outfielder, has hit .216 in July.
Celebrate the 4th
Five of the Rockies are among the top 23 in the NL in batting average for July. Charlie Blackmon is seventh in the NL, but leads the team. Carlos Gonzalez is ninth in the NL, Trevor Story 11th, and Desmond is 14th, and Arenado is 23nd.
As a team, the Rockies lead the NL -- and are tied with the Yankees for the MLB lead -- in average during July. They have hit .283 while the Dodgers, second among NL West teams, are hitting .266 followed by the Diamondbacks (.261) and and the Padres (.225) are 14th among the 15 NL teams.
Swing of Things
Given the Rockies not only lead the NL with a 15-5 record in July, but they have a 3.19 ERA (second lowesst in the NL) it's no surprise they have a chance to be a critical part of the NL West race down the stretch.
Armed and Ready