Rockies Take to Road, Looking to Build Off Late-Inning Magic

Rockies manager Bud Black preaches the one game at a time mentality.

He talks about  how the Rockies know how to celebrate a big win, like those three late-inning victories the last three games at Coors Field against the Dodgers, which included back-to-back walk-off wins, without suffering a hangover the next game.

Now they are in Houston, opening a two-game series against the AL West-leading, defending world champion Astros on Tuesday night.

"What's important is each and every game is a new entity, and our guys come to play each and every night," he said after Sunday's series finale against the Dodgers. "On the flight to Houston (Sunday night) we will feel good about this game, but our guys also know we are in for a tough test this week, the Astros and the Braves. It's part of August and September when you are in it."

And yes, the Rockies are "in it" after taking those final three games from the Dodgers, they are in second place in the NL West, a game back of the Diamondbacks and percentage points ahead of the Dodgers.

They are 3 1/2 back in the NL wild-card race.

There are, however, 44 games remaining. There is no time to kick back and relax. Celebrations are for October, not August. And as much as a physical game, right now it's a mental challenge, and Blacks gives the Rockies a passing grade, so far.

"Mentally we are doing the right things late in the game," he said. "This time of year guys can get a little physically tired from the dog days of August and the heat. I want to make sure mentally we are ready for the later part of the game. We are doing everything we can to keep these guys physically fresh. the mental part is the challenge."

And the Astros are certainly a challenge. They have dominated the Rockies since moving to the American League.

Rockies vs. Astros in Inter-League Play

Dates Opp W L Sv SvOP IP H R ER HR BB SO
July 24-25 vs. Hou 1 1 0 0 19 11 10 8 2 7 17
June 17-18, 2015 vs. Hou 0 2 0 0 18 26 16 16 6 6 22
June 15-16, 2015 at Hou 0 2 0 0 16 20 14 14 6 7 19
5/29/2013 vs. Hou 0 2 0 0 18 21 13 13 3 6 19
5/27/2013 at Hou 1 1 1 1 20.2 14 4 4 0 7 20
Totals ERA 5.40 2 8 1 1 91.2 92 57 55 17 33 87
Coors Field ERA 6.05 1 5 55 58 39 37 11 19 56
Minute Maid ERA 4.42 1 3 1 1 36.2 34 18 18 6 14 31

Since the Astros made the move to the AL in 2013, their 8-2 record against the Rockies is the fourth best winning percentage of any AL team -- the best of any AL team that has played more than six games against the Rockies in that stretch.

Rockies vs. AL Teams Since 2013

Opp W L Pct Sv SvOP IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA
LAA 1 5 0.167 1 1-2 54.1 56 30 30 10 16 38 4.97
Det 1 5 0.167 0 0 51 59 32 32 7 17 45 5.65
Tor 1 5 0.167 0 0 51 56 39 33 9 20 34 5.82
Hou 2 8 0.2 1 1-1 91.2 92 57 55 17 33 97 5.4
Bos 2 5 0.286 0 0 59 84 54 51 6 26 43 7.78
KC 2 5 0.286 2 2-4 59.2 61 28 27 6 22 30 4.07
TB 2 4 0.333 1 1-1 55 66 43 39 4 22 34 6.38
Cle 3 4 0.429 1 1-2 63 55 28 28 9 22 42 4
Tex 6 8 0.429 1 1-7 122.1 132 84 76 14 61 100 5.59
Min 3 3 0.5 2 2-2 53 62 30 28 4 24 38 4.75
Bal 3 3 0.5 2 2-3 52.1 47 25 17 6 23 35 2.92
Sea 9 7 0.563 5 5-5 143 153 77 75 16 58 121 4.72
NYY 4 3 0.571 3 3-4 62 58 32 27 6 19 51 3.92
Oak 4 2 0.667 4 4-4 52 45 16 15 5 21 42 2.6
CWS 4 2 0.667 0 0-0 54 53 29 27 8 17 36 4.5

The visit to Atlanta will be interesting. While the Rockies lost two of three to the Braves at Coors Field in the first home series of the season, the Rockies have actually had success in recent years against the Braves. It is a stark contrast from the Rockies early years, when the Braves were in the midst of winning a record-setting 15 consecutive division titles.

The Rockies went 6-30 against the Braves in their first three years of existence, including losing all 13 games in the Rockies inaugural season of 1993.

The Rockies have won the season series from the Braves the last three years.

A Brave New World

Season W L Pct SvOP IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA
2018 1 2 .333 0-1 28 27 14 14 4 13 16 4.5
2017 4 3 .571 3-3 62 58 27 26 8 19 44 3.77
2016 6 1 .857 3-3 62.2 53 18 17 2 31 53 2.44
2015 6 1 .857 3-3 62 59 20 20 7 34 54 2.9
Totals 17 7 .708 9-10 202.2 197 79 77 21 97 167 3.42

In fact, since the start of 2015, the Rockies have a higher winning percentage against the Braves than any other team in the National League. 

Opp W L Pct SvOP IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA
Atl 17 7 .708 9-10 214.2 197 79 77 21 97 167 3.23
SF 40 30 .571 18-27 628 668 318 303 70 192 457 4.34
Was 13 10 .565 9-14 205 215 137 129 32 101 181 5.66
ChC 14 11 .560 6-8 222.2 191 113 104 30 85 206 4.20
NYM 15 12 .556 9-13 236 269 161 154 33 92 205 5.87
Phi 13 11 .542 5-8 212.1 201 97 89 21 66 198 3.77
Cin 14 12 .538 8-12 234 264 141 134 39 88 186 5.15
SD 36 33 .522 22-31 605.1 586 331 300 86 186 588 4.46
Mil 12 14 .462 7-14 234.2 234 123 119 35 94 243 4.56
LAD 31 39 .443 17-33 613.2 604 343 317 79 292 526 4.65
Ari 28 41 .406 20-34 609 727 428 395 80 262 541 5.84
StL 8 15 .348 3-6 199 221 108 102 28 70 176 4.61
Pit 9 17 .346 3-4 230 252 138 132 24 92 201 5.17
Mia 8 18 .308 3-4 224 246 124 118 26 81 180 4.74
Tracy RingolsbyComment