Rockies Have Rediscovered Inter-League Success

After six years of dreading the mention of Inter-League play, the Rockies are starting to enjoy these in-season match-ups with American League teams. A team that had not had a winning record against AL teams in the last six seasons has won 12 of 17 games this year with a game in Houston remaining on Wednesday, and a two-game visit to Anaheim Aug. 27-28.

The 12 wins matches Pittsburgh for the most in the NL. The Pirates, however, have only played 16 inter-league games so far (compared to 17 for the Rockies) and so the Rockies .706 winning percentage is the second best to the Pirates (.750).

Rockies W L Pct Team W L Pct
2018 12 5 .706 Pittsburgh Pirates 12 4 .750
2017 10 10 .500 Colorado Rockies 12 5 .706
2016 9 11 .450 Chicago Cubs 10 5 .667
2015 5 15 .250 Philadelphia Phillies 10 6 .625
2014 7 13 .350 Cincinnati Reds 10 7 .588
2013 5 15 .250 Milwaukee Brewers 10 7 .588
2012 2 13 .133 St. Louis Cardinals 10 7 .588
Miami Marlins 7 6 .538
Los Angeles Dodgers 8 7 .533
Arizona Diamondbacks 6 6 .500
Atlanta Braves 7 8 .467
Washington Nationals 9 11 .450
New York Mets 6 10 .375
San Francisco Giants 6 11 .353
San Diego Padres 2 10 .167

Source: Stats, Inc.

Carlos Gonzalez is certainly enjoying facing American League pitching. After struggling in the opening month of the season, Gonzalez has seen his average steadily climb. And facing AL pitching hasn't hurt. He is hitting .397 against AL pitching this year, second best among qualifying National League hitters.

Player Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG
Devin Mesoraco Cin-NYM 11 30 6 12 2 0 2 5 7 7 .400
Carlos Gonzalez Col 15 58 13 23 10 0 3 9 5 10 .397
Mike Trout LAA 13 43 7 17 2 0 4 8 11 8 .395
Willson Contreras ChC 14 51 8 20 4 1 5 16 6 11 .392
Michael A. Taylor Was 19 51 5 20 2 0 0 5 4 10 .392
Shin-soo Choo Tex 12 49 6 19 2 0 3 7 6 12 .388
Jon Jay KC-Ari 11 44 7 17 0 1 0 5 3 6 .386
Juan Soto Was 19 62 11 23 4 0 3 10 13 16 .371
Miguel Rojas Mia 11 36 3 13 4 0 0 4 4 5 .361

Rockies hitters, in general, have enjoyed the experience of inter-league play. Led by Gonzalez, eight Rockies are hitting .292 or better against AL pitchers. Only four of the 17 position players the Rockies have used are hitting below .263. 

Rockin' the AL Hurlers

Player AB H 2B HR RBI AVG
Carlos Gonzalez 58 23 10 3 9 .397
Pat Valaika 16 6 0 1 2 .375
David Dahl 6 2 1 0 0 .333
Ian Desmond 61 20 0 2 6 .328
Trevor Story 65 21 4 5 14 .323
Charlie Blackmon 70 21 6 4 7 .300
Nolan Arenado 65 19 6 4 12 .292
Noel Cuevas 24 7 0 1 3 .292
Garrett Hampson 11 3 0 0 1 .273
DJ LeMahieu 44 12 4 1 5 .273
Ryan McMahon 11 3 2 0 1 .273
Gerardo Parra 49 13 3 0 8 .265
Tony Wolters 19 5 1 0 7 .263
Tom Murphy 29 6 2 1 4 .207
Raimel Tapia 8 1 1 0 0 .125
Chris Iannetta 21 1 0 0 1 .048
Daniel Castro 4 0 0 0 0 .000

And the Rockies rotation is certainly rolling along in inter-league play. Among NL pitchers who have made at least three starts against AL teams this season, three of the 10 lowest ERAs belong to Rockies -- Kyle Freeland (third, 1.50), German Marquez (fourth, 1.74) and Jon gray (10th, 2.39).

Player Team W L GS IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA
Jose Urena Mia 1 0 3 20 10 1 1 0 4 17 0.45
Aaron Nola Phi 1 0 3 21.2 12 3 3 0 6 25 1.25
Kyle Freeland Col 1 0 3 18 18 3 3 1 8 12 1.50
German Marquez Col 3 0 3 20.2 13 4 4 3 3 20 1.74
Miles Mikolas StL 2 0 3 19.2 14 4 4 0 4 17 1.83
Jacob deGrom NYM 1 1 3 22.2 13 7 5 2 5 28 1.99
Madison Bumgarner SF 1 0 3 17 10 4 4 1 12 17 2.12
Max Scherzer Was 2 3 6 42 24 10 10 3 9 57 2.14
Johnny Cueto SF 2 0 3 19 16 5 5 3 6 11 2.37
Jon Gray Col 2 0 4 26.1 16 9 7 1 5 29 2.39

The Rockies rotation has compiled a 3.12 ERA in the 17 inter-league games,  and with the addition of Tyler Anderson, who ranks 18th in the NL, they have four pitchers who rank among the 20 lowest ERAs in the NL for a starting pitcher with at least three inter-league starts.

Player W L GS IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA
Jon Gray 2 0 4 26.1 16 9 7 1 5 29 2.39
Tyler Anderson 0 1 3 18.1 14 8 7 3 5 13 3.44
Kyle Freeland 1 0 3 18 18 3 3 1 8 12 1.50
German Marquez 3 0 3 20.2 13 4 4 3 3 20 1.74
Antonio Senzatela 1 1 2 11.2 10 7 7 1 7 8 5.40
Chad Bettis 1 0 1 5.2 6 5 5 2 3 6 7.94
Jeff Hoffman 0 0 1 3.1 8 3 3 0 1 2 8.10
Totals 8 2 17 104 85 39 36 11 32 90 3.12
Tracy RingolsbyComment