Rockies Have Excelled Vs. Best in Ball -- They Can't Afford to Let Up Now

The last time the Rockies played a team with a losing record was when the Marlins came to Coors Field June 23-25. They lost two out of three to the Marlins that weekend, and then went on the road, where they lost the first two games of a three-game series in San Francisco.

They fell four games below .500 (38-42), into fourth place in the NL West, eight games out of first, and just 3 1/2 games ahead of the last-place Padres..

On the final day in San Francisco, however, DJ LeMahieu's two-run home run in the top of the ninth, lifted the Rockies to a 9-8 victory, and now look at the Rockies.

They have put together the best record in the NL since -- 27-14 -- moving into second place in the NL West, just 1 1/2 games back of the division-leading Diamondbacks, and are looking forward to the rest of the season. 

Getting Themselves Back in the Race

Team W L Pct IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA
Rockies 27 14 0.659 365.1 308 162 152 42 126 348 3.74
Cubs 27 15 0.643 381 390 203 192 49 149 329 4.54
Phillies 25 18 0.581 397.1 366 186 162 44 134 366 3.67
Braves 23 18 0.561 362 317 170 158 46 148 360 3.93
Cardinals 24 19 0.558 379.2 359 185 168 34 142 317 3.98
Pirates 23 19 0.548 366 394 187 171 39 143 307 4.2
Dodgers 22 21 0.512 390.1 318 160 149 51 100 407 3.44
D-backs 21 21 0.5 382.1 351 176 163 42 126 377 3.84
Brewers 22 22 0.5 392.1 386 226 207 58 159 368 4.75
Mets 20 22 0.476 372.1 372 196 185 49 118 321 4.47
Giants 19 22 0.463 377.2 363 173 163 45 131 333 3.88
Nationals 20 24 0.455 387.2 393 194 184 51 125 333 4.27
Reds 18 23 0.439 364.1 390 218 196 64 122 309 4.84
Marlins 16 26 0.381 380.1 379 224 208 48 166 326 4.92
Padres 12 29 0.293 371 380 217 204 48 135 339 4.95

Yes, they have only seven of their final 40 games against a team with a losing record -- all against the Padres. That, however, hasn't been a problem for them in their 41-game climb back into the post-season race. They have played teams with a winning record in each of their last 41 games.

Winning Against the Winners

Team W L Pct SvOP IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA AVG
Giants 4 0 1.000 3-4 36 26 11 10 2 10 30 2.50 .190
A's 3 0 1.000 3-3 27 20 4 4 2 10 28 1.33 .204
Braves 1 0 1.000 1-1 9 6 3 3 1 1 11 3.00 .194
Mariners 5 1 .833 2-2 53 48 19 19 3 15 43 3.23 .244
Dodgers 5 2 .714 3-5 62 55 25 24 10 15 60 3.48 .240
Mariners 4 2 .667 2-4 53 50 29 26 4 27 56 4.42 .246
Astros 2 2 .5 0 36 25 23 21 7 14 33 5.25 .198
Brewers 1 2 .333 1-3 27.2 23 17 16 7 10 28 5.20 .228
Pirates 1 2 .333 1-1 27 23 14 13 3 10 28 4.33 .230
Cardinals 1 3 .250 1-3 34.2 32 17 16 3 14 31 4.15 .242
Totals 27 14 .659 17-26 365.1 308 162 152 42 126 348 3.74 .228

Here is the kicker. The Rockies not only have the best record in the NL during their 41-game climb back into the post-season race, but they have the third lowest ERA among the 15 NL teams during that time, and that's despite playing 21 of the 40 games at Coors Field.

Pitching In to Win

Team W L Pct IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA
Rockies 27 14 .659 365.1 308 162 152 42 126 348 3.74
Cubs 27 15 .643 381 390 203 192 49 149 329 4.54
Phillies 25 18 .581 397.1 366 186 162 44 134 366 3.67
Braves 23 18 .561 362 317 170 158 46 148 360 3.93
Cardinals 24 19 .558 379.2 359 185 168 34 142 317 3.98
Pirates 23 19 .548 366 394 187 171 39 143 307 4.20
Dodgers 22 21 .512 390.1 318 160 149 51 100 407 3.44
D-backs 21 21 .500 382.1 351 176 163 42 126 377 3.84
Brewers 22 22 .500 392.1 386 226 207 58 159 368 4.75
Mets 20 22 .476 372.1 372 196 185 49 118 321 4.47
Giants 19 22 .463 377.2 363 173 163 45 131 333 3.88
Nationals 20 24 .455 387.2 393 194 184 51 125 333 4.27
Reds 18 23 .439 364.1 390 218 196 64 122 309 4.84
Marlins 16 26 .381 380.1 379 224 208 48 166 326 4.92

With the return and resurgence of Jon Gray, the rotation has provided a solid foundation for the surge. Gray, Kyle Freeland and German Marquez are not only a combined 10-2 during the team's 41-game climb back into the post-season race, but the Rockies are 20-3 in the games those three have started.

Starters Providing Foundation for Success

Player W L Team IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA
Jon Gray 2 0 7-0 46.1 34 19 17 5 11 45 3.30
Kyle Freeland 3 1 7-1 47.2 41 13 13 3 20 39 2.45
German Marquez 5 1 6-2 52.2 41 18 17 6 12 62 2.91
Antonio Senzatela 2 2 2-3 30 23 12 12 1 11 23 3.60
Tyler Anderson 2 2 3-6 55.2 38 26 25 9 21 54 4.04
Chad Bettis 0 1 1-2 14 13 12 12 2 8 8 7.71
Jeff Hoffman 0 0 1-0 3.1 8 3 3 0 1 2 8.10
14 7 27-14 247 198 103 99 26 84 233 3.61

 

They have put together their 41-game surge despite an offense that ranks 10th in the NL in runs scored during that stretch. They even set a franchise record in the series-opener at Atlanta on Thursday when they failed to score more than six runs for the 24th consecutive game. During that stretch they are hitting .234 overall, and are last in Major League Baseball with a .156 average with runners in scoring position.

A Hit Without Hitting

Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG
Nationals 44 1528 235 414 69 9 60 229 172 342 .271
Cardinals 43 1489 216 400 79 4 53 210 150 313 .269
Cubs 42 1434 211 393 78 6 43 200 152 334 .274
Brewers 44 1521 201 389 63 10 56 190 133 411 .256
Mets 42 1413 199 342 76 9 45 182 156 351 .242
Pirates 42 1421 197 379 75 11 49 191 106 334 .267
Braves 41 1400 195 372 84 7 49 192 100 314 .266
Dodgers 43 1467 194 360 79 6 57 184 169 396 .245
D-backs 42 1457 191 379 84 10 41 181 154 353 .26
Rockies 41 1387 189 359 69 13 55 181 116 346 .259
Phillies 43 1491 187 355 62 8 54 179 145 393 .238
Reds 41 1392 183 360 68 5 40 175 139 353 .259
Padres 41 1409 164 336 64 7 44 153 123 381 .238
Giants 41 1424 161 341 65 7 27 151 119 333 .239
Marlins 42 1437 156 348 45 4 34 147 107 321 .242

The Rockies have been given a lift by the recent recall of David Dahl and Ryan McMahon, who were key factors in Thursday's three-run ninth inning. Dahl delivered the game-winning hit in three-run ninth after McMahon drove in the game-tying run. And it was McMahon who had back-to-back game-winning home runs against the Dodgers last weekend, including a three-run, walk-off shot in the 3-2 victory on Saturday.

During the 41-game stretch, Charlie Blackmon had delivered the most game-winning RBI (four), but 14 different position players have had at least one game-winning RBI in the 27 wins, including seven who have had two.

Delivering In the Clutch

Player GA RBI GW RBI PA Avg. HR
Nolan Arenado 6 2 167 .311 12
Carlos Gonzalez 6 2 154 .305 7
Trevor Story 6 2 161 .340 9
Charlie Blackmon 5 4 174 .263 8
Ian Desmond 3 0 155 .259 3
Chris Iannetta 3 2 83 .192 3
DJ LeMahieu 3 1 135 .272 2
David Dahl 2 1 35 .258 2
Ryan McMahon 2 2 49 .293 2
Tom Murphy 2 2 49 .149 2
Raimel Tapia 2 2 20 .222 1
Pat Valaika 2 2 42 .211 2
Noel Cuevas 1 1 34 .188 1
Garrett Hampson 1 1 25 .286 0
Gerardo Parra 1 1 124 .243 0
Tracy RingolsbyComment