Arenado Spoke Out in June; Rockies Have Answered Concerns Since
In the final days of June, and with the seasons seemingly slipping away, there was an uneasy feeling in the Rockies clubhouse. A ballclub that broke spring training with ideas of building off last year's wild-card qualifcation for the post-season not only had fallen a season-worst four games below .500, and found itself closer to last place in the NL West than first, but it couldn't even win at home, having opened the season losing 22 of its first 37 games at Coors Field.
Nolan Arenado couldn't bite his tongue any longer.
"I'm tired of coming to the ballpark and losing," he told The Athletic, speaking not for himself, but for his teammates. “We work too hard as a group to experience that. I’m not saying I go home questioning, like, ‘I don’t like this place.’ I love it here. But yeah, I want to win. And the more we lose, the more I — if you lose all the time, nobody wants to be there.”
Fifty-three days later, the concerns have been eased.
The Rockies, on Sunday, completed a four-game sweep, something they have done on the road only seven times in franchise history, and the first time ever in Atlanta.
4-for-4 on the Road
And they also completed that 46-game challenge of facing nothing but teams with a winning record by going 30-16, markedly better than the two teams who dealt with that situation in the past -- the 1926 Phillies who went 15-21, and 2012 Braves, who were 22-24.
In the process, the Rockies also turned what was an eight-game deficit in the NL West to just a half-game back of the division-leading Diamondbacks.
Arenado quickly dismisses the notion that his statement of disappointment during that late June day in San Francisco had anything to do with the success the Rockies have enjoyed since.
"Talk doesn't get it done," Arenado said after Sunday's victory. "It is the way you play. We are playing well now. Everyone is contributing, the starting pitching, the bullpen, the defense, the offense.
"The offense can do a better job, but we are finding a way, and the pitching is keeping us in games. It is kind of scary to know we can be better. That is going to help us out."
The Pitching Staff has made it's presence felt. During the Rockies 46-game run. In compiling the best record in the NL, the Rockies also have a 3.65 ERA, which ranks as the third lowest.
An ERA to Remember
And while the Rockies offense may have only the ninth best average in the NL during their 46-game run, shortstop Trevor Story has taken that next step in establishing himself as a premiere offensive player, in addition to being skilled defensively. He leads the NL since June 26 with a .345 average, and is even hitting .367 on the road second in the NL to only Paul Goldschmidt.
The Hits Keep Coming
|Trevor Story||Col||.345||Paul Goldschmidt||Ari||.388|
|Christian Yelich||Mil||.341||Trevor Story||Col||.367|
|Paul Goldschmidt||Ari||.339||Daniel Murphy||Was||.363|
|David Peralta||Cin||.337||Starlin Castro||Mia||.347|
|Jose Peraza||Was||.335||Yadier Molina||StL||.344|
|Daniel Murphy||Ari||.329||Javier Baez||ChC||.338|
|Lorenzo Cain||Mil||.324||Lorenzo Cain||Mil||.338|
|Javier Baez||ChC||.321||Corey Dickerson||Pit||.337|
|Freddie Freeman||Atl||.32||Jose Peraza||Cin||.333|
|Starlin Castro||Mia||.316||Josh Bell||Pitt||.333|
Now, however, comes the challenge. The Rockies have have 38 games remaining on their regular-season schedule, and while they play seven of those games against the Padres, the other 31 are against teams with winning records, including six with the Dodgers (three home and three road) and seven with the Diamondbacks (four home and three road).
"We're baseball against good teams, and we're finding a way to win against teams who also know how to win," said center fielder Charlie Blackmon. "It's not like we're beating a team that can't win. Some teams, when they are not going good, find a way to lose. But the teams we've been playing find a way to win, consistently."
And the Rockies like to feel that in the just-completed 46-game stretch they have moved into that group that can find a way to win, even when it isn't playing well.
The next six weeks will serve as the proving ground for the Rockies to establish that.
|Tuesday-Thursday||vs. San Diego Padres||49-78|
|Friday-Sunday||vs. St. Louis Cardinals||68-57|
|Aug 27 - 28||@ Los Angeles Angels||63-63|
|Aug 30 - Sept 2||@ San Diego Padres||49-78|
|Sept. 3 - 5||vs. San Francisco Giants||61-64|
|Sept. 7 - 9||vs. Los Angeles Dodgers||67-58|
|Sept. 10 - 13||vs. Arizona Diamondbacks||69-56|
|Sept. 14 - 16||@ San Francisco Giants||61-64|
|Sept. 17 - 19||@ Los Angeles Dodgers||67-58|
|Sept. 21 - 23||@ Arizona Diamondbacks||69-56|
|Sept. 24 - 27||vs. Philadelphia Phillies||68-56|
|Sept. 28 - 30||vs. Washington Nationals||62-63|