Rockies Enjoy The American Way

NL West W L
Rockies 13 7
Dodgers 11 8
D-backs 9 8
Giants 8 12
Padres 3 11
-
Vs. ALW W L
A's 3 0
Mariners 5 1
Astros 2 2
Angels 2 2
Rangers 1 2

For all the trials and tribulations of their past experiences with the American League since inter-league play was adopted in 1997, the Rockies actually benefited in their bid to win the NL West from their 20 games against the AL West this season.

The Rockies won a division-best 13 games, two more than the Dodgers, who have one game remaining, and four more than the D-Backs who still have three games AL games to play.

How good of an inter-league effort did the Rockies put together? Well, they had a winning record for only the sixth time in the 22 years of inter-league play, and the first time in seven years. Their .471 OPS equaled the franchise's third best in inter-league play, and they won a franchise record 13 games against AL teams.

The Rockies effort in inter-league play has been a key factor in their becoming a factor in the NL West race. Remember, this is a team that was eight games out and in fourth place on June 28, and they woke up Wednesday tied for first place with the Diamondbacks, looking in the rear-view mirror at the defending NL champion Dodgers, Giants and Padres.

Now the key is for them to maintain that approach against the remaining NL teams on their schedule. On Thursday, they open a four-game series in San Diego, and then, after that, they have a 10-game home stand featuring the Giants and Dodgers for three each with the D-backs coming to Coors Field for four games. Then comes a nine-game road trip with three games each against the Giants, Dodgers and D-backs before the regular season concludes with a homestand of four games against the Phillies and three against the Nationals.

Over the Years Vs. The American League

Season W L Pct Sv SvOP ERA Avg. OBP SLG
2018 13 7 .650 7 9 4.39 .271 .325 .471
2017 10 10 .500 5 7 3.61 .252 .321 .424
2016 9 11 .450 6 12 5.72 .283 .336 .450
2015 5 15 .250 3 5 5.84 .242 .303 .356
2014 7 13 .350 1 2 5.41 .288 .329 .455
2013 5 15 .250 2 2 4.84 .255 .318 .411
2012 2 13 .133 0 2 6.41 .286 .337 .471
2011 8 7 .533 5 8 5.06 .270 .341 .473
2010 9 6 .600 4 5 4.43 .275 .326 .441
2009 11 4 .733 8 9 4.02 .278 .353 .436
2008 7 8 .467 5 9 3.79 .274 .333 .436
2007 10 8 .556 4 7 3.94 .273 .34 .443
2006 11 4 .733 3 7 2.96 .283 .369 .445
2005 6 9 .400 3 4 4.84 .247 .324 .370
2004 8 10 .444 5 8 5.98 .284 .356 .424
2003 9 6 .600 5 6 6.00 .290 .355 .502
2002 7 11 .389 4 7 5.82 .281 .347 .432
2001 2 10 .167 0 1 6.38 .243 .308 .400
2000 6 6 .500 1 4 6.39 .316 .376 .485
1999 4 8 .333 2 3 6.06 .263 .333 .423
1998 4 8 .333 2 3 6.04 .287 .339 .459
1997 9 7 .563 2 4 5.43 .295 .352 .491

And it was fitting that it was Kyle Freeland who won the finale in Anaheim on Tuesday night. He was 2-0 in four starts against AL teams, but the Rockies won all four games and his 1.50 ERA against AL teams was the best on the staff, just ahead of German Marquez (1.74).

For Starters in 2018

Player W L GS IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA AVG
Kyle Freeland 2 0 4 24 23 4 4 1 10 18 1.50 .250
German Marquez 3 0 3 20.2 13 4 4 3 3 20 1.74 .183
Jon Gray 2 0 5 33 23 14 12 3 5 30 3.27 .192
Antonio Senzatela 1 1 2 11.2 10 7 7 1 7 8 5.40 .238
Tyler Anderson 0 2 4 22.2 21 17 16 6 8 17 6.35 .247
Chad Bettis 1 0 1 5.2 6 5 5 2 3 6 7.94 .286
Jeff Hoffman 0 0 1 3.1 8 3 3 0 1 2 8.10 .471

But then that shouldn't be a surprise. In his second big-league season, Freeland has already earned a reputation for his inter-league success. In two seasons, he already equalled the fourth best-win total in inter-league play in Rockies history, and fellow rotation members Jon Gray and German Marquez are just one win back of Freeland, the three of them among only 12 rockies pitchers to win five post-season games.

Making an Inter-League Statement

Player Season W L ERA
Jason Jennings 2002-2006(5) 9 5 4.25
Jorge De La Rosa 2008-2016(6) 8 5 4.02
Jeff Francis 2005-2013(7) 8 9 5.09
Aaron Cook 2003-2011(8) 6 10 5.00
Kyle Freeland 2017-2018(2) 6 0 1.78
Ubaldo Jimenez 2008-2011(4) 6 4 4.08
Pedro Astacio 1997-2001(5) 5 5 4.76
Chad Bettis 2013-2018(6) 5 6 7.20
Josh Fogg 2006-2009(3) 5 1 3.38
Jon Gray 2015-2018(4) 5 1 3.52
Jason Hammel 2009-2011(3) 5 3 4.48
German Marquez 2017-2018(2) 5 0 2.29

Carlos Gonzalez, meanwhile, enjoyed his opportunity to face AL pitchers.  His .406 average in inter-league games ranked second, behind only Elias Diaz of the Pirates at .414, and he is tied with Anthony Rendon of the Nationals with 14 extra base hits. Teammate Charlie Blackmon is tied for sixth in extra-base hits at 12, and Trevor Story is tied for 11th with 10.

Player Team AVG Player Team XBH
Elias Diaz Pit .414 Carlos Gonzalez Col 14
Carlos Gonzalez Col .406 Anthony Rendon Was 14
Devin Mesoraco Cin-NYM .400 Matt Carpenter StL 13
Michael A. Taylor Was .392 Nick Markakis Atl 13
Jon Jay KC-Ari .388 Jose Ramirez Cle 13
Mike Trout LAA .388 Charlie Blackmon Col 12
Kendrys Morales Tor .382 Eduardo Escobar Min-Ari 12
Ozzie Albies Atl .375 Brandon Nimmo NYM 12
Juan Soto Was .371 Adam Jones Bal 11
Willson Contreras ChC .368 Manny Machado Bal-LAD 11
Trevor Story Col 10
Miguel Andujar NYY 10
Nolan Arenado Col 10
Javier Baez ChC 10
Willson Contreras ChC 10
Adam Duvall Cin-Atl 10
Francisco Lindor Cle 10
Stephen Piscotty Oak 10
Gregory Polanco Pit 10

Rockies closer Wade Davis was 6-for-7 in save opportunities, matching Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman for second in inter-league play in save, one behind Sean Dolittle of the Nationals. It also gives him 16 career inter-league saves, 11th on the all-time list. 

Closing Arguments

2018 Team G IP Sv SvOP Active-Career G IP Sv SvOP
Sean Doolittle Was 7 7 7 7 Craig Kimbrel 69 68 41 42
Aroldis Chapman NYY 9 7.1 6 6 Fernando Rodney 99 92 35 46
Wade Davis Col 12 11.2 6 7 Kenley Jansen 63 63.2 34 37
Edwin Diaz Sea 7 7 5 6 Mark Melancon 56 56.2 26 29
Seranthony Dominguez Phi 9 10.2 5 5 Joakim Soria 77 75.2 25 30
Kenley Jansen LAD 9 8.1 5 6 Greg Holland 53 46.2 20 26
Blake Treinen Oak 8 9 5 6 Steve Cishek 56 59 18 21
David Robertson 79 79 18 20
Cody Allen 59 59 17 20
Jim Johnson 80 89.2 17 28
Wade Davis 64 118.1 16 19
Tracy RingolsbyComment