Rockies Enjoy The American Way
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
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
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
|Jorge De La Rosa||2008-2016(6)||8||5||4.02|
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.
|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|
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.
|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|