Updated Wild-Card Tidbits: Rockies at Cubs

October Exposure

15 of the Rockies have post-season experience.

Player Post-Season
Nolan Arenado 2017 Rockies
Charlie Blackmon 2017 Rockies
DJ LeMahieu 2017 Rockies
Scott Oberg 2017 Rockies
Chris Russin 2017 Rockies
Trevor Story 2017 Rockies
Pat Valaika 2017 Rockies
Drew Butera 2015 Royals 2015 World Championship
Wade Davis 2010-11 Rays
2014-15 Royals 2015 World Championship
2017 Cubs
Ian Desmond 2012, 14 Nationals
2016 Rangers
2017 Rockies
Carlos Gonzalez 2009, 2017 Rockies
Matt Holliday 2007 Rockies
2011-15 Cardinals 2011 World Championship
2017 Yankees
Chris Iannetta 2014 Angels
2017 D-Backs
Jake McGee 2011, 2013 Rays
2017 Rockies
Gerardo Parra 2011 D-backs
2017 Rockies

Did you know . . .

Ø The Rockies and the Cubs meet in the postseason for the first time. Both lost Game 163s for a chance at a division title, and became the first teams to loser a play-in game but still advance to the post-season. Colorado held a 1.5 game lead in NL West as late as September 13, and Chicago led the NL Central by as many as 5.0 games on September 2. These two teams split their season series 3-3, with each team scoring exactly 33 runs and winning two of three road games.

Ø The Cubs have won five of their last six postseason elimination games, however they lost their most recent against the Dodgers in Game 5 of the 2017 NLCS. Chicago won during its only other appearance in the NL Wild Card Game, defeating the Pirates 4-0 in 2015.

Ø The Rockies, 11-8 losers against the Diamondbacks in last year’s NL Wild Card Game, will be looking to avoid joining the 2014-15 Pittsburgh Pirates as the only team to lose back-to-back Wild Card Games in either league. Colorado has lost four consecutive postseason elimination games, and is just 1-4 in such games in franchise history.

Ø Nolan Arenado (38 HR) and Trevor Story (37 HR) became the first pair of teammates to finish first and second in home runs in the National League since Willie Mays and Willie McCovey did so for the Giants in 1965. This season, Story and Francisco Lindor became the only two shortstops all-time with at least 35 home runs, 40 doubles and 25 stolen bases in a single season.

Ø In 24 career postseason games, Daniel Murphy is slashing .323/.407/.613, good for a 1.020 OPS. Among all players with at least 100 career postseason plate appearances, only four others all-time have produced a .320+/.400+/.600+ playoff slash line: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Paul Molitor and Lenny Dykstra.  

Ø Jon Lester is 6-1 with a 1.71 ERA over his last eight starts, including four starts of at least 6.0 innings with zero runs allowed. Lester, who carries a 2.55 ERA and a .210 opponent batting average in 25 career postseason appearances, has thrown more playoff innings (148.0) than any other active pitcher. Lester last started a postseason elimination game in Game 5 of the 2016 World Series, a start in which he won, holding the Indians to two runs and four hits over 6.0 innings.

Ø Kyle Freeland will make his first career postseason start, pitching on three days rest for the first time in his professional career. Dating back to July 27, Freeland has made 13 consecutive starts, 11 of which Colorado has won, of at least 5.0 innings while allowing three runs or fewer. Freeland’s 2.85 ERA this season in 202.1 innings of work is the lowest ever in a single season by a qualified Rockies pitcher.

Source: Stats, Inc.

—    The Rockies will play on the road in the National League Wild Card Game for the second consecutive year … it will be the seventh National League Wild Card game in

history, with the current postseason format having been instituted in 2012.

— The Rockies join the Pirates as the only teams to play in consecutive NL Wild Card Games (Pittsburgh played in three straight from 2013-2015)

— The Rockies are in the post-season for the second consecutive season for the first time in franchise history. They also participated in the postseason as a Wild Card in 1995, 2007, 2009 and 2017.

— Colorado earned the second Wild Card with a record of 91-72 in 163 games, the third season in franchise history in which they reached 90 wins. Their .562 winning percentage is the second-best in franchise history (92-70, .568 in 2009).

— In 12 Wild Card Games across both leagues from 2012-16, the visiting team is 7-5. Two NL hosts have won the Wild Card Game, (Pittsburgh over Cincinnati in 2013, Arizona over Colorado in 2017).

— A Wild Card Entry has won the Division Series six times and the Championship Series two times. The 2014 San Francisco Giants are the only team to win a Wild Card Game and win the World Series.

Cub Connections

— Closer Wade Davis was an All-Star and the cubs closer in 2017, saving a Cubs record 32 consecutive games to open the season. He signed a three-year, free-agent contract with the Rockies last December.

— 2B DJ LeMahieu was a second-round draft of the Cubs out of LSU in 2009. He was acquired by the Rockies from the Cubs along with outfielder Tyler Colvin in exchange for third baseman Ian Stewart and right-handed pitcher Casey Weathers in December of 2011.

— LHP Chris Russin was a fourth-round draft choice of the Cubs out of Kentucky in 2009. He was claimed by the Rockies off waivers in September of 2014.

—Rockies manager Bud Black and Cubs manager Joe Maddon were coaches on the Angels staff for five years, including when the team won the 2002 World Series.

Source: Colorado Rockies.

Rockies Connections

—Cubs reliever Pedro Strop was signed by the Rockies in January 2002 as a 16-year-old free agent out of the Dominican Republic. He played in the big leagues for the Rangers and Orioles before being included in the Jake Arieta trade to the Cubs.

—Cubs reliever Jorge De La Rosa was the ace of the Rockies rotation from 2008-16. He was 86-61 in 209 appearances, 200 starts. He pitched for the Brewers and Royals before joining the Rockies. He signed prior to 2017 with the D-backs as a free agent, and was dealt during the 2018 season to the Cubs.

—Cubs manager Joe Maddon played for the Boulder Collegians during his college career, and was a coach with the Collegians after his playing career ended, until being hired as a rookie-league manager by the Angels.

Tracy RingolsbyComment