Colorado Rockies Week Eight Review: May 25-31

Nothing to see here, just Nolan Arenado making another incredible catch. Photo credit: Joe Robbins - Getty Images North America
Nothing to see here, just Nolan Arenado making another incredible catch.
Photo credit: Joe Robbins – Getty Images North America

The Colorado Rockies used this week as an opportunity to remind their fans why baseball is fun. They went 5-1 on the road, gained two games in both the division and the wild card chase, hit 12 home runs, and even flirted with a no-hitter! The five road wins this week mean that the club needs to finish just 8-46 the rest of the way on the road to improve upon their record from 2014. This is what fans have been waiting to see all year and it gives the team hope as the calendar flips to June. Here’s a look at the eighth week of the season.

Record this week: 5-1
Season record: 22-26 (5th in NL West, 6 ½ GB of LAD)

Monday, May 25 – Colorado Rockies (5) at Cincinnati Reds (4)
W – Betancourt (2-1)          L – Chapman (2-3)  S – Axford (7)
HR: Nolan Arenado (9)
Players of the game:
Nolan Arenado – 3 for 4, HR, 3 RBI
Charlie Blackmon – 1 for 3, 2 BB, 3 SB
Ben Paulsen – 2 for 5

Tuesday, May 26 – Colorado Rockies (1) at Cincinnati Reds (2)
W – Chapman (3-3) L – Brown (0-2)
HR: Hundley (5)
Players of the game:
Nick Hundley – 2 for 3, HR, RBI
Chris Rusin – 7 IP, 4 H, ER, 4 BB, 5 K
DJ LeMahieu – 1 for 4

Wednesday, May 27 – Colorado Rockies (6) at Cincinnati Reds (4)
W – Kendrick (2-6) L – Leake (2-4)        S – Axford (8)
HR: Arenado (10), Blackmon (7)
Players of the game:
Nolan Arenado – 2 for 4, HR, 3 RBI
Charlie Blackmon – 1 for 4, HR, BB, 2 RBI
Ben Paulsen – 2 for 4, 2B, RBI

 

The Rockies started the week off right in Cincinnati, taking two out of three and getting strong performances from both the offense and the pitching staff. Third baseman Nolan Arenado, who apparently saw that he was only fifth in National League All-Star voting, had a huge series. He hit two home runs, drove in six, and made several more incredible defensive plays to add to his already impressive highlight reel. The starting rotation for the Rockies also showed improvement in this series, especially recent Triple-A call up Chris Rusin, who allowed just one run in seven innings in what would unfortunately be a Rockies loss. Nonetheless, the club had solid wins in both the first and last game of the series and, after a day off on Thursday, took some momentum with them into Philadelphia.

 

Thursday, May 28 – Day off

 

Friday, May 29 – Colorado Rockies (4) at Philadelphia Phillies (1)
W – Bettis (2-0)       L – Hamels (5-4)
HR: Tulowitzki 2 (4), Paulsen (2)
Players of the game:
Chad Bettis – 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 7 K
Troy Tulowitzki – 4 for 4, 2 HR, 2 RBI
Ben Paulsen – 1 for 1, HR, 2 RBI

Saturday, May 30 – Colorado Rockies (5) at Philadelphia Phillies (2)
W – Butler (3-5)      L – Harang (4-5)      S – Axford (9)
HR: Arenado (11), McKenry (2), Paulsen (3)
Players of the game:
Nolan Arenado – 2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI
Eddie Butler – 6 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 3 K
Ben Paulsen – 1 for 4, HR, RBI

Sunday, May 31 – Colorado Rockies (4) at Philadelphia Phillies (1)
W – Rusin (1-0)       L – Williams (3-5)   S – Oberg (1)
HR: Arenado (12), LeMahieu (3)
Players of the game:
DJ LeMahieu – 3 for 4, HR, 2 RBI
Nolan Arenado – 1 for 4, HR, 2 RBI
Brooks Brown – IP, 0 R, 3 K

 

The Philadelphia Phillies are not a very good team. When the Rockies met up with them for a three-game series at Citizen’s Bank Park, they did exactly what they needed to do and took advantage of that fact. They swept the Phillies in their home park, outscored them by a total of 13-4, hit eight home runs, and climbed above .500 on the road.

Of all the good things that happened in the series, the best of them all came in the first game, a 4-1 Rockies victory. Starting pitcher Chad Bettis took a no-hitter, which would have been a perfect game if not for an error, into the eighth inning. He ultimately would fall just short, but he still managed to throw eight shutout innings and lower his ERA to 2.96 on the season, a massive drop from the 9.12 ERA he posted in 2014. If Bettis is able to continue giving the Rockies strong innings out of the starting rotation, it will be a huge boost for a team that is desperate for some quality starting pitching.

With the team playing such great baseball, they were not lacking in candidates for player and pitcher of the week. There were, however, a few players who stood out from the rest to earn player of the week honors for week eight. You can also check out the season’s player and pitcher of the week leaderboards, as well as the five longest home runs hit by Rockies this year, on the right hand side of the screen.

Rockies position player of the week: Nolan Arenado – 25 PA, .348/.360/.870, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 210 wRC+

Even though he has been the best player on the team for the first two months of the season, this is somehow Arenado’s first time as player of the week. Arenado was scorching hot all week as he increased his team lead in home runs to 12 and his team lead in RBI to 35. He now is on pace for 41 home runs and 118 RBI in 2015, the most homers and the fifth most RBI since the humidor was installed at Coors Field in 2002. He has also been far and away the best defensive third baseman in the Majors this year. Take a look at his magnificent all-around game last Monday in Cincinnati:

Longest Rockies home run of the week: Troy Tulowitzki – 420 feet

In a week with a lot of home runs, this was the longest of the bunch. It was encouraging to see Tulo get on top of a high fastball and drive it out, part of a 4-for-4 day against Cole Hamels and the Phillies on Friday. Take a look at it here.

Rockies pitcher of the week: Chad Bettis – 1 start, 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K

Chad Bettis is on fire, earning pitcher of the week for the second week in a row. It would be hard not to give it to a guy who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and gave hope to the Rockies pitching staff. You can watch the highlights from his great start by clicking on these words.

That’s a wrap on week eight. Here’s hoping for more of the same in week nine. Be sure to subscribe, like View from the Rooftop on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and don’t forget to take a look ahead to week nine right here at View from the Rooftop.

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