Colorado Rockies Week 14 Review: July 6-12

The Colorado Rockies got to celebrate a walk-off win this week. Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds - Getty Images North America
The Colorado Rockies got to celebrate a walk-off win this week.
Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds – Getty Images North America

The Colorado Rockies entered week 14 of the regular season firmly in the cellar of the NL West. At the end of week 14, they’re still in the cellar, but not quite so firmly, and they’ve got some positive things to build on when they get going in the second half of the season. This week was also the team’s first week with a winning record since way back in week eight, May 25-31, when they went 5-1. Being 10 games under .500 and 8 ½ games out of a playoff spot isn’t exactly the most encouraging thing in the world, but if nothing else the Rockies should provide their fans with some exciting individual players to watch. Nolan Arenado continues to be a breakout star, Troy Tulowitzki is riding a 38-game on-base streak, Carlos Gonzalez is looking more and more like himself, and top prospect Jon Gray is expected to arrive soon, possibly even in the first few games after the All-Star break. Before we look ahead to the rest of the season, though, let’s look back at what was a fun week 14.

Record this week: 4-2
Overall record: 39-49 (5th in NL West, 11 GB of LAD)

Monday, July 6 – Day off

Tuesday, July 7 – Los Angeles Angels (10) at Colorado Rockies (2)
W – Heaney (3-0)    L – Bettis (4-4)
HR: Stubbs (3)
Players of the game:
DJ LeMahieu – 3 for 4
Yohan Flande – 5 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K
Drew Stubbs – 1 for 3, HR, BB, RBI

Wednesday, July 8 – Los Angeles Angels (3) at Colorado Rockies (2)
W – Smith (3-2)      L – Axford (1-2)       S – Street (24)
Players of the game:
Nolan Arenado – 3 for 3, 2B, 2 BB
Chris Rusin – 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Nick Hundley – 3 for 4, 2B, RBI

I know, I know. I said this week was fun! After these two games it was. I promise. Seriously, don’t stop reading here or you’ll miss the good part. Unfortunately, the Rockies began the week against an American League team. As we all know, the Rockies can’t beat American League teams. The two losses here dropped the Rockies to 1-10 against AL teams in 2015 and just 3-21 in their last 24 games against them. If you’re wondering, the next time the Rockies have to play an AL team is in just their second series after the All-Star break when they host the Texas Rangers for three games. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the Rangers are the last AL team the Rockies won a series against! If all goes according to plan, the Rockies will win that series as well and get back on track against the American League. If you’re looking for a quick summary of this series, here goes: Chad Bettis had the worst start of his Major League career, allowing 10 earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings on Tuesday, the offense struggled and managed just four runs in the series, and Mike Trout continued to be the best player in baseball as he hit three home runs. Okay, let’s move on from this torture.

Thursday, July 9 – Atlanta Braves (3) at Colorado Rockies (5)
W – Hale (3-4)         L – Brigham (0-1)   S – Axford (15)
HR: Stubbs (4)
Players of the game:
Carlos Gonzalez – 3 for 4, 3 2B, RBI
Nolan Arenado – 3 for 5, 2B
Drew Stubbs – 1 for 3, HR, BB, RBI

Friday, July 10 – Atlanta Braves (3) at Colorado Rockies (5)
W – Laffey (1-0)       L – Miller (5-5)        S – Axford (16)
HR: Gonzalez (12)
Players of the game:
DJ LeMahieu – 2 for 3, 2B, BB, RBI
Gonzalez Germen – 3 IP, H, 0 R, BB, K
Charlie Blackmon – 2 for 4, 3B, BB, 2 SB

Saturday, July 11 – Atlanta Braves (2) at Colorado Rockies (3)
W – Hawkins (2-1)  L – Grilli (3-4)
HR: Gonzalez (13)
Players of the game:
Carlos Gonzalez – 2 for 4, HR, BB, 3 RBI
Charlie Blackmon – 3 for 4, 3B
Jorge De La Rosa – 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

Sunday, July 12 – Atlanta Braves (3) at Colorado Rockies (11)
W – Bettis (5-4)       L – Wood (6-6)
HR: Tulowitzki (10), Stubbs (5)
Players of the game:
Charlie Blackmon – 3 for 5, 4 RBI
Drew Stubbs – 2 for 2, HR, 3B, BB, 2 RBI
Troy Tulowitzki – 1 for 4, HR, 3 RBI

See? I told you there was a fun part coming. In the second half of the week, the Rockies put together the first four-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves in franchise history. Winning is always fun, but it’s especially nice to win right before the team has four days off. Now they’ll be able to spend that time feeling good and optimistic about the rest of the season, which naturally is a positive. Whether there is any carryover into the second half of the season remains to be seen, but sweeping a series is good any way you slice it. The way they got there wasn’t without its weirdness, though.

In the first game of the series, there was a rain delay (shocking!) after just half an inning of play that forced initial starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick out of the game. The Rockies elected to bring in the next day’s projected starter, David Hale, but he unfortunately had to leave with a hamstring injury after just 1 2/3 innings! No matter, said the Rockies bullpen. After Christian Friedrich allowed three runs, a combination of Scott Oberg, Boone Logan, Rafael Betancourt, Tommy Kahnle, and John Axford threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings to secure the win for the Rockies.

The following day, the Rockies had nobody to pitch, so they went with a second straight bullpen day that kicked off with a pair of Triple-A call-ups Gonzalez Germen and Aaron Laffey. Germen threw three great innings, Laffey threw 2 1/3 not-so-great innings, then a bullpen combo of LaTroy Hawkins, Logan, Kahnle, and Axford shutout the Braves the rest of the way. In yet another example of pitcher wins being meaningless, Aaron Laffey was the only Rockies pitcher to not pitch well in the game, but he was awarded the win. Games three and four of the series were much more traditional wins, as the Rockies got quality starts from Jorge De La Rosa and Chad Bettis and strong hitting from the likes of Carlos Gonzalez and Drew Stubbs. That pair, Stubbs in particular, have really struggled this season, so it was nice to see them start to get back on track. Troy Tulowitzki also extended his on-base streak to 38 consecutive games in the series.

On that note, it’s time to take a look at the standout individual performances from last week with the player of the week, pitcher of the week, and longest home run of the week. Remember, there’s a running tally of all three on the right-hand side of the screen!

Rockies position player of the week: Carlos Gonzalez – 25 PA, .417/.440/.833, 4 2B, 2 HR, 233 wRC+

Gonzalez finally earns his first player of the week honors of the season this week. It was a good week for a lot of Rockies hitters, but Gonzalez was the best of the bunch. His wRC+ is up to 93 for the year, which isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s certainly trending in the right direction. This certainly wasn’t CarGo’s most powerful hit of the week, but it gave the Rockies a walk-off win over the Braves:

Longest Rockies home run of the week: Carlos Gonzalez – 438 feet

When CarGo hits home runs, he typically hits them a long way. This one off Matt Wisler of the Braves was just two feet short of being one of the five longest home runs of the season. Watch it here.

Rockies pitcher of the week: Chris Rusin – 2 appearances, 1 start, 8 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2.25 ERA

Chris Rusin continues to be a pleasant surprise for the Rockies and he turned in another strong week to earn pitcher of the week for the second time this season. Rusin put together a strong start as well as a strong relief appearance that was made possible by the upcoming All-Star break and lowered his ERA on the season to 3.98. He has gone from placeholder for Jon Gray to the pitcher with the lowest ERA in the Rockies rotation. His good start didn’t lead to a Rockies win unfortunately, but that doesn’t take away from how well he pitched. You can watch that start here:

That’ll do it for week 14. The All-Star break is here, but there are still a few games for the Rockies in week 15 as well! Be sure to subscribe, like View from the Rooftop on Facebook, and follow on Twitter.

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