Colorado Rockies Week 16 Review: July 20-26

Carlos Gonzalez had a lot to be happy about this week. Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds - Getty Images North America
Carlos Gonzalez had a lot to be happy about this week.
Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds – Getty Images North America

Welcome to the Colorado Rockies week 16 review! Congratulations to you for sticking around this far, you’ve certainly earned it. This particular week for the Rockies wasn’t a great one as they went just 3-3 at home against two sub-.500 teams. The most exciting thing this week was watching Carlos Gonzalez have his best week of the season and really get back to looking like the CarGo that Rockies fans have come to know and love. His outstanding week did a lot to either significantly increase his trade value or show the Rockies that he can still be the phenomenal player he was from 2010-2013. Either way it was very good to see for the club. Meanwhile, the Rockies rotation continued to struggle. After 96 games the team has received just 35 quality starts, the lowest total in the Major Leagues. Unless something unexpected happens over the final 66 games, this will be their fifth straight season finishing 28th or worse in quality starts. That’s not good. Hopefully some combination of the trade deadline, offseason, and continued prospect growth will bring the Rockies some relief in the starting rotation for the 2016 season. We’ll know more about the trade deadline when we look back at week 17, but for now let’s look back at the week that was.

Record this week: 3-3
Overall record: 42-54 (5th in NL West, 12 GB of LAD)

Monday, July 20 – Texas Rangers (7) at Colorado Rockies (8)
W – Axford (2-2)     L – Scheppers (3-1)
HR: Tulowitzki (12)
Players of the game:
Troy Tulowitzki – 2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI
Ben Paulsen – 2 for 4, BB, 2 RBI
Charlie Blackmon – 1 for 3, 2 BB, RBI

Tuesday, July 21 – Texas Rangers (9) at Colorado Rockies (0)
W – Harrison (1-1)  L – Kendrick (3-11)
Players of the game:
Nolan Arenado – 2 for 3, 2B, BB
Charlie Blackmon – 2 for 4
Nick Hundley – 1 for 3, BB

Wednesday, July 22 – Texas Rangers (10) at Colorado Rockies (8)
W – Scheppers (4-1)            L – Axford (2-3)       S – Tolleson (15)
HR: Hundley (7), Gonzalez (14)
Players of the game:
Nick Hundley – 3 for 4, HR, 2 RBI
DJ LeMahieu – 2 for 4, BB, RBI, SB
Carlos Gonzalez – 1 for 4, HR, BB, 3 RBI

The first series of the week against the Texas Rangers did not go well. After a walk-off win on Monday night, the Rockies were blown out on Tuesday and lost again on Wednesday after allowing 10 runs. Tuesday’s game did bring a little bit of excitement — albeit not for the Rockies – as Shin-Soo Choo of the Rangers hit for the cycle. Another disappointment that came from this series was the performance of closer John Axford. He entered the week looking like he may have some solid trade value, but unfortunately he blew both of his save opportunities while allowing three earned runs and walking five in just 1 2/3 innings. For a non-contending team that is (hopefully) looking to maximize the value of as many tradeable assets as possible, that kind of performance is pretty disheartening. It may still be possible to move him, but he probably won’t get as much in return as he would have even a week ago. After this series wrapped up, the Rockies welcomed a Cincinnati Reds team in all-out sell mode to town.

Thursday, July 23 – Day off

Friday, July 24 – Cincinnati Reds (5) at Colorado Rockies (6)
W – Axford (3-3)     L – Mattheus (1-2)
HR: Gonzalez 2 (16)
Players of the game:
Carlos Gonzalez – 2 for 4, 2 HR, 2 RBI
Charlie Blackmon – 3 for 5, RBI, SB
Corey Dickerson – 2 for 3, BB

Saturday, July 25 – Cincinnati Reds (5) at Colorado Rockies (2)
W – Cueto (7-6)       L – Rusin (3-4)        S – Chapman (20)
Players of the game:
Carlos Gonzalez – 2 for 4
Yohan Flande – IP, 0 R, 2 K
Rafael Betancourt – IP, 0 R, 2 K

Sunday, July 26 – Cincinnati Reds (7) at Colorado Rockies (17)
W – Kendrick (4-11)            L – Lorenzen (3-5)
HR: Arenado (25), Paulsen 2 (7), Gonzalez 2 (18)
Players of the game:
Ben Paulsen – 4 for 5, 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Carlos Gonzalez – 3 for 4, 2 HR, BB, 6 RBI
DJ LeMahieu – 2 for 4, 2B, BB, 2 RBI

This series went significantly better for the Rockies than the last one did. They got to enjoy a walk-off win in game one and a 17-run outburst that was their highest scoring game since they scored 18 runs on April 27, 2012. That’s over three years! The offensive barrage was fueled by Carlos Gonzalez’s two home runs and six RBI and Ben Paulsen’s four-hit day that included two home runs, four RBI, and left him just a double short of the cycle. Drew Stubbs also continued to rake since being recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque, going 2-for-2 with a triple. When Stubbs was demoted, he had a dismal slash line of .118/.182/.255 and had struck out in 31 of his 56 plate appearances, a whopping 55.4% strikeout rate. Since his recall, Stubbs has a gaudy .355/.444/.774 slash line and has struck out in only eight of his 37 plate appearances, a strikeout rate of only 21.6%. After wondering if Stubbs would ever be a productive Major League player again, it’s great to see him doing well. It also potentially gives him some trade value if the Rockies want to try to move him to a contender. Aside from that, the Rockies and their fans remain in a bit of a holding pattern right now with just five days remaining until the trade deadline. At this time next week, we should have a lot more information about the direction this club is headed.

Now, it’s time to take a look at the standout performances from the last week. Since I didn’t use the two games from last week to give out players of the week, I’ll add those in to this week’s games to give us a player of the week plus two extra days. This is also where we’ll take a look at the longest home run from this week. Remember, you can find a running tally of the player and pitcher of the week as well as the five longest Rockies home runs of the season on the right-hand side of the screen!

Rockies position player of the week: Carlos Gonzalez – 31 PA, .393/.452/.962, 2B, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 271 wRC+

Stay hot, CarGo. After not being player of the week all season, this makes two weeks in a row that he’s taken it home. He continued to make baseballs hate him this week as he crushed five of them out of the ballpark and is now on pace to hit 30 home runs this season. Gonzalez finally appears to be fully recovered from the finger and knee surgeries that limited him to just 70 games in 2014 and that has made him a whole lot of fun to watch. Take a look at the second of his two home runs on Sunday afternoon:

Longest Rockies home run of the week: Troy Tulowitzki – 446 feet

Tulo only hit one home run this week, but it was a long one. His 446 foot blast on Monday was the fourth longest homer hit by a Rockies player this season and it put the Rockies ahead of the Rangers, 7-0. Take a look at his blast here:

Rockies pitcher of the week: Rafael Betancourt – 4 appearances, 3 2/3 IP, 3 H, ER, 6 K, 2.45 ERA

This week was not a good one for Rockies pitchers. This, unfortunately, is a problem that the Rockies have run into far too often this season and one that will hopefully be fixed soon. As it is, however, we get to talk about Rafael Betancourt’s solid performance this week. The 40-year old reliever will take home player of the week honors for the first time this season after looking strong across four relief appearances since the All-Star break. On the surface, Betancourt’s 5.22 ERA isn’t pretty, but he also boasts a much better looking 3.00 FIP and 3.19 SIERA to go with peripherals that are almost identical to what he’s put up in his career. It will be interesting to see if he tries to pitch again in 2016 when he will be 41 years old. There’s no video of him pitching this week, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t great.

That wraps things up for week 16. Next week should be an interesting one as the Rockies attempt to make the right moves at the trade deadline. Also, be sure to subscribe, like View from the Rooftop on Facebook, and follow on Twitter!

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