Colorado Rockies Weeks 18 & 19 Review: August 3-16

Jon Gray made his first three Major League starts in the last two weeks. Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds - Getty Images North America
Jon Gray made his first three Major League starts in the last two weeks.
Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds – Getty Images North America

Thanks to my wedding (which was an absolute blast and the time of my life), there was no week 18 review last week. So here it is as a mega-weeks 18 and 19 ultra-review! At this point in the season, the actual results of the games are somewhat irrelevant, as the Colorado Rockies are completely out of the playoff race and playing for 2016 and beyond. Their 48-68 record on the year is the third worst in baseball, setting them up for the third pick in what is supposed to be a stacked 2016 draft, so that’s certainly good news if you want a way to put a positive spin on things.

The real story from the past two weeks, however, was Jon Gray. After making his Major League debut on August 4th against the Seattle Mariners, Gray made three starts over the past two weeks and looked outstanding in doing so. Pitching on a pretty strict 75-pitch limit, Gray has thrown 15 innings and allowed just four earned runs (2.40 ERA) on 10 hits while walking four and striking out 14. It’s clearly still very early, but so far Gray has looked every bit the ace the Rockies hoped he’d be. Let’s take a look at the rest of the action from the past two weeks.

Record this week: 4-9
Overall record: 48-68 (5th in NL West, 18 GB of LAD)

Monday, August 3 – Seattle Mariners (8) at Colorado Rockies (7)
W – Hernandez (14-6)        L – Butler (3-8)       S – Smith (10)
Players of the game:
Charlie Blackmon – 4 for 6, 2 2B, RBI
Nick Hundley – 3 for 5, RBI, SB
Ben Paulsen – 2 for 5, 2B, 2 RBI

Tuesday, August 4 – Seattle Mariners (10) at Colorado Rockies (4)
W – Rasmussen (1-0)         L – Friedrich (0-3)
HR: Blackmon (13), Hundley (9), Parker (1)
Players of the game:
Nick Hundley – 2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI
DJ LeMahieu – 2 for 4, SB
Jose Reyes – 1 for 4, 2B, BB

Wednesday, August 5 – Seattle Mariners (5) at Colorado Rockies (7)
W – Flande (2-1)      L – Guaipe (0-3)      F/11
HR: Gonzalez (22), McKenry (4)
Players of the game:
Carlos Gonzalez – 2 for 5, HR, 3 RBI
Ben Paulsen – 3 for 5, 2B, RBI
Michael McKenry – 1 for 5, HR, 2 RBI

The Rockies started off these two weeks hosting an interleague series against the Seattle Mariners. They dropped two of the three games as they continued to struggle in interleague play. On the bright side, Charlie Blackmon played well with a four-hit game in the first game of the series and his 13th home run of the season in the second. Carlos Gonzalez continued to swing a hot bat as well, hitting his 22nd home run of the season in the series finale. The middle game here was Jon Gray’s debut where he allowed three runs (two earned) in four innings of work before the bullpen came in and imploded, eventually allowing the Mariners to score 10 runs.

Thursday, August 6 – Day off

Friday, August 7 – Colorado Rockies (5) at Washington Nationals (4)
W – Oberg (2-3)       L – Storen (2-1)       S – Kahnle (1)
HR: Gonzalez (23)
Players of the game:
Carlos Gonzalez – 2 for 4, HR, 4 RBI
Nolan Arenado – 3 for 4, 2B
Tommy Kahnle – IP, 0 R, BB, 2 K

Saturday, August 8 – Colorado Rockies (1) at Washington Nationals (6)
W – Strasburg (6-5)                        L – Butler (3-9)
HR: Arenado (27)
Players of the game:
Charlie Blackmon – 2 for 3, 2 2B
Nolan Arenado – 1 for 3, HR, RBI
Justin Miller – 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, BB, 2 K

Sunday, August 9 – Colorado Rockies (6) at Washington Nationals (4)
W – Axford (4-5)      L – Storen (2-2)       S – Kahnle (2)
HR: Gonzalez 2 (25), Descalso (4)
Players of the game:
Carlos Gonzalez – 2 for 5, 2 HR, 2 RBI
Daniel Descalso – 1 for 2, HR, BB, RBI
Ben Paulsen – 2 for 4, 2B

Things continued to look good for the Rockies as they took on the Washington Nationals and once again won two out of three games. The first game of the series was a lot of fun as CarGo hit a late, go-ahead grand slam and Tommy Kahnle picked up his first career save on his birthday. The series finale included two more CarGo homers and another Kahnle save, and the Rockies headed to New York feeling pretty good about themselves.

Monday, August 10 – Colorado Rockies (2) at New York Mets (4)
W – Niese (7-9)        L – Miller (1-1)         S – Familia (31)
HR: Gonzalez (26)
Players of the game:
Jon Gray – 6 IP, H, ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Carlos Gonzalez – 1 for 4, HR, 2 RBI
Nick Hundley – 2 for 3

Tuesday, August 11 – Colorado Rockies (0) at New York Mets (4)
W – Harvey (11-7)    L – Rusin (3-5)
Players of the game
Chris Rusin – 6 IP, 8 H, ER, BB, 5 K
Ben Paulsen – 1 for 3, 2B
Rafael Betancourt – IP, 0 H, 0 R

Wednesday, August 12 – Colorado Rockies (0) at New York Mets (3)
W – deGrom (11-6) L – De La Rosa (7-5)           S – Familia (32)
Players of the game:
Jorge De La Rosa – 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
DJ LeMahieu – 2 for 4, 2B, SB
Michael McKenry – 0 for 2, 2 BB

Thursday, August 13 – Colorado Rockies (3) at New York Mets (12)
W – Syndergaard (7-6)       L – Butler (3-10)
HR: LeMahieu (5), Arenado (28)
Players of the game:
DJ LeMahieu – 1 for 3, HR, RBI
Nolan Arenado – 1 for 3, HR, RBI
Kyle Parker – 1 for 2, BB

This is where things started to go astray. The Rockies were swept in four games at the hands of the New York Mets and were more or less blown away by the trio of Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Noah Syndergaard. The only significant positive to take away from this series was, of course, Jon Gray’s outstanding performance in the series opener. He allowed just one run and one hit in six great innings and really showed his ace potential, flashing a 95+ mph fastball with run along with a sharp slider. For the most part, however, this was a depressing series.

Friday, August 14 – San Diego Padres (9) at Colorado Rockies (5)
W – Norris (1-0)      L – Roberts (0-1)
HR: Arenado (29)
Players of the game:
Nolan Arenado – 3 for 4, HR, BB, 2 RBI, SB
Brandon Barnes – 2 for 3, 3B, 2 RBI, SB
DJ LeMahieu – 2 for 4, 2 2B

Saturday, August 15 – San Diego Padres (7) at Colorado Rockies (5)
W – Quackenbush (2-2)     L – Kahnle (0-1)      S – Kimbrel (33)
Players of the game:
Jon Gray – 5 IP, 4 H, ER, 5 K
Nolan Arenado – 2 for 4, 2 RBI
Nick Hundley – 3 for 4, RBI

Sunday, August 16 – San Diego Padres (0) at Colorado Rockies (5)
W – Rusin (4-5)       L – Kennedy (7-11)
HR: Gonzalez (27)
Players of the game:
Chris Rusin – 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K
Michael McKenry – 1 for 3, 2B, 3 RBI
Carlos Gonzalez – 1 for 4, HR, RBI

Last but not least, the Rockies hosted the San Diego Padres. Pitching was once again the story for the Rockies in this series. Gray was phenomenal in the middle game of the series as he allowed just a run on four hits in five innings. He also struck out five, didn’t walk a batter, and threw 50 of his 69 pitches for strikes. The Rockies are now 0-3 when Gray starts, but that really doesn’t matter given his strict pitch count and how good he’s looked when he has been out there. Not to be upstaged, Chris Rusin came out in the series finale and tossed a complete game shutout. It was the 28th complete game shutout in franchise history and the team’s first since Tyler Matzek shutout the Padres on September 5th of last year. It also put a stop to a six-game losing streak and prevented the Rockies from having a winless week.

Now, it’s time to look at some of the best performances from the last two weeks. There will be a player of the week, pitcher of the week, and longest home run of the week for both week 18 and week 19, and remember you can always check on the season leaderboards on the right-hand side of the screen!

Rockies position player of the week (week 18): Carlos Gonzalez – 26 PA, .320/.346/.840, 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 209 wRC+

CarGo continued to stay hot in week 18, taking home his fourth consecutive player of the week honor. He hit four more home runs and drove in nine and has really gotten back to being the all-star caliber player we’ve all come to expect him to be. His biggest hit of the week was his go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals. Watch it here:

Longest Rockies home run of the week (week 18): Carlos Gonzalez – 455 feet

This was another long and significant home run from CarGo, as it tied up the game in the sixth inning. The 455-foot shot was the third longest home run hit by a Rockies player this season and you can watch it here:

Rockies pitcher of the week (week 18): Tommy Kahnle – 3 appearances, 3 IP, H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 0.00 ERA, 2 saves

Earning the first save of your Major League career is cool, doing it by striking out the best hitter in the league on your birthday is even cooler. Kahnle had a strong week in week 18 as he didn’t allow a run in three innings and picked up his first two saves, but the highlight moment was his strikeout of Bryce Harper to end the game on August 7th. He was pretty pumped

Rockies position player of the week (week 19): DJ LeMahieu – 26 PA, .333/.385/.583, 3 2B, HR, 3 SB, 143 wRC+

LeMahieu continues to have a breakout year as he earns his fourth player of the week honor of the season, tying CarGo for the team lead. He hit his fifth home run of the season and stole his 16th, 17th, and 18th bases as he raised his wRC+ on the season to 106. Take a look at his opposite field home run off Noah Syndergaard:

Longest Rockies home run of the week (week 19): Carlos Gonzalez – 431 feet

Once again, CarGo hit the longest home run of the week for the Rockies this week. This one was off Ian Kennedy of the Padres and it gave the Rockies a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on Sunday. You can see it here

Rockies pitcher of the week (week 19): Chris Rusin – 2 starts, 15 IP, 13 H, ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 0.60 ERA

I thought Jon Gray was a lock to be the guy I talked about here for week 19. Then Chris Rusin went out and threw a complete game shutout on Sunday afternoon to completely change all that. The shutout for him dropped his ERA all the way down to 3.99 on the year to go with a 4.12 FIP and 3.76 xFIP as he continues to make a case to be in the 2016 rotation. You can see the highlights from his great outing here.

That’s all for weeks 18 and 19. Be sure to subscribe, like View from the Rooftop on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and take a look ahead to week 20 of the regular season. Thanks for reading!

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