Colorado Rockies Week 21 Review: August 24-30

Brandon Barnes was a real spark plus this week. Photo Credit: Todd Kirkland - Getty Images North America
Brandon Barnes was a spark plug for the Colorado Rockies this week.
Photo Credit: Todd Kirkland – Getty Images North America

Welcome to week 21 in review, where things actually weren’t too bad! Due to some things like the Colorado Rockies being on pace for a 66-96 season, not many people noticed, but a 3-3 road trip through Atlanta and Pittsburgh isn’t so bad. Not only that, the much maligned pitching staff was surprisingly pretty solid. They put up a 3.18 ERA, didn’t allow more than five runs in a game, and saw an 18 2/3 innings scoreless streak from the bullpen. Those are all good things, but it unfortunately led to just a 3-3 record with the offense failing to get much going.

Of note this week, Chad Bettis returned from the disabled list and had a solid start against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, Carlos Gonzalez tied Bryce Harper for the National League lead in home runs with 31, and reliever Simon Castro picked up his first Major League win. Before we look at the rest of the week, let’s get an update on the reverse standings:

T-1 – Philadelphia Phillies – 52-79 (.397)
T-1 – Miami Marlins – 52-79 (.397)
3. Colorado Rockies – 52-76 (.406)
4. Cincinnati Reds – 53-76 (.411)
5. Atlanta Braves – 54-76 (.415)
6. Milwaukee Brewers – 55-75 (.423)
7. Oakland Athletics – 57-74 (.435)

Record this week 3-3
Overall record: 52-76 (5th in NL West, 20 GB of LAD)

Monday, August 24 – Colorado Rockies (3) at Atlanta Braves (5)
W – Teheran (9-7)   L – De La Rosa (7-6)           S – Vizcaino (4)
HR: Blackmon (15), Paulsen (10)
Players of the game:
Ben Paulsen – 2 for 3, HR, BB, RBI
Charlie Blackmon – 2 for 4, HR, RBI
Brandon Barnes – 1 for 2, RBI

Tuesday, August 25 – Colorado Rockies (5) at Atlanta Braves (1)
W – Bettis (6-4)       L – Foltynewicz (4-6)
Players of the game:
DJ LeMahieu – 3 for 4, 3 RBI
Chad Bettis – 5 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Jairo Diaz – IP, 0 R, K

Wednesday, August 26 – Colorado Rockies (6) at Atlanta Braves (3)
W – Castro (1-0)      L – Miller (5-11)       S – Axford (18)
HR: Barnes (2)
Players of the game:
Brandon Barnes – 3 for 4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI
Jose Reyes – 2 for 4, 3B, BB, 2 RBI, SB
Daniel Descalso – 2 for 3, 2B, BB, RBI

The series in Atlanta was a bright spot in a really rough season, with the Rockies taking two out of three and winning their first series in Atlanta since 2000. Jose Reyes continued to hit well and Brandon Barnes hit his second home run of the season. Up next on the docket were the Pittsburgh Pirates, one of the best teams in baseball and an immense challenge.

Thursday, August 27 – Day off

Friday, August 28 – Colorado Rockies (3) at Pittsburgh Pirates (5)
W – Watson (3-1)    L – Oberg (3-3)        S – Melancon (42)
HR: Reyes (7), Gonzalez (31)
Players of the game:
Jose Reyes – 2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI, SB
Christian Bergman – 1 2/3 IP, H, 0 R, BB, K
Carlos Gonzalez – 1 for 4, HR, RBI

Saturday, August 29 – Colorado Rockies (3) at Pittsburgh Pirates (4)
W – Happ (3-1)         L – Rusin (4-7)         S – Melancon (43)
HR: Hundley (10)
Players of the game:
Nick Hundley – 2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI
Brandon Barnes – 2 for 4, 2B
Ben Paulsen – 2 for 4

Sunday, August 30 – Colorado Rockies (5) at Pittsburgh Pirates (0)
W – De La Rosa (8-6)         L – Morton (8-6)
Players of the game:
Jorge De La Rosa – 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 7 K
Ben Paulsen – 2 for 3, 3B, BB, 2 RBI
Scott Oberg – IP, 0 R, 2 K

As most of us expected, the Rockies lost the series in Pittsburgh. It wasn’t all bad, however, as Reyes and Gonzalez both homered in game one, and Jorge De La Rosa tossed six scoreless innings in the series finale. De La Rosa was also ejected for the first time in his career after being less than pleased with home plate umpire Jeff Nelson’s strike zone. The timing was a bit strange, since you’d typically expect to see a pitcher get ejected while he’s struggling, not pitching well like De La Rosa was. Maybe it was just frustration from another long and frustrating season for the Rockies, but nonetheless the result of the game was great.

Now it’s time for a look at the top performers of the week. Don’t forget, you can check out the season-long leaderboards of the player of the week, pitcher of the week, and five longest Rockies home runs of the season on the right-hand side of the screen!

Rockies position player of the week: Ben Paulsen – 22 PA, .368/.409/.684, 2B, 3B, HR, 171 wRC+

It was a strong week for Paulsen as he showed that his beard is not the only key to his success. He hit his 10th home run of the season and raised his wR C+ on the season to 105 as he continues to make a case for the starting job at first base in 2016. Watch his home run that tied the game against the Braves on Monday:

Longest Rockies home run of the week: Carlos Gonzalez – 423 feet

There was only one home run for CarGo this week, but it was a long one. 423 feet doesn’t approach the top five Rockies home runs of the season, but it did raise his average home run distance on the season to 415.3 feet, the fourth longest in baseball (min. 15 HR). Watch his home run here:

Rockies pitcher of the week: John Axford – 3 appearances, 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K

After going through a really rough patch, Axford appears to have turned it around of late. This week, he didn’t allow a run in his three appearances while picking up his 18th save of the season. The three scoreless outings lowered his ERA to 4.33 and his FIP to 3.86 on the season, the latter being his best number since 2011. He finished out his save with a strikeout on a 98 mph fastball, watch it here:

That’s it for week 21. Don’t forget to subscribe, like View from the Rooftop on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and look ahead to week 22 as the Rockies begin the last full month of the season.

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