Past & Present: 24: Hit Another Day

Doug Pensinger

The following takes place between April 9, 2014 and May 4, 2014.

Over the last three and a half weeks, Nolan Arenado has been ruining opposing pitchers' days the same way Jack Bauer ruins the days of terrorists.

During his 24-game hitting streak, the second longest in Rockies history, Arenado has hit .351/.363/.526 with a trio of home runs, including Saturday's grand slam, 14 runs scored and 14 driven in. Arenado's batting average has risen by 111 points over the course of the streak and his OPS has risen by 200 points over the 24 games. The Rockies have posted a record of 15-9 during Arenado's hitting streak.

Surprisingly, Arenado does not have a three-hit game among the 24 straight in which he has a hit. In 14 of the games he had just one hit and had two hits in the other 10 contests, giving him 34 hits in his 97 at bats during the streak.

The streak started innocently enough, with an RBI single in the third inning on April 9 against White Sox starter Erik Johnson, driving home Carlos Gonzalez to give the Rockies a 3-2 lead. He also added a single and a run scored in the eighth inning of that game, a 10-4 Rockies win.

The streak almost ended at three games, it took until the eighth inning in San Francisco on April 13 before Arenado doubled and scored, extending his meager stretch to four games with a hit. He also waited until the eighth inning to get a hit two days later against the Padres before doubling against Dale Thayer to extend the streak to six. Arenado has compiled a total of eight doubles in 24 games.

Over the next several games, Arenado, unlike the producers of 24, liked to take the drama out of things, getting hits relatively early in each of the next seven games. On April 21, as Bauer always does, Arenado found the bomb, hitting his first home run of his then 12-game hitting streak, a solo blast in the first inning against Ryan Vogelsong at Coors Field. Arenado hit his second home run of the streak, and fourth of the season, the next day against Madison Bumgarner, giving the Rockies a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning, extending his streak to a baker's dozen games.

It took extra innings to get Arenado's streak to 15 games on April 25 at Dodger Stadium, as his only hit came in the 11th inning against Dodgers reliever J.P. Howell.

The streak got from 15 games to 21 without much drama, thanks to Arenado taking care of business early in games, but it took until the seventh against Mets reliever Carlos Torres to get the streak to 22, which Arenado did with a sharp single to center.

Arenado tied Dante Bichette for the second-longest hitting streak in team history at 23 games with a grand slam in the fifth inning Saturday that capped an eight-run inning and gave the Rockies an 8-6 lead against Mets starter Jenrry Mejia. All three of Arenado's home runs during the streak have given the Rockies the lead.

Arenado moved into second by himself on the Rockies' longest hitting streak list Sunday with a double in the fourth inning against Mets starter Dillon Gee. He now sits three shy of Michael Cuddyer's record for longest streak in franchise history. He gets four games against the Texas Rangers, two in Denver and two in Arlington, to attempt to pass his teammates. May he continue to give pitchers the longest days of their lives.

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