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Wednesday Rockpile: June Review

As Buster Olney would say, Jason Marquis was The Man last night for the Rockies. Some stats from his start:

  • 86 pitches, 66 of them strikes
  • 2 hits allowed, only one more than Marquis himself had
  • 2 hour, 16 minute game
  • 16 groundball outs
  • 10 wins, most in the NL

What Marquis' eponymous performance lacked was support from the Rockies' lineup outside of Brad Hawpe. Once again, the Rockies struck out in the double digits last night (12 times) and looked like they were hacking quite a bit. Carlos Gonzalez in particular has struggled in the last three games, going 0-10 with 8 strikeouts--though Dexter Fowler and Clint Barmes admittedly haven't looked much better.

My point is that the Rockies can't rely on getting excellent pitching day in and day out from their starters as they did in June. I mean, they had 19 wins from their pitchers in June, plus even more quality starts that kept the bullpen rested and gave the offense a fighting chance to win games.

Colorado can't have a sinkhole like Barmes and Fowler have been lately at the beginning of their lineup, nor can Carlos Gonzalez keep getting consistent at bats after the way he has looked lately--swinging at (and missing) almost every breaking ball in the dirt or high fastball.

But enough doom and gloom. With the win the Rockies got their 21st and final win of June, making it their winningest month ever--one more than September 2007. Overall in the month the Rockies went 21-7, winning 6 of 7 series (five of them via sweep) and outscoring their opposition by 49 runs. Here are a few more details, courtesy of the Fangraphs' statistical database, about the Rockies' performance in June:

  • The offense posted a .353 wOBA, second in MLB to only the Rays. The Rockies were also second to Tampa Bay in OBP, OPS, ISO, and wRAA
  • The pitching staff had a 3.60 ERA and a 3.90 FIP. The starters were even better, posting a 3.51 ERA and 3.78 FIP and going 19-5 in the month while throwing the most pitches and leading MLB in June in GB/FB (by a wide margin) with 2.30. In other words, they were really good.
  • For the season, the Rockies' pitchers are 3rd in the majors in WAR with 11.1, generating $49.8 million in value for Colorado.

While I doubt we can expect another June any time soon, especially from the pitching staff, the Rockies have put themselves into position with this hot month to compete seriously for a playoff berth, and that's all that you can ask for considering where the Rockies were at as June began (20-30, 13.5 GB).

More Rockies news, links, and analysis after the jump... 

Hynick Perfect

As Russ noted in the Pebble Report, Rockies prospect Brandon Hynick tossed a 7 inning perfect game last night for the AAA Sky Sox. Keith Cartwright has some insight into the performance.

Local Media

Troy Renck theorizes that Manny Ramirez's return might help the Rockies--not because the Dodgers won't eventually be a better team with him, but due to the settling in process that will disrupt LA's lineup. Specifically, Renck points out that the schedule for the Rockies over the next 10 games is much easier than the Dodgers' as Manny gets back in the swing of things.

Renck also points to the difference in bullpen play between Colorado and LA as an explanation of the Rockies' 2-9 record against the Dodgers. I'm not sure that I completely buy this, but the disparity has been a factor.

Tracy Ringolsby notes that the Rockies have a decision to make with their catching situation now that Yorvit Torrealba is returning from the restricted list. I'd prefer options (a), (c), and (e) trade Torrealba to Florida.

Finally, Woody Paige writes about the excitement of Monday night's game and makes some cogent points.

LA Media

Jim Pelz praises Jason Marquis' performance...though the headline calls him an ace. I guess against LA, Marquis has been our ace, though in actuality he's our 3/4 starter.

National Media

Fox Sports' Dayn Perry lists some hot trade market commodities, and Huston Street is on the list. I don't think the Rockies can afford to part with Street at this point...he's the only legitimate reliever Colorado has in their pen.

CBS Sports has their power rankings out once again and the Rockies are fifth in MLB.

Finally, Baseball Prospectus now sees the Rockies' playoff chances as a near 50-50 proposition in their unadjusted playoff odds. Colorado's ELO chance is 42% and its (inaccurate) PECOTA projection is 14%.