Here we are in the middle of September, just 11 games from the end of the regular season for the Rockies. As much as I'm tempted to just tune out the last throes of a terrible season (very much so), I have to remember that after the season ends there will be no baseball that I'm invested in for over five months. For fans of a team coming off as bad a year as the Rockies have just had both on the field and in the owner's suite, it's a bleak prospect indeed.
As such, I'll be watching as much Rockies baseball as I can over the season's last two weeks. In so doing, I'll get a look at the post-hype version of Eddie Butler, Tyler Matzek continuing his big league growth, and watching some players play their last games in a Rockies uniform. It's far from ideal, but it's better than the alternative. I think.
Colorado's 10-4 victory over the Dodgers yesterday was a nice break from the losing we've seen all year. The win, which came despite the Rockies getting outhit 16-9, was Colorado's 60th of the year. I thought for a while that the Road to 100 was dead and gone, but the recent seven game losing streak has once again brought that quest into the picture. As a reminder, the Rockies will need to go 3-8 the rest of the way to avoid the ignominy of their first 100 loss campaign - and they need to go 5-6 to avoid tying for the worst record in franchise history.
Also of note last night was that Corey Dickerson's 23rd homer of the year, a two run shot in the fourth inning off of Dan Haren, had the highest apex of any homer hit this year in MLB per Hit Tracker Online at 171 feet, a full 11 feet higher than second place. The homer had the 5th highest elevation angle of any shot this year at 41.9 degrees and was the second such 40+ degree elevation homer Dickerson has hit this year. Speaking of home runs...
Justin Perline of Beyond the Boxscore dives into the farthest home run at Coors Field in the Hit Tracker era, a 498 foot monster by Matt Holliday against Matt Cain in 2006, the second longest that has been tracked by the tool.
As Thomas Harding writes, a CT scan and MRI revealed early-onset pneumonia for Nolan Arenado in addition to the chest contusion that the Rockies expected. Arenado has fluid in his lungs and might miss the rest of the year. As Bryan wrote last night, Rockies fans are beginning to expect this sort of stuff to happen. It's turned into a regular Oregon Trail adventure for the Rockies - Kyle Parker must have dysentery.
Harding also writes that Troy Tulowitzki was walking unaided and without a limp before the game yesterday. It goes without saying that the Rockies need their star shortstop to be his dominant self next year if their record is to get drastically better.
David Martin is encouraged by the growth shown by Tyler Matzek this year and believes that the 2015 rotation might be in decent shape. I think that's a reasonable opinion, provided that Jhoulys Chacin is back and healthy and that Jordan Lyles can repeat his early 2014 success. There are too many question marks for me to say it will be a decent rotation, but the talent is there to put together a competitive squad when paired with a solid bullpen and good health.
In case you missed it, the Rockies are apparently moving their Triple-A operation a few hundred miles south on I-25 to the Albuquerque Isotopes, breaking off a 21 year relationship with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. In Albuquerque, the Rockies would get a similar altitude to Coors Field (about 5300 feet), a newer facility (built in 2003), and a team name upgrade from the Sky Sox. Still, it will be bittersweet to see the Sky Sox playing under another MLB team's banner.
A number of playoff-bound teams are actually better on the road than they are at home, including the Dodgers, Royals, and Mariners. Meanwhile, the Rockies have a massive 0.259 home/road winning percentage gap, easily the largest in the majors. More on this and other Rockies road futility stats in the near future.