ABOUT six short weeks ago, I wrote a post about how a handful of former Rockies' were impacting the postseason races. Some were good. Some were bad. Some were non-factors. Well, here we are in mid-October, with the postseason in full swing, so let's revisit that thought process and see how some old friends are faring in the game's brightest spotlight.
By my count there are nine former Rockies that have played in the postseason thus far (through games played Monday.) Neither the Pirates nor the Yankees used an ex-Rockie in the Wild Card games that ended their seasons. (Rob Scahill was on the Bucs' active roster, but never took the mound against the Cubs).
So which players that we used to root for have made an impact? Well, a handful, though most of them haven't been positive.
Let's start in the National League. The player who has made his presence felt the most is probably Dexter Fowler. Fowler did most of his damage in the Wild Card play-in game, where he went 3-for-4 with a homer and three runs scored in the Cubs' most important game in many, many years. In the NLDS against the Cardinals, Fowler is 3-13 with a double, 2 RBI and one of the Cubs's six homers Monday night. Sticking with the Cubs, Jason Hammel is scheduled to take the bump today at 2:30 this afternoon in perhaps the biggest start of his career. Jon Herrera is also on the Chicago's active roster, but hasn't seen any action yet. It should be noted, however, that he wore this thing on his head during the Wild Card game. (via Cut 4.)
(GIF via mlb.com / Cut 4)
Opposite the Cubs are the Cardinals, of course. The only old friend on the Cards' postseason roster is 2007 should-be MVP Matt Holliday. He's just 2-for-12 in the three games, though he scored two of the Cardinals' six runs in Monday night's loss. Matt Belisle didn't make St. Louis' postseason roster.
In the National League's other series, we have a couple other past-time purple-pinstripers. On the Mets, Juan Uribe and Carlos Torres didn't make the postseason rosters, leaving only Michael Cuddyer . Cuddyer started Game One for the Mets and went 0-3. He didn't play in Game Two, but pinch hit last night and drew a walk. Pretty uneventful postseason so far for Cuddy.
The Dodgers have a couple former Rockie pitchers in Juan Nicasio and Brett Anderson. Nicasio didn't make the postseason roster; Anderson started Game Three last night. It, uhh ... didn't go so well. With the Dodgers needing someone not named Kershaw or Greinke to step up and pitch well, Anderson laid an egg. He pitched three ineffective innings and gave up seven hits and six runs. Maybe he's a true Rockie after all!
A few more players of note have been in action over in the American League. None of them are on the Royals, who have yet to use Franklin Morales-- their lone ex-Rockie-- as they head to a fifth game against the Astros tomorrow. The Astros have had mixed success with former Rockies pitchers. Colin McHugh started Game One against the Royals and pitched well. He threw six innings and gave up two runs in the Astros' win. Aside from Fowler, this has probably been the biggest positive impact in the postseason among former Rockies. We can't forget Will Harris, though, and neither can the Astros. Harris was a Rockies' draft pick in 2006 and had a cup of coffee with the big club late in 2012. After a productive year with the Astros, Harris has had a rough series against the Royals. He's pitched in three games, getting two outs in each outing. In Game Two on Friday, Harris gave up a run on two hits and took the loss. Monday night he was completely lit up. He surrendered four hits and four runs (three earned) as the Astros imploded. His series ERA is 18.00
This leaves us one more series, of course: the Blue Jays and Rangers. The only former Rockie on the Rangers is Drew Stubbs, who hasn't started a game, but has come in as a pinch hitter/defensive replacement. You're not going to believe this, but Stubbs struck out in his only plate appearance.
Toronto has a couple of old friends worth rooting for. We'll start with LaTroy Hawkins. Hawk took the loss in Game Two after giving up two runs in just two-thirds of an inning. If you watched the game though, if felt like death-by-papercuts as the Rangers capitalized on an infield single and a slow roller that found a hole against the shift. That loss felt like a dagger as Toronto headed to Texas down 0-2.
Troy Tulowitzki was having a rough postseason for the Jays and needed to come up big in game three. In the sixth inning the Jays had a 2-0 lead but failed to bust the game open on multiple occasions. They hit into double plays in four consecutive innings! Then, with the crowd on its feet and a full count and two outs, Tulo made one of the biggest swings of his career.
That put the Jays up 5-0 and they haven't looked back. The momentum even carried over to Game Four as the Jays jumped out to a 7-0 lead. Yes, Tulo is just 2-for-17 in the series and they will need more from him, but that one swing sure seemed to change everything.
So there ya go! Some former Rockies are coming up big in October, some are failing miserably, and a handful are doing a whole lot of nothing. When you think about it, that's pretty much baseball in a nutshell.
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