The Colorado Rockies swept the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park this week, this much you know. What you may not know is it was the first time in seven years the Rockies held an opponent to three runs or less in a series. Kudos to our friends at the Purple Dinosaur Podcast for digging up that stat first.
This is only the 4th time in @Rockies history they've allowed 3 runs or less in a 3-game series and the first time since July 2008.— Purple Dino Podcast (@purpledinocast) April 16, 2015
The series in question was a three-game weekend set from July 25-27, 2008 in, of all places, Cincinnati.
In the recently wrapped series in San Francisco, much of the Rockies' success was because of strong starting pitching, as Eddie Butler, Christian Bergman and Tyler Matzek combined to allow just one run in 15⅓ innings of work. Similarly, against the Reds in 2008, the Rockies got excellent starts from Aaron Cook, Jorge De La Rosa, and Ubaldo Jimenez, who combined to allow two runs in 20⅔ innings pitched in the series.
There is a bit of similarity to the starters in the two series; both featured a rookie that struggled with command at times early in his career, a lefty that thrives at Coors Field and a soft-tossing right-hander. Here's a look back each of the wins over the Reds:
July 25, 2008: Rockies 7, Reds 2
The Rockies got off to a fast start in the series with two runs in the first against their own personal punching bag Edinson Volquez (7.56 career ERA against Colorado) thanks to a double from Garrett Atkins that scored Willy Taveras and Matt Holliday.
Cincinnati got a run back in the second against Cook on an RBI single from Edwin Encarnacion, but the Rockies blew it open in the third with a solo home run from Jeff Baker and a two-run shot by Brad Hawpe, taking a 5-1 lead.
The game stayed 5-1 until the eighth, when Taveras' double scored Troy Tulowitzki. Ian Stewart's RBI single in the ninth made it 7-1 for the Rockies before Matt Herges allowed the Reds a consolation run in the bottom of the ninth while closing out the 7-2 win.
July 26, 2008: Rockies 5, Reds 1
This was an example of death by a thousand paper cuts for Reds starter Homer Bailey, who allowed 15 hits, 14 of them singles, to the Rockies in his 4⅔ innings of work. The lone Rockies extra-base hit in the game, an Atkins double, was not a part of the scoring.
The Rockies scored a run in the second thanks to a pair of singles, a sacrifice bunt and an error by Encarnacion to take a 1-0 lead. They then blew the game open in the fifth with six straight singles that led to four runs and chased Bailey from the game.
The lone run for Cincinnati came in the third when De La Rosa served up a solo home run to Ken Griffey Jr.
July 27, 2008: Rockies 11, Reds 0
The Rockies closed out the series with a bang, knocking around former teammate Josh Fogg to the tune of seven runs on eight hits in 3⅔ innings as Colorado cruised to a blowout win.
An Atkins sacrifice fly and a two-run single from Tulowitzki in the third gave the Rockies a 3-0 lead that expanded to 7-0 an inning later thanks to a pair of two-run homers from Baker and Atkins that spelled the end of Fogg's afternoon.
Meanwhile, Jimenez mowed down the Reds, allowing five hits and a walk with two strikeouts in six shutout innings. Scoreless innings from Ryan Speier, Luis Vizcaino and Kip Wells closed out the game and the sweep.