Not only did the Rockies win yesterday and avoid a sweep, but their starting pitcher made a little history.
I'm not very fond of pitching wins as a statistic, but De La Rosa's milestone performance yesterday gives us a good excuse to appreciate his journey as a Rockie.
When he first arrived here, De La Rosa was an afterthought; the player to be named later in a Ramon Ramirez deal in 2008. Now, he represents a counterpoint to almost everything most people think of when they think about pitching in this organization.
They say the Rockies don't develop pitchers well, but they developed him. They say it's harder to pitch at Coors Field, but it's not for him. They say that nobody, if given the choice, would want to pitch for the Rockies, but he does, as indicated by the two year deal he signed last September instead of testing the free agent waters.
He'll have his ups and downs, but yesterday, he provided the Rockies with everything you want from the leader of your staff. With the team staring a four game sweep right in the face, De La Rosa came to the rescue and gave his mates seven strong innings and a chance to stop the bleeding.
This is both a success and a comeback story. The player to be named later (over a month later) is now the all time franchise leader in wins, and think about how unlikely this moment was when the Rockies acquired him seven years ago.
Of course, De La Rosa needed a little run support, and he got all he needed in the first inning on home runs from Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado. Blackmon has really developed into a player who can do lots of little things well. He doesn't excel at any one part of the game, but he's become a very useful player when you consider his all around game. The power he's provided from the leadoff spot is just one example.
In the most touching story of the weekend, two fans show that you don't need sight to be able to enjoy the game of baseball. Definitely worth a click here.
The Rockies landed two players with very, very high ceilings with their first two picks in last week's draft, but they're both just out of high school and a long way off from the majors. The road ahead presents a unique set of challenges for both of them on and off the field as they will come of age as a member of the Rockies organization.
Purple Row will be watching every step of the way.
If you haven't already, be sure to check out Jordan's piece on Chad Bettis today.
It's hard to believe, but it's important to remember that Bettis hasn't made more than 14 starts at any level above High-A Modesto when he pitched there in 2011. He's still learning and getting better, and so far this season, he's taken a mighty leap forward. Let's hope it continues, because that nearly 20 mph gap between his fastball and curve ball is brutal for opposing hitter if he can locate.
The National Hurricane Center now gives a disturbance in the western Gulf of Mexico an 80 percent chance of developing into a tropical storm before it reaches the Texas coast tomorrow. The Rockies are supposed to be playing the Astros in the afternoon and then flying out of the Houston area to play them again in Coors on Wednesday and Thursday, but if there's tropical storm force winds and over five inches of rain falling, the Tuesday logistics could get dicey.
If the season goes completely in the tank over the next month, the Rockies may be able to fetch an interesting prospect in return for John Axford, especially if he continues to pitch as well as he has for the first two and a half months.
It's a hot topic right now, and it will only get hotter if Gray continues to show progress and Chris Rusin officially turns back into Chris Rusin. Regardless of what side of the debate you fall on, it's a good thing that we're having this discussion, because it means Gray is trending in the right direction.
We'll close the Rockies links today by circling back to where we started. This time, with another strong take on Jorge De La Rosa's performance yesterday, and what he means to this team.
The Nationals have been disappointing so for this season, but their big off season acquisition yesterday showed everyone why they should still be considered a very dangerous team. I wouldn't be surprised at all if they win the division and Scherzer proves to be a huge difference maker for them in October.
This is turning into a run similar to the one the Rockies had in June of 2009 when they won 17 of 18 and went from last place to the thick of a playoff battle. This doesn't appear to be a fluke either like the Mets' 11-game winning streak from earlier this year may turn out to be.
The Blue Jays now have the best run differential of any team in baseball. They haven't won this division in over 20 years either, so I would look for them to get very aggressive around the trading deadline. This is the best chance they've had to take this crown in a long, long time.
What a mess! Boston is staring its second straight August and September with no meaningful baseball in the face, and worse yet, the team appears directionless. On one hand, they did just win the World Series in 2013, but that hasn't stopped this region from grabbing their torches and pitchforks in response to the dreadful performances they've witnessed from a team with MLB's third highest payroll. The more I look at this club's play since September of 2011, the more confused I am by their 97-win 2013 season.
Also, while we're on the subject of the Red Sox, here's what it might look like if Dustin Pedroia was about to be eaten by dinosaurs.