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Tuesdays With Mitch: Tulo and CarGo are back

It took a while, but the Rockies' two superstars are finally playing up to their potential.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the eighth Purple Row edition (and 113th overall) of Tuesdays With Mitch, where there's a ton going on the sports world, but we're still focusing on baseball, because that's what summertime is for. Let's get into it...

For me, the strangest aspect of the first couple months of the Rockies' season was the performance of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. Before each Rockies' season the narrative is the same: IF Tulowitzki and Gonzalez stay healthy, the Rockies COULD be a surprise team in the National League.

I've always pretty much agreed with this thought process since both Tulo and Cargo are guys capable of carrying a team to victories by themselves. So, having them both on the field at the same time should mean good things for the Rox. The historical precedent is there, as the Rockies traditionally (and unsurprisingly) have had dramatically better records when their two superstars are on the field together than when one or both watches from the dugout.

But then 2015 started. Both Tulo and Cargo were healthy. And both were... bad. The lack of production was startling, particularly for Gonzalez, who brought absolutely nothing to the table offensively.

Perhaps nothing illustrates this better than this graphic on the Rockies' Baseball-Reference page. From left to right, these are the Rockies' leaders in WAR this year. And just in case you're not into all the advanced sabermetrics, I (very artistically) went ahead and pointed out all of the players who are in the Rockies top-12 in WAR and are not Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez.

*Note: Tulo's productive Monday night finally moved him ahead of Matzek, Ottavino, and Blackmon.(A big jump in just one game!) So he's currently seventh, not tenth. He clearly doesn't care about my graphic design skills.

Indeed, Carlos Gonzalez has not even been one of the top-12 most productive Rockies in 2015. Tulo has been quite a bit better, but certainly not as productive as we would all expect. Now, if we saw this graphic before the season, we would all probably assume that injuries played the biggest role in the lack of production among the two studs, but that hasn't been the case. Cargo has started 49 of 56 games and come off the bench in three more. Tulo has started 45 of 56 and come off the bench in five more. Most of the games Tulo has missed can be attributed to "scheduled off days". Both players have avoided the disabled list. So health hasn't been an issue, at least in terms of playing time.

So that information seems like a pretty huge bummer, but not to worry. This is a happy post!

Both of the Rockies' alleged superstars have been, much, much better in the second half of their seasons than the first. Check out their numbers, here split about halfway between around 200 plate appearances each.

CARLOS GONZALEZ IN 2015

PA

AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

HR

RBI

BB

K

BABip

Through May 13th

110

101

.188

.245

.297

.542

2

6

8

27

.233

Since May 14th

102

86

.314

.406

.488

.894

4

12

14

11

.319

The most encouraging numbers here are all of them. Really! But the sharp reversal of Gonzalez's strikeout and walk rates have changed his season. Early on, CarGo was striking out thrice for every one walk. Now he's walking more than he's striking out. His gorgeous swing is starting to become more productive because of better discipline and pitch recognition.

Tulowitzki is improving, too.

TROY TULOWITZKI IN 2015

PA

AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

HR

RBI

BB

K

BABip

Through May 6th

97

94

.298

.309

.489

.799

2

10

2

20

.356

Since May 8th

100

93

.323

.360

.538

.898

5

22

6

20

.362

Tulo has been far more consistent than CarGo this year (who hasn't?), so the splits aren't quite as dramatic, but again, just about every category is trending in the right direction.

Moreover, the duo has been flat out mashing since May 29th, or the same day a post was written on this website about how much they have stunk. (I just hope this post doesn't reverse the reverse jinx.). And yes, I must add the BLAH BLAH BLAH SMALL SAMPLE SIZE disclaimer here, but these numbers are pretty damn encouraging.

PA

AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

HR

RBI

BB

K

BABip

Tulo Since May 29th

36

33

.515

.556

1.030

1.586

5

14

3

4

.500

CarGo Since May 29th

44

38

.395

.455

.632

1.086

2

5

5

5

.406

So Gonzalez is pretty smoking right now and Tulowitzki is in the middle of one of his patented out-of-this-world stretches that we've all been waiting for.

Putting a winning baseball team on the field requires a lot of things to go right, but if Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki stay hot (and healthy) and keep putting quality at-bats together, I think the post-losing-streak Rockies will continue to win more games than they lose. (As I mentioned last week, I think it's fair to look at this Rockies team as three separate entities, with the current one starting after that horrific, 11-game losing streak. Monday's win made them 15-11 since that streak.)

That doesn't necessarily mean I think the Rockies can contend this year. That stretch of baseball in May dug themselves a huge hole and getting consistent starting pitching is never a given with this team. I can confidently say, however, that a Rockies team with a productive CarGo and a productive Tulo on the field at the same time will not suck.

And with the Rockies, not sucking is always a positive development. We don't how long the productivity and health of CarGo and Tulo will last. And we don't know if it will lead to more victories. But the Rockies' two superstars playing like they're capable of is always, Always, ALWAYS a positive development.

And hey while we're on the topic of Tulo being awesome again, I hope you saw his reaction after going deep last Tuesday night to give the Rockies a late lead. It was pretty fantastic. (And let us never speak of the events that followed this moment ever again. Ever.)


Now we proceed to the weekly departments...

Stud of the week: Lots of goosebumps can be found on Joey Gallo's first MLB homer in his first game. Check out his dad (in the red) fighting back tears.

Baseball has plenty of young offensive talent on the way to stardom. Here's hoping MLB can promote them accordingly.

Ass of the week: Sepp Blatter is an ass (I'm told) so here's John Oliver eating McDonald's and chugging Bud Light Lime. This will be the extent of all soccer related discussion this week. (Oliver is pretty great, though.)

Some fun media from the NBA Finals:

The last basketball series of the year has arrived, and with comes plenty of things for the internet to laugh it...

I have no idea what happens to Iman Shumpert here, but it legitimately looks like the video game controller came unplugged or something. (Keep an eye on the defender with the Fresh Prince flat top)

And this creepy, CREEEEEEPY appearance from out of nowhere by a really weird TV personality absolutely kills me. Guy's like a damn whack-a-mole. Somebody get a mallet and send him back in his hole.

And I feel like this might have been a travel, but whatevs...

LeBron James has different handshakes for these two players. The one with Matt Dellavedova is a little more... formal.

Pretty cool video of a fan winning a BMW on a half court shot. His yellow-clad friends were happy!

#bmwwinningshot #winningshot #bmw this guy just won a car!!!! #halfcourt #bmwsf

A video posted by Phillip Nguyen (@runpiprun) on 

TV's best sports studio show is done for the year. Here's their little highlight package. Some pretty good stuff in here.

Hey the Stanley Cup Final is happening now, too!

Here's the overtime game-winner from last night. Just listen to how quickly that building goes silent. Always pretty funny when you don't have a dog in the fight.

A couple other notable Vines from the week:

I think this is pretty much what we all said after watching American Pharoah's performance on Saturday. Holy sh!t, indeed.

And the new Sports Illustrated cover is making its rounds today. It's beautiful, if you're the kind of person who can find a magazine cover beautiful. (I am.)

And what we have here is a high school graduation in Miami. These dudes decided to celebrate with a well-executed "Stone Cold Stunner." Graduating high school is fun because you can do ridiculous stuff AND NO ONE CAN TOUCH YOU, BROS!

(Although, it should probably be noted that the school wasn't happy, but the 12 million loops on this Vine has GOT to make it worth it.)

And finally, who wears a GoPro to a damn baseball game? (If this is fake, credit for foolin' me.)

Happy Tuesday, everybody. Thanks for readin'. See ya next week.

***

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos, or other media I should know about. Follow me on Twitter @TuesWithMitch.