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The Rockies, Chris Rusin, and complete game shutouts

Chris Rusin may have bought himself some time in a Rockies uniform in 2016 with his recent string of performances.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Here's a list that's relevant after yesterday's game:

Jason Jennings (3)

Ubaldo Jimenez (3)

Roger Bailey (2)

Brian Bohanon (2)

Aaron Cook (2)

Jeff Francis (2)

John Thomson (2)

Those are now the only seven pitchers in Rockies history to throw more complete game shutouts than Chris Rusin. That should tell you a little something about the pitching history of this franchise.

In fact, we can look at all the complete game shutouts ever thrown in a Rockies uniform in more detail while we're at it. Here's that list:

1) David Nied: June 21, 1994 - vs. Houston

2) Mark Thomson: August 6, 1996 - vs. Florida

3) Roger Bailey: April 16, 1997 - @ Chicago

4) Roger Bailey: May 4, 1997 - vs. Philadelphia

5) John Thomson: August 6, 1997 - @ New York

6) Darryl Kile: April 30, 1998 - @ New York

7) Mark Brownson: July, 21 - @ Houston

8) Brian Bohanon: August 28, 1999 - vs. Philadelphia

9) Brian Bohanon: September 13, 2000 - @ San Diego

10) Mike Hampton: May 9, 2001 - vs. New York

11) Pedro Astacio: July 5, 2001 - @ San Diego

12) Jason Jennings: August 23, 2001 - @ New York

13) John Thomson: September 30, 2001 - vs. Milwaukee

14) Sun-Woo Kim: September 24, 2005 - vs. San Francisco

15) Jason Jennings: May 6, 2006 - vs. Houston

16) Jason Jennings: May 29, 2006 - @ San Diego

17) Josh Fogg: June 30, 2006 - @ Seattle

18) Jeff Francis: July 24, 2006 - vs. St. Louis

19) Jeff Francis: August 29, 2007 - @ San Francisco

20) Aaron Cook: July 1, 2008 - vs. San Diego

21) Aaron Cook: May 21, 2009 - @ Atlanta

22) Jason Marquis: June 30, 2009 - @ Los Angeles

23) Ubaldo Jimenez: April 17, 2010 - @ Atlanta

24) Ubaldo Jimenez: May 31, 2010 - @ San Francisco

25) Jhoulys Chacin: April 15, 2011 - vs. Cubs

26) Ubaldo Jimenez: June 1, 2011 - @ Los Angeles

27) Tyler Matzek: September 5, 2014 - vs. San Diego

28) Chris Rusin: August 16, 2015 - vs. San Diego

It's an interesting bunch. It has most of the best starters in Rockies history, as well as a few one hit wonders. It has two pitchers making their major league debut (Brownson and Jennings), and a surprisingly even split of home and road games - 15 road, 13 home. (Also, as a side note, how odd is it that the Rockies have thrown a complete game shut out against the Padres six times since Arizona came into the league but they've never thrown a complete game shut out against the D-Backs?)

The question now becomes where does Chris Rusin rank on this list? Is he going to be like Sun-Woo Kim and Mark Brownson who each gave up seven runs in their very next start and appeared in a combined 17 games after that, or does Rusin have more staying power?

Only time will tell, but Rusin is looking more and more like a good guy to have around in the rotation for 2016. He's cheap, he doesn't walk many people, and he's an arm the allows you to keep the pieces in the minors that should stay down there.

Rusin's already exceeded my expectations as far as what he'd do in a Rockies uniform, so if he keeps climbing that ladder and becomes a useful piece at the bottom of the 25 man roster long term, great. Heck, maybe he becomes a legit fourth or fifth starter and you can flip him at the deadline next July when the Rockies should (if they do what I want them to do this winter now that they moved Tulo) be well out of contention. If not, and this year is the best Rusin ever does as a starter, that's fine too, because he'll just be part of a rebuilding season where 25 guys have to populate the active roster.

For now, I'll just tip my cap to Rusin who turned in a totally unexpected performance yesterday afternoon. Good for him. He's bought himself more time in a major league uniform with his performance this year, especially during the month of August.

Oh, and speaking of pitching performances this year, the Rockies could have their lowest rWAR figure ever for their "best pitcher" in 2015, and it could be Rusin. Here's the current top six in terms of rWAR for Rockies pitchers this season:

1) Jorge De La Rosa: 1.0

2) Chad Bettis: 1.0

3) Chris Rusin: 1.0

4) Adam Ottavino: 0.8

5) Yohan Flande: 0.7

6) Jon Gray: 0.6

Even in 2012, the Rockies had guys in the bullpen like Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle posting 2.6 and and 2.2 rWAR figures. It's unlikely we see anyone reach those numbers in the pitching department at this point in the season for 2015, which is kind of scary.

Links

Patrick Saunders has more on Rusin's complete game shut out yesterday, including quotes from the manager and Michael McKenry.

Speaking of McKenry, he had a big double in the seventh inning yesterday to break the game open. After struggling for much of the summer, McKenry's posted huge hits in each of the last two series at Coors (the other being his walk off home run against the Mariners). Patrick Saunders has more on his game yesterday.

Also this weekend, Brewers minor leaguer David Denson became the first player in MLB history to reveal he's gay while still playing for an organization. It now seems like only a matter of time before we have an openly gay player in the majors.