Last night, Carlos Gonzalez hit a pair of home runs. One down the left field line in the first inning, and another down the right field line in the fourth. The blasts brought Cargo's home run total on the season to 35, which is good for the NL lead by himself. Here's a video of the jack that has him on top:
Cargo entered the night tied for the league lead in that category with teammate Nolan Arenado, who also hit a bomb in last night's game bringing his season total to 34.
Why are these totals significant? Both players are now likely to pass the Rockies season record for home runs (37) since the humidor was installed in 2002. Yes, Larry Walker, Todd Helton, Andres Galarraga, Vinny Castilla, Ellis Burks, and Dante Bichette have all hit 40 or more in a season, but they did it in a different world, and their straight up counting stats are not comparable to what's going on at Coors Field now.
How crazy were those first seven years at Coors? The top 11 spots on the Rockies all time single season home run leaderboard are all from seasons from 1995 through 2001.
Since then however, things have calmed down considerably. Here's a list of the top 15 home run seasons by Rockies entering 2015 since the humidor was installed.
It's a fun list, but the totals here underscore that piling up large home runs totals is not nearly as easy as it once was when you play half your games in this park. It's still a good place to hit dingers, but whatever advantage you see a mile high is now small enough to be largely wiped out by the Coors Hangover Effect when the Rockies go out on the road.
So if Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado can both get to the 38 home run mark this season (something that now seems likely), they will be in a place that no Rockie has ever gone in this version of Coors Field. What we're witnessing here is a particular version of power we've never quite seen before. The Blake Street Bombers didn't have a chance in this environment (I have a feeling Larry Walker still might have hit 40 in 1997 with a humidor), but it's interesting.
Cargo's run of late has been especially incredible. In his last 50 games, he's hit 25 home runs and posted a 1.175 OPS. If he hit home runs at that rate playing 150 games in the same season, he would be the new all time single season home run leader with 75. Won't happen obviously, but that's the type of run he's been on for a third of a season. It's good to see.
This also isn't to say that Cargo or Arenado are putting up the best overall seasons we've seen at the plate. As great as their power has been, Cargo's .333 OBP and Arenado's .320 OBP don't even crack the top 75 for Rockies with at least 300 plate appearances in a season since the humidor was installed. As a result, their wRC+ numbers are not quite as eye-popping as you might expect.
Still, in a season where the record is shot, these two are putting on a heck of a show. Savor it, because by next year, Cargo is probably hitting these home runs for somebody else.