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A continued eulogy for the 2018 Rockies

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Rockies news and links for October 9, 2018

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It’s clear from today’s links that we’re not quite ready to say goodbye to the 2018 season just yet, but there is much to look forward to in 2019 just the same!

How the Rockies’ fizzling offense finally flatlined in NLDS sweep by the Brewers | The Athletic ($)
Apparently, there were some people who thought the Rockies’ offense might be bad in 2018. Nick Groke of The Athletic sums it up as “a fizzling problem [that] finally flatlined.” The team’s lack of collective offensive production was finally painfully realized in the National League Division Series, but according to wRC+, the Rockies have only had a better offense than the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres since the beginning of the 2017 season. It’s incredible to see that the worst period of offensive production in franchise history has been accompanied by consecutive postseason berths, but credit must go to quite possibly the best pitching staff in franchise history. It’s just a shame that an NLDS sweep was the culmination of “The Plate Depression.”

Charlie Blackmon spoke about how things could have been done differently mentally. Blackmon says that the mentality of making “leveraged at-bats really count” and being “better with runners on base or with two outs and a guy on third” during the regular season will help translate to success in the postseason.

Rockies now enter a pivotal offseason following a disappointing NLDS elimination to Brewers | CBS Sports
Onward! As all but five teams head into the offseason, there will be plenty of questions ahead for 2019. R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports breaks down the possibilities for the Rockies. Could the team trade Nolan Arenado before possibly losing the All-Star third baseman to another team in free agency following the 2019 season? Will Jon Gray take a step forward? And will the Rockies roll out a bullpen that features guaranteed contracts for Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee and Mike Dunn?

Colorado Rockies: There’s one main reason why they were swept | Rox Pile
It’s not difficult to pinpoint the offense as the reason the Rockies were swept by the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS. But just how bad was it? Rox Pile’s Noah Yingling breaks down where the team’s NLDS performance ranks historically, and it turns out to be bottom five since 1995 according to both batting average and OPS.

Playoff Prospectus: Hey Hey My My | Baseball Prospectus
Yes, Sunday was a disappointing game. But Roger Cormier of Baseball Prospectus recaps the Rockies’ loss in such entertaining fashion that you can almost bear to relive it.

Rox face decision on Arenado for long term | Rockies.com
Thomas Harding of MLB.com further details what could happen with Arenado over the offseason. For his part, Arenado fully expects to show up to Spring Training in a Rockies’ uniform. Harding also offers information on Gray, who admits that he wasn’t healthy for much of 2018. Gray lost about 20 pounds and his fastball velocity was noticeably down. Gray says he will focus on putting on more weight this offseason.

Also from this article, Blackmon says “Somebody should write a really good article on how good [Scott] Oberg has gotten these last couple of months.” While it’s more of a micro-level scope, Purple Row’s Connor Farrell recently provided analysis of Oberg’s dominant Wild Card Game performance, for those of you seeking Oberg love.

Fuck, man | Medium
In a post on Medium, Connor Farrell (perhaps a relation) finds himself at a loss for how to describe a season full of hope that has come to a disappointing end.

The turning point that brought German Marquez to the biggest game of his life | BSN Denver
Drew Creasman of BSN Denver discusses the most important game of German Márquez’s career in terms of growth. Márquez labored through the first three innings of a start against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 8 before the fourth inning rolled around and he decided to utilize the breaking pitches he’d been working on. That inning ended up being an immaculate inning (three strikeouts on nine pitches). The rest, as they say, is history, as Márquez has been among the best starting pitchers in baseball since that inning. That has led to a Game 163 start against the Los Angeles Dodgers and an elimination game start in Game 3 of the NLDS versus the Brewers. While both games didn’t go in favor of the Rockies, we certainly can plan on seeing Márquez in games of similar magnitude in the future.

2018-2019 Market Snapshot: Catcher | MLB Trade Rumors
If the Rockies want to improve their offense in 2019, they would be wise to explore the catching market. Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors breaks down the market for backstops. It’s clear that Yasmani Grandal and Wilson Ramos will be by far the biggest prizes. On the trade market, rumors will likely surround JT Realmuto of the Miami Marlins for yet another offseason. Oh, and Drew Butera will also be a free agent if anyone is interested.

Why is MLB still using 6 umpires in postseason games? | Bleed Cubbie Blue
Bleed Cubbie Blue’s Al Yellon questions the necessity of having two extra umpires working the left and right field lines during the postseason. Umpires have expressed themselves that they feel out of their element being asked to officiate an area that is not covered during the regular season, and there has been history of blown calls due to that fact.