Thomas Harding looks back at Nolan Arenado’s season in purple, which was one of mostly ups and a couple minor downs. As a whole Arenado had as good of a season as every, posting a batting line consistent with what he’s done over the past three seasons and once again providing excellent defense at third.
That’s the big picture. Arenado did have a terribly July, which might hav had something to do with some minor dings he experienced around the time of the All-Star. But that only sticks out because literally everyone else on the team was terrible at the same time.
Searching for something for Arenado to improve on, Harding lands on the one part of Arenado’s game that has always been below every other part of his game: His walk rate. From 2015 to 2016, Arenado did increase his walk rate about four percentage points, but it’s been around 9% since then. If you’re trying to find something that can make Arenado even better, it definitely is that.
On the one hand, it provides some sort of relief that the Rockies don’t rank too highly on this “postseason pain index.” On the other hand, a lot of that has to do with the fact that the Rockies haven’t been in the postseason much over the past decade. They come in at number 23 here:
[T]he Rockies didn’t come all that close to winning either series they lost this decade, but both produced tragicomic outcomes. In the 2017 wild-card game, Colorado allowed a game-breaking two-run triple to relief pitcher Archie Bradley; in the 2018 NLDS, fresh off a stirring wild-card win, Colorado basically didn’t try against Milwaukee, scoring a total of two runs in a listless sweep.
The Dodgers are first, mostly because they’ve lost 7 playoff series this decade, and several of them have come in pretty awful circumstances.
To really take this metric to the next level, we need to figure out the pain-to-schadenfreude ratio to determine whether or not watching the Dodgers lose so many playoff series at all makes up for the Rockies just not making the postseason much at all.
Like many others in America’s baseball deserts, Patrick Saunders’s dad found fandom through the power of AM radio. Saunders’s dad became a fan of the Cardinals by listening to KMOX. And now Saunders, who notes that his chosen profession has squeezed team-fandom out of him, is cheering for his dad’s Cardinals this offseason. Give this nice story a read.