As a rule, I think all articles should have to refer to DJ LeMahieu as a former Rockies’ stalwart. Anyhow, among the many reasons that we all miss DJ this season, even if the process to not sign him was probably the correct one, is the fact that he has been separated from his buddy Charlie Blackmon.
Their buddy comedy was always enjoyable. That, and the offense they provided at the top of the lineup all those years. It is fitting, if bittersweet, that they won AL and NL player of the month honors in the same month. Luke Zahlman takes a look at both months and gets some reactions from the Rockies clubhouse about the honors.
It was also hilarious that Charlie said on the broadcast Wednesday and elsewhere that DJ’s mom texted him about it.
Thomas Harding chatted with Blackmon about the award for June, in which Chuck unsurprisingly said that it means he “had a good one-sixth of season.” Harding also writes about how Blackmon will be looking ahead to keep things going. Considering how much the Rockies need their offense to produce to keep up these days, that certainly means the pressure will remain on Blackmon and the other stars in the lineup.
Let me tell you one thing I’m confident about: you won’t find anybody who isn’t cheering for Valaika. And since he first arrived in our lives as a solid bat off the bench a couple years ago, I figured we would get to cheer for him in that role for a while.
Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way, and over the last couple seasons Valaika has simply looked overmatched at the big league level no matter his role. Jack Etkin takes a look at the way in which Valaika’s hitless streak this season was prolonged by a stint in the minor leagues. He also talked to Valaika about the mental toughness it took to overcome that slump.
Again, Valaika is easy to cheer for. I just wish he would play better.
On the farm
Kyle Freeland technically took the loss in Triple-A, but he pitched a stellar game. He went seven innings and struck out nine batters, issuing a couple walks and allowing just the one run. Unfortunately he got zero runs of support in a low-scoring loss. That outing lowered his ERA to 8.80 - yes, lowered - so there’s still a ways to go, but this was definitely a positive sign.
Elsewhere in the minors, Jack Wynkoop threw a complete game shutout in Hartford’s win. As you might expect, he put up a sparkling stat line, issuing no walks and allowing just four hits. He struck out five.
Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats 4, Bowie Baysox 0
Short Season-A: Boise Hawks 9, Everett AquaSox 2
DSL 1: DSL Rockies 6, DSL Angels 2