Thomas Harding goes in-depth discussing what he calls the “Purple Malaise” of the Rockies tumultuous 2019 season, a stretch of baseball that started before the well-documented worst month in franchise history this past July. Thomas refers back to the mid-June series against the Padres that saw the two teams combine for a record-setting 92 runs in a four-game series.
That series split, Thomas says, is like a ghost haunting the Rockies this year. The Rox blew two big late leads, went to extra innings, and saw multiple delays. It was a physically difficult series as well as mentally draining. Very little has gone right since then, and when something has (like a 19-game offensive stretch in which the Rockies hit .311 and averaged seven runs a game), something else faltered (a staff ERA of 8.02 made their record 6-13 in that same timeframe).
According to Harding, it’s a stretch of baseball that Jon Gray could only describe as “maddening weirdness.” I can certainly get on board with that interpretation. It’s been a strange season, and it started with four strange days in June.
In a season that started with such high expectations and has turned into such a large disappointment, nothing else mattered to David Dahl’s teammates except being by his side. As Luke Zahlmann writes, the site of David clutching his leg and screaming in pain was agony for anyone to see, a breakout season for the young All-Star screeching to a halt, but that wouldn’t stop the Rockies from coming together for their friend.
And with their friend and teammate down, the Rockies rallied for him. Ryan McMahon in particular, who is one of David’s best buds, popped a game-tying two-run home run after Dahl’s exit before Ian Desmond eventually drove in the winning run. Ryan admitted, “I was thinking about (Dahl) the whole time,” and regardless of how the entire season turns out, the Rockies showed some very special tenacity in that moment.
Jake Shapiro asks a question that might not be getting asked often enough in his latest article. For a franchise that is forever plagued by the “coors” takes when its offense succeeds, Jake wonders if it’s time we take our word back and use it for when our pitching staff falters or starts to physically break down.
Our pitching staff at it’s core is very young, and therefore should be more physically resilient, but in a season where only Jon Gray has pitched better than he did last year, Cy Young candidates Kyle Freeland and German Marquez are regressing and leaving analysts befuddled. It’s hard to believe 2018 was just a fluke, so there must be something more going on... Is Coors and pitching at elevation finally catching up to these kids?
Well, if Coors Field hasn’t caught up with the young stars of the starting rotation, it has surely caught up with Wade Davis. Prior to Friday’s game, Bud Black announced that Scott Oberg would take over the closer role out of the Rockies bullpen following yet another collapse by Davis.
Davis has a 6.82 ERA this season, which is really bad, but more telling is his home/road splits. On the road, Wade actually has a sparkling 0.68 ERA, but at Coors it balloons to 11.29. That’s not to just blame the venue he has pitched in, though. Wade has been increasingly wild this year and given up substantially more hard hit balls regardless of his scenery. But still, it’s pretty wild to see such a drastic split.
One thing is for sure. With Scott Oberg on the mound to close out games now, Rockies fans should feel a whole lot more secure about walking away with the “W.”
On the farm
A handful of ‘Topes had productive, multi-hit games, headlined by Roberto Ramos (2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI) and Sam Hilliard (3-for-4, 2 R, 2 SB). Pat Valaika doubled and had 2 RBI while Brian Mundell had another couple hits and raised his slash line to .337/.402/.537.
In Lancaster, Tommy Doyle (recently voted as the #22 PuRP) continued an impressive campaign in the hitter-friendly confines of the Hangar and California League by pitching a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts. Tommy lowered his season ERA to 2.37 and has 39 K’s to ten BB’s in 30.1 innings pitched.
Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats 3, Trenton Thunder 1
Short Season-A: Eugene Emeralds 7, Boise Hawks 0