It’s the middle of October and the MLB Postseason is in full swing with the Division Series concluding and the Championship Series beginning today with the Padres hosting the Phillies in the NLCS.
In the Rockies’ 30 years in existence, they have made the playoffs five times in their history, all as Wild Card bids. 2007 was the best showing for the Rockies, advancing to the World Series, while the rest of their postseason appearances have ended in the NLDS or Wild Card rounds. Let’s look into the best performances for hitters and pitchers for every postseason (excluding the single game played in 2017).
1995 (Lost in NLDS-4 Games)
3B Vinny Castilla: 4 Games, .467/.500/1.133, 3 HR
LHP Bruce Ruffin: 4 appearances, 3 1⁄3 innings, 2.70 ERA, 2 SO
The Colorado Rockies’ first playoff appearance was a Wild Card bid in only their third season in the league, losing in four games to the Atlanta Braves. The Rockies’ offense was led by Vinny Castilla, who powered his way to three home runs in four games. Out of the bullpen, Bruce Ruffin put together the best pitching performance for the Rockies’ staff in all four games.
2007 (Lost in WS-11 Games)
OF Matt Holliday: 11 Games, .289/.319/.622, 13 Hits, 5 HR, 10 RBI
RHP Ubaldo Jiménez: 3 Starts, 2.25 ERA, 16 IP, 13 SO
(Honorable Mention: Jeff Francis: 3 Starts, 16 2⁄3 IP, 15 SO, 4.86 ERA)
After missing the playoffs every year since 1995, the Rockies went on their miraculous run of winning 14 out of 15 games to end the regular season and earn a Wild Card spot by beating the Padres in Game 163. The Rockies’ 2007 Postseason run was headed by the offensive efforts of Matt Holliday. Holliday’s five hits — two of which were homers — and four RBI in the four-game NLCS were good enough to earn the Most Valuable Player award for the series. On the pitching side, Ubaldo Jiménez’s 16 innings in three starts led the pitching staff, followed closely behind by Jeff Francis (16 2⁄3 IP, 15 SO, 4.86 ERA). The 2007 run is the only postseason in which the Rockies advanced past the NLDS and the only time many Rockies fans felt joy in their team.
2009 (Lost in NLDS-4 Games)
C Yorvit Torrealba: 4 Games, .357/.357/1.071, 1 HR, 4 RBI
RHP Ubaldo Jiménez: 2 Starts, 5.25 ERA, 12 IP, 11 SO
After a disappointing 2008 season that followed the Rockies’ lone World Series appearance, the Rockies earned another Wild Card appearance in 2009, losing in four games to the Philadelphia Phillies. Yorvit Torrealba led the offense with clutch hitting, including a two-run shot in Game 2 which helped propel the Rockies to a playoff win.
Once again, it was Ubaldo Jiménez leading the pitching staff. The only starter to make two starts, Jiménez threw 12 innings and struck out 11 batters. The Phillies got to Jiménez for five runs in Game 1, but Jiménez bounced back to strike out seven in six innings of two-run ball in Game 4. Unfortunately the performance was not enough, and the Rockies dropped the game and the series.
2018 (Lost in NLDS-4 Games)
SS Trevor Story: 4 Games, .278/.278/.389, 2 2B
(Honorable Mention: OF Gerardo Parra: 3 Games, .500/.556/.500, BB)
LHP Kyle Freeland: 1 Start, 6 2⁄3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 6 SO
(Honorable Mention: RHP Scott Oberg: 4 appearances, 3 2⁄3 IP, 4.91 ERA, 10 SO)
For the first time in franchise history, the Rockies earned playoff berths in back-to-back seasons in 2017-2018. The Rockies lost a tiebreaker game for the division against the Dodgers, meaning they had to travel to Chicago to play the Cubs the next day. Kyle Freeland’s only start was the Wild Card Game, pitching 6 2⁄3 innings of scoreless ball, striking out six in the process. Scott Oberg pitched 1 1⁄3 innings in the extra frames, striking out all four batters he faced. Trevor Story was the best starter in the lineup during the 2018 postseason, which is not saying much as the team mustered up only four runs in four games (41 innings). Story had a couple extra-base hits and went 3-for-6 in the Wild Card Game, scoring the game-winning run. Gerardo Parra was the next best in that lineup, providing hits from both starting in the outfield and off the bench with big hits in the 14th inning of the Wild Card and a pinch hit in NLDS Game 1.
What are your favorite Postseason performances? Let us know in the comments!
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Listen to Zac Veen mic’d up in the Fall League
Rockies OF Zac Veen gets mic’d up while warming up for a game during the Arizona Fall League on October 7th. Listen to the outfielder’s takes on which chain makes the best burritos and if Zac Veen would try running on himself.
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Projecting When Every Non-Playoff Team From 2022 Will Reach the MLB Postseason Again
Bleacher Report’s annual look at the non-playoff teams and when each team might make the postseason next. The outlook for the Rockies is not optimistic and the 2020s may be a long decade for Rockies’ fans.
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The morning every Colorado Rockies fan was smiling
Patrick Lyons of DNVR recalls the Colorado Rockies historic run at the end of the 2007 with the 15 year anniversary of the Rockies advancing to the club’s first World Series appearance.