The Rockies are 10-5 in May and have won four of their last five series.
Jurickson Profar has reached base in 27 straight games.
The Rockies completed their biggest comeback of the season, overcoming a 5-0 deficit to post an 11-6 win over the Reds on Wednesday.
Despite an abundance of injuries, the Rockies are on a good streak this month.
There is one streak that the Rockies are on that is not so great: At 225 games, Colorado has the longest grand slam drought in MLB. Elias Díaz hit the last Rockies grand slam on Sept. 10, 2021 in an 11-2 win over the Phillies in Philadelphia.
Nine teams have yet to get a homer this season. The Rockies and the Nationals were the only teams to not record a grand slam in the 2022 season. When Washington’s CJ Abrams hit a grand slam on April 27 against the Mets, the Rockies earned the slam-less drought crown.
That streak, along with the Rockies ability to score 11 runs on Wednesday without a homer, made me want to look closer at the Rockies offensive numbers this season, especially when there are runners on base, runners in scoring position, and when the bases are loaded.
Overall, it’s no secret the Rockies are lacking power this season (the last few, actually). But the numbers tell even more about the offense.
Through Colorado’s win over Cincinnati on Wednesday, the Rockies ranked second in MLB with 92 doubles, No. 12 with a .256 batting average, No. 13 in RBI with 190, and No. 15 with 380 strikeouts. Most other stats fall to the lower tier of the league in OBP (No. 19 at .317), walks (No. 24 at 126), and home runs (No. 26 at 37).
Rockies Batting With Runners On
There is one area where the Rockies are better than anyone else in MLB: sacrifice flies. The Rockies have hit 18 sacrifice flies this season. Instead of homers, the Rockies are hitting pop flies. Often, trading a run for an out is worth it. However, the Rockies need more rallies.
Even though there weren’t any homers in a five-run fifth inning and a six-run sixth inning in Wednesday’s win, the big difference was that there were no sac flies either. In the fifth inning, the Rockies had four singles, one double, and a walk. In the sixth, Colorado scored six runs scored via three singles, a double, a triple, one walk, and one HBP.
The other area that’s halting rallies before they start is double plays. The Rockies have hit into the sixth most double plays with 38 so far in 2023. Even if homers aren’t going to be common in this lineup, the Rockies have to turn more sac flies and double plays into more singles and doubles. It makes a huge difference.
The Rockies have 32 at-bats with the bases loaded this year. With the bases juiced, the Rockies have 10 strikeouts, eight hits (six singles and two doubles), three sac flies, two double plays, and 25 RBI. Four of those RBI came in one game, the 11-6 win over the Reds.
Díaz is far and away the best Rockie to have at the plate this season with runners in scoring position. In 36 at-bats, he’s got 16 hits, three of which are doubles, with 17 RBI while slashing .444/.450/.528/.978. C.J. Cron is next up with 16 RBI with RISP, thanks largely to three homers, and Ezequiel Tovar has driven in 15 runs and hit five doubles and four singles.
With the bases loaded, Profar has had the most chances and made the most of it. He is 3-for-5 in six at-bats with one double and five RBI. Alan Trejo has a double and a walk in two at-bats with four RBI with the bases full and Ezequiel Tovar also has four RBI on one hit and one walk in four at-bats.
If the Rockies want to keep winning in May and beyond, they need to trade the sac flies for rallies. It sure does make watching much more fun.
★ ★ ★
To help fans who might (rightly) be more focused on the Nuggest 2-0 lead over the Lakers in the NBA Western Conference Finals than baseball right now, Patrick Saunders gives a shoutout to the Rockies much-improved play of late. He credits Kyle Freeland’s ability to post solid numbers in a rotation that’s in constant flux, the bullpen’s grit, and the offense getting a boost from Brenton Doyle and increasing its clutch hitting.
Rockies fans know the courage and perseverance that Daniel Bard has shown to return to the game from a seven-year, yip-fueled absence from baseball and being vocal about his struggles with mental health. Considering the impact it could have on other players, other athletes, and fans, it’s great to see Bard getting attention in the Daily Cover section of Sports Illustrated’s website.
★ ★ ★
On the Farm
Jimmy Herron hit an inside-the-park homer, Yonathan Daza went 3-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored, and Nolan Jones recorded two hits, two walks, and one RBI to lift the Isotopes over the Rainers on Thursday night. Ty Blach earned the win after throwing five scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Elehuris Montero hit a sac fly in the third to put Albuquerque up 1-0 in the third inning and the Isotopes never lost the lead. Herron finished with two hits and Trevor Boone went 2-for-4 with one run scored.
A walk-off is a walk-off no matter what form it takes. On Thursday, the Yard Goats earned a walk-off win on a bunt single by Julio Carreras and an assist from a Sea Dog throwing error to take two in a row against first-place Portland. Drew Romo broke up Sea Dog Grant Gambrell’s no-hitter in the sixth with a solo homer. Portland struck back with a solo homer in the ninth to send the game to extra innings and the back-and-forth battle began. The Sea Dogs went up 2-1 in the 10th before Romo hit a sac bunt and Warming Bernabel plated Carreras on a fielder’s choice. Portland regained a 3-2 lead in the 11th until Bladimir Restituyo singled and Zac Veen hit a sac fly to push the game to the 12th. Will Ethridge pitched a scoreless 12th for Hartford and Carrera’s ended the game in his first at-bat. Chris McMahon pitched five scoreless innings with five strikeouts to start the game and Austin Kitchen added another 2 1⁄3 scoreless for the Yard Goats.
Despite blowing a 9-5 lead in the bottom of the ninth, Spokane rallied back in the 10th when Yanquiel Fernandez continued to tear it up by hitting an RBI triple and then came around to score on a Juan Guerrero single in the top of the 10th for the win. Zach Kokoska hit his eighth homer of the season, Ben Sims and Nic Kent each had two hits, two runs scored, and one run driven in, Jordan Beck added two hits and two RBI, and Braidan Warded scored two runs and chipped in two hits for the Indians.
EJ Andrews Jr. homered in the first inning and Jean Perez added another solo shot in the third to give Fresno a 2-0 lead, but the Nuts put up four runs in the fourth to take a lead they would never lose. Michael Prosecky dropped to 2-2 with the loss. He was able to get out of jams in the first three innings and posted three strikeouts before loading the bases with no outs in the fourth when Modesto made him pay with two singles, a sac fly, and drawing a HBP. Parker Kelly recorded two of the Grizzlies seven hits.
★ ★ ★
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