With two MVP candidates plus a Cy Young contender, this isn’t your father’s Rockies

The Rockies Insider.

Rockies diehards, casual fans and media brethren: No matter what happens these next couple weeks, let’s all agree to, at the very least, enjoy every moment of what this gritty Colorado club can offer.

Two bona fide MVP candidates in Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story. A Cy Young-caliber season out of Kyle Freeland, even if the stellar southpaw might not even crack the top three in votes for the award.

Not to mention 43 comeback victories, a .666 winning percentage in one-run and two-run games (46-23) and first place in the division in September for the first time since 1995.

These are not your father’s Rockies.

In fact, despite bullpen and offensive inconsistencies which have continually threatened to sink the season as well as a questionably large contract for Ian Desmond, I’d argue this is the most talented, cohesive Colorado roster ever assembled from top to bottom.

This week’s series victory over Arizona underscored this group’s resilience and now, with September call-ups, their depth — even if their bench isn’t stacked with veteran household names like the Dodgers’ is.

Colorado won by blowout over the Diamondbacks in the opener on Monday, then played poorly on Tuesday. Cool-cat Bud Black’s crew responded to that setback with DJ LeMahieu’s walk-off homer on Wednesday and the series-clincher behind Freeland, Story and Arenado on Thursday.

Speaking of walk-offs — this season, the Rockies have recorded all five of their walk-off home runs since July 15, with each one coming from a different player. Ipso facto, there’s plenty of clutch to go around.

Sprinkle that stat in with the nostalgia and effectiveness of Rocktober veteran Matt Holliday (.371 with two homers since his call-up Aug. 23), a bunch of youngsters hungry to make their major league name (David Dahl, Ryan McMahon, et. al) and perhaps one of the most underrated deals of the deadline in reliever Seunghwan Oh, and the result is Denver’s best chance at postseason glory to date.

Yes, general manger Jeff Bridich could have made more deadline moves at a cost, and yeah there are still some looming bullpen questions, and of course the batting average for a couple of the team’s regulars beyond Desmond (Tony Wolters at .183, Chris Iannetta at .224) is a bit low for anyone’s liking.

But remember, Rockies followers: Septembers like these have been in short supply in this club’s history. Just hold on to your seats, your hats and enjoy these next couple weeks — or, enjoy all the way through the franchise’s fifth October with Cardiac Colorado, whatever it may be.

— Kyle Newman, The Denver Post



What’s on tap?

  • At San Francisco Giants, 8:15 p.m. Friday, ATTRM
  • At San Francisco Giants, 7 p.m. Saturday, ATTRM
  • At San Francisco Giants, 2 p.m. Sunday, ATTRM

TV/RADIO: Here’s what sports are airing today

Scores, Stats and Standings

Must-Read

Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado ...

Andy Cross, The Denver Post

Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) points to the sky after hitting a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning at Coors Field Sept. 13, 2018.

With series win over Diamondbacks in LoDo, first-place Rockies’ playoff inevitability feeling all the more real

In Thursday’s matinee against the Diamondbacks at Coors Field, Colorado did what playoff teams do in September. Read more…

Dustin Bradford, Getty Images

DENVER, CO – JULY 15: Manager Bud Black #10 of the Colorado Rockies hands the ball to Scott Oberg #45 as catcher Chris Iannetta #22 looks on during a pitching change in the eighth inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Coors Field on July 15, 2018 in Denver, Colorado.

Colorado to face MLB’s coldest team in San Francisco, inside Scott Oberg’s domination and more

Following Thursday afternoon’s series finale against Arizona at Coors Field, Colorado heads on its final road trip of the season for a dozen-game NL West stint that begins Friday night against the Giants. Read more…

 

Quick Hits

Rockies injury updates: Kyle Freeland’s calf is fine, Seunghwan Oh expects to be back in action soon after hamstring tightness

+ Rockies podcast: Seunghwan Oh talks about his baseball origin, Colorado’s playoff push and more

+ From working with hitters to being a “sounding board” for coaches, Rockies’ Aaron Munoz more than just a bullpen catcher

+ Kiszla: Dress for MVP success. Trevor Story has Brady-like tendencies and jersey of Pats QB in his wardrobe.

+ Trevor Story becomes first MLB shortstop to reach 40 doubles, 30 homers and 25 steals in a season

Kiz vs. Saunders: Would you vote Jacob deGrom over Kyle Freeland for the Cy Young Award?

The first inning has been a disaster for the Rockies’ rotation. Using a young reliever as an “opener” couldn’t hurt.

DJ LeMahieu launches walk-off homer as Rockies beat D-backs to extend NL West lead

+ Rockies Record Tracker: See how Colorado has fared against each opponent this season.

Want to chat about the Rockies? Ask to join our closed discussion group on Facebook.

By The Numbers

2010

Comparing the pitching campaigns of Kyle Freeland, German Marquez to Ubaldo Jimenez’s record-setting 2010 season

Carrying the team down the stretch, Freeland and Marquez are turning in seasons that rival hard-throwing Jimenez’s banner year. Read more…

Parting Shot

As Rockies’ TV analysts, ex-Colorado outfielders Ryan Spilborghs and Cory Sullivan bring same energy they did as players

In their fifth seasons, Sullivan explained: “I’m not kidding when I say that when Spilly and I were on the bench, this is what we did.” Read more…

Get in Touch

If you see something that’s cause for question or have a comment, thought or suggestion, email me at dboniface@denverpost.com or tweet me @danielboniface.

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