It’s not saying too much to say that a re-energized offense saved the Rockies’ season.
Colorado enters Tuesday’s game at Chicago vs. the Cubs hot off of a 9-1 homestand and back in the thick of the National League wild-card race.
The offense has keyed the turnaround. The Rockies’ 3-12 start was the worst in franchise history and it was characterized by too many strikeouts, too many “empty” at-bats with runners in scoring position and a dearth of home runs from key players.
Consider that after a 5-2 loss at San Francisco on May 13, the Rockies’ eighth consecutive defeat, Nolan Arenado was hitting .246 with no home runs.
Slash lines (average/on-base%, slugging %) for Rockies position players since the team’s 3-12 start:
The next day, German Marquez nearly no-hit the Giants, Arenado homered and the Rockies won 4-0. Since that Sunday, Colorado has gone 28-15 and Arenado has hit .380 with 45 RBIs and launched 16 home runs.
“Nolan starting to hit better, and Trevor (Story), too, really helped,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “Guys started to relax more and just play baseball. Guys were pressing when we got off the the bad start, but Nolan started setting the tone.”
Arenado had a memorable May, hitting .425 with nine home runs, nine doubles, a triple and 29 RBIs. His on-base percentage was an astounding .479.
After Colorado beat the Blue Jays 5-1 on Sunday, a game in which Arenado went 2-for-4 with a home run, the all-star third baseman acknowledged that he’s in a good place.