Rockies Season Recap

Rockies Season Recap

Matt Luci, Reporter

The Colorado Rockies opened their season with lofty expectations coming off of a playoff season. These expectations were almost fully internal. The media did not have such expectations. Their season started off pretty average. Their record stayed around .500 and they couldn’t quite break through. Luckily none of the other teams in the National League West were pulling ahead either. The Dodgers started slow and almost looked like they would be a non factor this year.

During late June the Rockies were coming off a lost series against the Miami Marlins and were about to get swept by their rival, the San Francisco Giants. They were losing 8-7 in the ninth inning. All hope was gone and the season seemed to be lost. Second basemen DJ Lemahieu was at bat with two outs and the game was on the line. The loud crowd in San Francisco was silenced when Lemahieu launched a two run home run to take the lead. Finally the Rockies got a break and were able to hold onto their lead.

Image result for dj lemahieu giants
DJ Lemahieu hits a home run in the ninth inning against the Giants.

Even then, the Rockies still had more losses than wins at this point. They won a come from behind game at a crucial time. In their next series against the Dodgers, the Rockies continued with their momentum and their pitchers seemed to regain what they were able to do early in the year. The Rockies rolled through their next 8 series, either winning them or splitting the games.

It was almost like a flip was switched when DJ Lemahieu hit a home run against the Giants. From that point the Rockies number of games behind in the division gradually shrunk. It seemed like it was a matter of time before they took over first place.

The day finally came and the Colorado Rockies were elevated to first place in the NL West in early September. It was a tight three team race with the end nowhere in sight. The Rockies lead of just a half game stayed until the last two weeks of the season.

The team traveled to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers in a three game series. These games were monumental considering the division race going on. At this point the Arizona Diamondbacks had faded back and were no longer in serious contention. The Dodgers took all three games of the series. The Rockies looked lost when hitting and shortstop Trevor Story was injured in the first game. The division lead was gone and so did the hope for the Rockies season. Ten games left in the season and the Rockies now had to make a 3.5 game comeback.

Just like that the Rockies had flipped another switch. They won their next eight games and nine out of ten to finish the season. At one point they regained the division lead but it was all tied up after 162 games. The Rockies would have to play the Dodgers in a tie breaker game to decide who won the National League West.

Image result for tony wolters cubs
Catcher Tony Wolters hugs pitcher Scott Oberg after getting the last out in the wild card game.

Once again the Rockies traveled to Los Angeles. This game seemed almost anti-climatic as the game was a mirror image of their last series in LA. The score was 5-2 with both Colorado runs coming in the 9th inning. The season was not over yet. The Rockies would now travel to their third city in three days to play the Chicago Cubs for the National League wild card game.

The game was a pitchers duel between Kyle Freeland and the Cubs’ Jon Lester. After the Rockies scored in the first inning the game was shut down until the Cubs tied the game in the eighth. The game would head to extra innings and seemed like it would never end. The Rockies had two men on base with two outs and the last player off the bench, Tony Wolters, hit a RBI single to take the lead in the 13th inning. This play will be remembered for a long time in Colorado. The Rockies would move onto the NLDS to play the Milwaukee Brewers.

This series does not need much analysis as the Rockies struggles were evident. The team pitched well but was non existent at the plate. They combined for two runs the whole series and were shut out in their only game at home. This was a massive letdown after such a promising season. But the fans have to be optimistic. This was one of the teams best seasons in franchise history, winning 91 games and coming up one win short of the division title.

Many players on the team have a future that is uncertain. This will most likely be the last time we’ve seen outfielders Carlos Gonzalez, Gerardo Parra, and Matt Holiday. David Dahl will will most likely take over an everyday position while that leaving one outfield spot open alongside Charlie Blackmon. The remaining spot will likely go to either a prospect like Raimel Tapia, or Ian Desmond could be moved from first base. Another player who is not guaranteed to return is second basemen DJ Lemahieu. The former gold glove, batting champion is a free agent this winter. While it seems obvious the team will try to sign him back, this may not be the case. The Rockies best prospect and baseball’s number 6 overall prospect is ready for a major league call up. The problem is he plays shortstop but the current starter for the Rockies, Trevor Story, will not budge. This leads to him being moved to second base. This could mean DJ Lemahieu’s time with Colorado could be over.

things can get a little iffy because of the business side of it.”

— Nolan Arenado

The biggest name on the team, Nolan Arenado, is not a free agent this year, but he still brings question marks. Arenado will be a free agent before the 2020 season. To sign him back will require an extremely large contract. Some smaller market teams who cannot afford contracts this size will trade the player before they can leave. This is something that all Rockies fans do not want to see happen. But as we have learned in previous offseasons, anything can happen. The 2019 Rockies season will be largely affected by what general manager decides to do in the next couple of months.