For the Rockies, July became a fight to salvage any hope for a return to the playoffs. They finished the month with a total of 6 wins and 19 losses, the worst single month record in club history. But don’t give up on them just yet. Remember, these are the bounce back Rockies who surprised everyone in the closing days of the 2007 season and surprised us with a surge of wins last August.
They finished this discouraging month with a three-game series against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers. In Monday night’s opener, they ambushed Dodger starter Kenta Maeda, who lasted only 4 innings, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits. Jon Gray was on the hill for the Rockies delivering one of his best outings of the season, allowing only 1 run in 8 innings. The Rockies went on to win 9 – 1 with Big Jon becoming the first starting pitcher in club history to win 10 games in four consecutive seasons.
The Dodgers won Tuesdays matchup 9 – 4 as Rockies starter Kyle Freeland struggled again, surrendering 8 runs in a brief 3.2 inning appearance.
The last game in July on Wednesday was a 5-1 Dodgers win in which a solid 6 innings of 2-hit, 0 runs ball by German Marquez was wasted when closer Wade Davis was burned for 5 runs in the ninth inning.
With their potentially disastrous July behind them, the Rockies charged into the month of August on Friday night with a 5-4 win over the visiting San Francisco Giants. The offense was sparked by home runs by Trevor Story and Ryan McMahon and a seventh inning double by Ian Desmond that drove in Charlie Blackmon with the winning run. Scott Oberg, who has now been designated the closer, shut down the Giants in the ninth inning.
A special feature of this game was a fitting pre-game tribute to San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, who will be retiring at the end of this season. Bochy has managed 212 games at Coors Field as skipper of the San Diego Padres (1995-2006) and the Giants (2007 to present). This is more than twice that of any other opponent manager in Coors Field history.
Saturday night’s contest featured the Rockies Jon Gray going up against the Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. In a shocking first inning meltdown, Gray was pounded for 4 runs. Against Bumgarner that kind of early deficit usually leads to a loss. The Rockies had successfully attacked MadBum at Coors Field in the past and they did so again in this game, scoring 5 runs including home runs by Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon. Unfortunately, 2 late inning runs off reliever Carlos Estevez led to a 6-5 loss.
The resilient Rockies bounced back in Sunday’s finale as Kyle Freeland seemed to have finally found his groove, allowing only 2 runs in five full innings of work. They jumped out to an early lead scoring 3 runs in the first inning which included Trevor Story’s club leading 25th home run. This blast extended Trevor’s string of home runs against the Giants to five games, which ties him with Andres Galarraga as the longest streak against a single opponent in club history. Even more significantly, it made him the first primary shortstop in Major League history to hit 20 or more home runs in each of his first four seasons. Oh, by the way, just to make this an even greater day, the Rockies won this one 6-2
This week the Rockies, who despite their miserable July are still lurking 6.5 games back in the Wild Card race, will head to Minute Maid Park for a short two game tussle with the Houston Astros. Then they’ll travel west to Petco Park for a four game weekend series against the San Diego Padres.
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