Nolan Arenado: “We Kind of Gave This Month Away”
By Kevin Henry
At the end of Wednesday’s 5-3 loss for the Colorado Rockies at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, Cristhian Adames stood in the batter’s box and Nolan Arenado was letting home plate umpire Nic Lentz know exactly what he thought of his call that Adames hadn’t checked his swing.
Adames was called out on strikes and the bases were left full, giving the Rockies their second straight loss to their American League foes and dropping Colorado to 18-20 at Coors Field.
It was a frustrating end to a frustrating homestand and sleep-deprived few hours for the Rockies.
You can look at the loss with rose-colored glasses and say that the Rockies did everything they could to win with Trevor Story and DJ LeMahieu sidelined by injuries and another game where the Colorado bullpen was stretched thin thanks to overuse and four relievers on the disabled list.
You can also look at the reality that the Rockies had chances to win the game and couldn’t convert, especially when the situation mattered the most in the final frame.
Arenado sat at his locker after the game, refusing to shower while fuming over the way not only the game ended but also how the Rockies were once again close to winning but couldn’t make the plays when needed.
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“Ever since the last day in New York, it hasn’t been very good,” said Arenado, who has MLB’s longest current hitting streak at 12 games. “We’re competing. We’re swinging the bats well. Obviously our pitchers are competing. It’s just that we’re giving a little too many runs. We’ve been making great comebacks and we’re doing a good job of fighting. That’s not going to last long though, especially when you face a guy (Aaron Sanchez, who improved to 8-1 with Wednesday’s win) like today. It was tough. It was a disappointing homestand.”
Since Jason Motte served up a Starlin Castro ninth-inning walkoff homer in the Bronx on June 22, the fewest runs the Rockies have allowed in a game is five. Every game of the past week has been more like a slow-pitch softball game … and it has as much to do with the altitude as it does Colorado pitchers struggling while Colorado’s bats are doing damage.
Arenado is right. Too many runs have cost the Rockies dearly. However, Colorado’s All-Star third baseman said there’s no reason to believe that this team can’t get better as the season goes along, an opposite trend of what has befallen many Rockies teams in recent years.
“Absolutely when we get healthy,” Arenado said about Colorado’s chances of improving their record as the summer moves on. “We need our arms back. We need Rus (Chris Rusin). We need (Tyler) Chatwood. We need those guys healthy. Those are big guys for us. We need (Jake) McGee and (Adam) Ottavino too. We need all of those guys and they’re going to contribute when they come back healthy.”
Wednesday’s loss closed the book on the Rockies for June, a month where they went 13-14. It marked the sixth straight June that the Rockies have had a losing record.
Is it just old times? Nolan Arenado is frustrated but believes this year’s Rockies team can still turn things around. That has to start on Friday when Colorado opens a six-game road trip against Los Angeles and San Francisco, two teams ahead of them in the division standings.
Next: Why Nolan Needs to Keep Yelling and Showing Emotion
“We kind of gave this month away,” Arenado said. “We had a lot of chances to win a lot of close games. We had the lead going into the seventh or eighth. It’s frustrating, but we’re in a better position than we were last year. We’re getting to the last stretch toward the All-Star break, and hopefully we can keep playing good ball.”