Counting Down the 100 Greatest Colorado Rockies: 96. Josh Fogg

Mar 28, 2015; Guiyang, China; Dragon dancers perform during opening ceremonies in the 2015 IAAF World cross country championships at the Qingzhen Training Base. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 28, 2015; Guiyang, China; Dragon dancers perform during opening ceremonies in the 2015 IAAF World cross country championships at the Qingzhen Training Base. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Opening Day is April 3 against the Brewers and it can’t come soon enough. To help cope with the pain of a baseball free life, Rox Pile will be counting down the 100 greatest Colorado Rockies in franchise history.

This list isn’t completely arbitrary but it does not rely strictly on numbers. Other factors will include major contributions, team culture, fan appreciation and overall importance to the club. This order is in no way definitive. It is meant to spark conversation. Let us know your thoughts at @RoxpileFS on Twitter. Let the countdown begin! Let baseball start soon.

96. Josh Fogg

Looking at Josh Fogg’s numbers, you would never guess his nickname is the “Dragon Slayer.” Numbers are important but they only tell a part of the story.

Fogg’s WAR with the Rockies was 1.7. But in 2008 the Rockies let go of Fogg, Jamey Carroll and LaTroy Hawkins. They were all important pieces to the 2007 World Series run. A team that should have been back to the playoffs in 2008, didn’t have the same chemistry.  Ryan Spilborghs wrote an article this past season, bringing attention to this matter, titled “Importance of ‘Glue Guys‘”. Fogg helped make that 2007 team cohesive and was integral part of making them World Series contenders.

Fogg came to LoDo after a difficult season in 2005 with the Pittsburgh Pirates where he went 6-11 with a 5.05 ERA. Fogg’s ERA actually got worse at 5.49 but he had a winning record in 2006 at 11-9. In 2007 he had had a 10-9 season but improved his ERA to 4.94. Fogg brought stability. You knew what you were getting when he came to the mound. He ate innings and kept you in the game.

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But Fogg also had a knack of delivering some truly standout performances. In his first season with the Rockies he pitched a two-hit complete game shut out against the Seattle Mariners a club with Adrian Beltre and Raul Ibanez. “Dragon Slayer” came the next year when he won against the reigning Cy Young Winner Brandon Webb and a regular season game against the Boston Red Sox and Curt Shilling. But the postseason is where Fogg truly shined. In the NLDS against the Phillies  he gave up one hit in two innings in relief work. Since Aaron Cook was gone for the NLCS, Fogg stretched the rotation and went six strong innings only giving up one run to help sweep both the respective series. Unfortunately success against the Red Sox in the regular season and success in the playoffs didn’t translate to the World Series. In the first World Series game ever at Coors Field, Fogg went just 2.2 innings pitched, giving up six runs all coming in the third inning. The Rockies lost the game 10-5 and all but signaled midnight for this cinderella team in the World Series. Fogg couldn’t slay his most important dragon in Daisuke Matsuzaka.

The Rockies let Fogg go and he signed with the Cincinnati Reds. The move was a downgrade for both teams. The Rockies won 16 less games than they did in 2007 (74) in a division where the Dodgers won it by winning 84 games. Fogg went 2-7 with a 7.58 ERA. The chemistry was gone for both parties. Realizing this Fogg, resigned with the Rockies in 2009 making most of his appearances out of the pen posting a 3.74 ERA. In 2010 he signed minor league contracts with the Mets and then with the Phillies but he would never see the majors again retiring that year.

If it wasn’t for Josh Fogg and other teammates like him, the Rockies may never have been in the World Series in the first place. Fogg pitched well enough in the regular season and especially in the playoffs to warrant starting the first ever World Series game in Denver. Fogg is just as important as Elmer’s in the glue game. For that he will always be remembered in Denver as the “Dragon Slayer” and the first pitcher to ever start a World Series game at 20th and Blake. Cementing his place as one of the best Rockies of all-time.

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