Something extremely rare and totally unexpected took place this week at Coors Field: The Colorado Rockies won a series.
Calling this series win “rare” is not merely a cheap shot at a struggling team. It is, unfortunately, the reality the Colorado Rockies have fallen into in the second half of 2019.
Since the All-Star break in mid July, the Rockies have played in 18 series. After taking two of three from the St. Louis Cardinals this week, Colorado is now 4-14 in those series. That’s right, the Rockies have won just four series since the All-Star break.
To make matters worse, out of those 14 series losses, they have been swept six times, including three four-game sweeps. In the second half, the Rockies have been swept more often than they’ve won a series.
So what led to the Rockies’ victories this week? Another rarity: Great pitching from both the rotation and the bullpen as the Rockies pulled off nearly identical 2-1 victories.
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In game one, Chi Chi Gonzalez allowed just one run on four hits through six innings on his way to his first big league win since 2015.
The bullpen struck out four in three shutout innings, including two dominant innings from Jairo Diaz (who now has a 1.29 ERA and .197 batting average against since July 25) and an excellent performance from Carlos Estevez, who struck out both batters he faced and has lowered his ERA to a career-best 3.90 while posting a 2.76 ERA since August 11.
In game two, Antonio Senzatela followed suit, also throwing six one-run, four-hit innings backed up by three more shutout innings by Wes Parsons, Estevez, and Diaz, who picked up a save in his second consecutive night.
Winning a series might not usually be that big of a deal, but right now, the Rockies are looking for any sign of good news and the 18 innings of terrific pitching by some of the staff’s younger arms is certainly worthy of recognition. Let’s hope it’s a precursor of better things to come in 2020.