This Colorado Rockies flashback for July 19 involves Nolan Arenado and takes you back to the 2017 season.
Nolan Arenado missed playing in only three of the Colorado Rockies‘ 162 games during the 2017 campaign. But it was after one of those “off nights” just three years ago that Arenado, who has been named an All-Star in each of the past five seasons, arguably had his best individual game performance of his sterling 11-year career while leading the Rockies to one of their most explosive offensive outputs in club history.
After going 0-for-5 at the plate in the Rockies’ 9-6 victory July 17 against the San Diego Padres in the opener of a three-game series at Coors Field, Arenado did not play the next night and was replaced at third base in the Colorado lineup by Alexi Amarista. Despite Arenado’s absence, the Rockies — aided by two hits and an RBI from Amarista — rolled to a 9-7 victory against the Padres.
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Thus, Colorado was seeking a sweep in the series finale on July 19. Arenado made sure of the sweep in his return the diamond by collecting hits in his first five at-bats, three of which were home runs, on the way to scoring four times as well as amassing seven RBI and 14 total bases as the Rockies vanquished San Diego 18-4 behind a 21-hit attack.
The five hits, three homers, four runs scored, seven runs batted in, and 14 total bases are career single-game bests for Arenado (he has posted the runs and RBI totals twice).
The team’s 21 hits mark the last time Colorado notched 20 or more hits in a game while Arenado’s 14 total bases matched a single-game franchise record. He is also the last Rockies player to have five hits in a contest.
Aranado’s performance on that Wednesday afternoon in 2017 started innocently enough as he notched RBI singles in his first two trips to the plate against Padres starter Clayton Richard. Those run-producing hits helped stake Colorado to a 6-0 lead after three innings.
Facing Richard a third time, Arenado led off the bottom of the fourth with his first homer of the day for a 7-0 cushion. Things only got worse for Richard.
Trevor Story, who finished with three hits and three runs batted in, made it 9-0 with a two-run home run later in the inning before Richard, a left-hander, surrendered a ground-rule double to Ryan Hanigan. Hanigan, batting eighth in the order, joined Story with three hits on the day.
Richard’s day came to a close after 3.2 innings when Colorado starting pitcher Jon Gray drove in Hanigan with a single to center field to make it 10-0.
Richard was replaced on the mound by Kevin Quackenbush. Charlie Blackmon, who tallied three hits, three runs, and two RBI on the day, promptly greeted Quackenbush by depositing the righthander’s first offering beyond the fence in right center field for a two-run round-tripper.
The blast capped a six-run uprising for Colorado in the fourth inning and the Rockies were in front by a dozen.
Quackenbush did not have any better luck against Arenado than did Richard. The Rockies standout third baseman led off the bottom of the fifth inning against Quackenbush with his second homer of the game.
An inning later, Arenado would smash his third and final homer of the game — a three-run shot off Quackenbush — to give Colorado a 17-4 advantage at the time.
Gerardo Parra contributed four hits — all singles — in five plate appearances as all but one Rockies starter hit safely in the contest.
In his final at-bat of the day in the eighth inning and seeking his sixth hit of the game, Arenado lined out to left field against Padres reliever Kirby Yates.
After his three-home run performance in the series finale against the Padres on July 19 followed by the Rockies having a scheduled off day on July 20, Arenado continued his homer onslaught in Colorado’s next game — a home affair July 21 against Pittsburgh. He smashed a solo blast in the sixth inning off the Pirates’ Trevor Williams in Pittsburgh’s eventual 13-5 victory.
Arenado is the last Rockies player to connect for four home runs in a two-game span.