What is easily overlooked in the struggles the Rockies have had in the early days of the 2019 season is they have a pitching staff that is making its presence felt -- especially on the road. The Rockies go into Sunday's series finale against the Phillies iwth a team ERA of 4.17, sixth best in the NL, just behind the Dodgers (4.06) and just ahead of the Cardinals (4.32).
The bullpen ranks fifth in the National League with a 3.70 ERA, and the rotation is eighth with an ERA of 4.46.
The Rockies have been particularly strong on the mound when the team is on the road. The team road ERA of 2.74 is the second lowest in the NL, trailing the Pirates (2.53) and with an impressive edge on third-place Cincinnati (3.65). Six of the relievers who have appeared for the Rockies are unscored upon on the road, led by Bryan Shaw who has worked six shutout innings. The Big 4 in the rotation have excelled on the road -- German Marquez (0.41), Antonio Senzatela (1.35), Jon Gray (2.21) and Kyle Freeland (3.24).
Did you know . . .
-- Charlie Blackmon became the first player in Rockies history to deliver a walk-off home run in one game (Friday) and leadoff the next game (Saturday) with a home run. He is the first player in MLB to do it since Brett Gardner of the Yankees, who led off the Yankees July 28, 2017 game against Tampa with a home run after delivering the walkoff for the Yankees against the Rays the night before.
--The two home runs give Blackmon 10 in his career against the Phillies, his most against a team outside the NL West, one more than he has hit against the Nationals. Within the NL West, he has 19 against both the D-backs and the Padres.
-- Phil Gosselin was forced into duty at shortstop for the Phillies when Scott Kingery had to depart in the fourth inning on Friday with a strained right hamstring. He made his presence felt in the Phillies 8-5 victory on Saturday. With the Phillies trailing 3-1, Gosselin delivered the three-run double in the fourth that gave Philadelphia the lead for good. Those three RBI? Well, Gosselin has appeared in 278 big-league games over the last seven seasons with the Braves, D-Backs, Pirates, Rangers and Reds before joining the Phillies this year. In only three of those seven seasons had he had more than three RBI -- for the season.
-- Nolan Arenado homered in three consecutive games earlier in the week. The third of the three, on Tuesday at San Diego, was the 189th of Arenado's career. That moved him into sixth on the Rockies all-time list, ahead of Troy Tulowtizki. The next target? Dante Bichette had 201 home runs as a Rockie. Todd Helton holds the franchise record with 369 followed by Larry Walker (258), Vinny Castilla (239), Carlos Gonzalez (227) and Bichette. Helton is the only one of the five ahead of Areando who was an original Rockies player.
--The Rockies went into Sunday with nine games remaining in April. They had opened the season 8-13, a .381 winning percentage, which is lower than all but two Aprils in franchise history. They were 6-15 (.286) in 2005 and 8-14 (.364) in 1003, their first year of existence. They wernt 10-16 (.385) in both 2002 and 2007.