David Zalubowski AP Photo
For the second season in a row, Nolan Arenado will finish with over 30 home runs and over 100 RBIs. The big Sunday for the 25 year old start third baseman not only broke him out a slump, it carried the Rockies to a series and season series win against the best team in the National League. The six RBIs and two home runs gave Nolan the Major League lead in RBIs and put him in the league lead for home runs. The final score of the game saw Nolan driving in over half of the Rockies run on the day, the score being 11-4.
Jason Hammel had a 22 inning scoreless streak going into the first inning Sunday afternoon, but that streak would quickly end and would turn into a big deficit. The first runs would score after two singles on Nolan’s first three home run of the game. The inning would not soon end as the Cubs booted the ball around committing three errors in the first. A Tony Wolters double that came with the bases loaded drove in two more and cemented Wolters as the hitter you want up with the bases full. He is 5-7 on the year with three doubles and a triple when the bases are juiced. Another two runs would cross on a two run single from De La Rosa.
The Rockies took a 7-0 lead early and would not soon make it a close game. De La Rosa had easily his best game of the year allowing only two runs on home runs by Addison Russell, but those were solo shots and the Rockies had plenty of insurance. De La finished with six strike outs while allowing only four hits to one of the best offenses out there.
The Rockies managed four more runs over the final seven innings with three more coming on Nolan’s second home run of the game. He ended the game with the RBI lead with a total of 104 and he is poised for another monster year if he can finish the season even a fraction of the way he performed on Sunday.
The Rockies are still four games under .500 and 6.5 back of the wild card, but winning two series against the NL’s best teams is certainly a good sign. If the Rockies can take what they did in those two series and continue it on their road trip, they could find themselves back in the chase. However, the Rockies have been playing to their competition and playing bad teams has resulted in them playing bad baseball. They need to come out on Monday and dominate the Brewers to show they are serious and even if it doesn’t result in them ending the year in a wild card spot, it gives them confidence going into next year.