2018 Colorado Rockies
2018 Colorado Rockies / Franchise: Colorado Rockies / BR Team Page
Managed by Bud Black
History, Comments, Contributions
The 2018 Colorado Rockies were coming off a postseason appearance and were hoping to do what no other Rockies team had ever done: go to the postseason for a second straight year. They were in a good position to do so, not having lost any key players over the off-season, while adding closer Wade Davis to take over for Greg Holland. Led by second-year manager Bud Black, the Rockies went at it systematically, playing well over the entire season. They were above .500 in five of the season's six months, the only exception being June. They made it to first place on May 21st, but it was as part of a tight three-team race also involving the Arizona Diamondbacks and the stumbling Los Angeles Dodgers. They didn't stay in first for long, and their poor month of June meant they were relegated to fourth place for a while when the San Francisco Giants inserted themselves in the race for a time. They were as many as 8 games back on June 28th.
However, after that trough, the Rockies began to climb back up towards the peak, and starting in July, their second half was excellent. By the All-Star break, they had reduced their deficit to 2 games and were in third place, as the Giants began to drop out of the race. At the end of July, their deficit was down to only a half-game as they were now 10 games above .500. However, they slowed down a bit in August, and were back in third place on August 31st, 3 games back and in danger of missing the postseason, given the AL West was likely to contribute only one wild card team, given the situation in the NL Central. However, when the really serious things began in September, the Rockies stepped up in a way that could only remind their fans of the glorious run they had put together to reach the World Series in 2007. They won their first five games to build a one-and-a-half game lead, and the race began to be a two-team one with Dodgers, as the Diamondbacks had a rough month and dropped away. The Rockies stumbled when they were swept in a three-game series at Dodger Stadium on September 17-19 to fall 2 1/2 games back. Most observers wrote them off as potential division winners at that point, but they did not give up, qui the opposite. On September 21st, they started a winning streak of 8 straight games that placed them back in first place on September 26th and clinched a return to the postseason on the 28th. One of the heroes of that streak was OF David Dahl, coming back after missing all of 2017, who homered in the last five of these games, but it was really a team effort: they gave up a total of just 12 runs in those 8 games, and never more than three in any games, while scoring a whopping 57. They lost on the penultimate day of the season to fall into a tie with the Dodgers, then needing a win to force a one-game playoff on September 30th, they demolished the Washington Nationals, 12-0, behind a cycle by Charlie Blackmon, a pair of long balls by Nolan Arenado and the sixth homer in seven games by Dahl, combined with an outstanding start by Tyler Anderson.
Obviously, playing in Colorado, they had some great offensive numbers with SS Trevor Story and 3B Arenado putting up MVP-type seasons, but what was different was that their pitching was also excellent. Kyle Freeland, who got the win in the postseason-clinching game, was able to put up an ERA below 3.00 while making half his starts in Coors Field, while #2 starter German Marquez set a new team record for strikeouts in a season. Davis had over 40 saves and his two set-up men, Adam Ottavino and Scott Oberg both had ERA's below 3.00, like Freeland. This was a well-balanced team likely to give any opponent fits.
Awards and Honors
- All-Stars: Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story
- NL Gold Glove: Nolan Arenado (3B) and D.J. LeMahieu (2B)
- NL Silver Slugger Award: Nolan Arenado (3B), German Marquez (P) and Trevor Story (SS)
- Associated Press: "Rockies look to reel in playoff spot for 2nd straight season", USA Today Sports, March 22, 2018. 
- Thomas Harding: "Rockies still have much to prove in 2018", mlb.com, March 5, 2018. 
- Thomas Harding: "The Top 10 Rockies Moments of 2018", mlb.com, September 29, 2018. 
- Bob Nightengale: "Colorado Rockies resurgence reminiscent of magical 2007 postseason run", USA Today, September 24, 2018.