Arenado, Blackmon find All-Star form

July 8th, 2017

DENVER -- Rockies fan-voted All-Star starters and Charlie Blackmon spent Friday night blasting away the cloud of bad luck that's been following them for more than two weeks.
Arenado went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and five RBIs and Blackmon went 3-for-4 with a solo homer in the Rockies' 12-4 victory over the White Sox at Coors Field.
During a 3-12 stretch -- one the Rockies hope will begin fading into the past -- Arenado and Blackmon were among the Majors' unluckiest players, according to Statcast™ measurements. And after his first-inning RBI single, Arenado had a here-we-go-again moment.
"I got my first hit the first inning and I was 0-for the next couple and I was like, 'Jesus, I hit the ball hard. … What is going on?'" Arenado said. "But it was nice to stay mentally in there and get a couple more after that."
Arenado's 16th homer of the season came in the sixth, for two runs off Chris Beck, and he added a two-run single in the eighth, giving him a season-high five RBIs.

Blackmon's homer off left-hander was his 19th this season, and was the first homer by a left-handed hitter off Holland since the Mariners' on June 10, 2016.
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Follow us here on the Statcast™ misery index for Arenado and Blackmon, starters at third base and center field, respectively, in the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night at Marlins Park in Miami:
In the 15 Rockies games from June 21 to Friday:
• Arenado's expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA) was .321. But his actual weighted on-base average (wOBA) was .289, a difference of 42 points. Among 105 players with 50 or more at-bats over that period, he was the 14th unluckiest player in the Majors.
• Blackmon had a .334 xwOBA, but his actual wOBA was .318, for a difference of 16 points. That made him the Majors' 23rd-unluckiest hitter.
• Both had bad luck with good, old-fashioned batting average, too. Arenado had an expected batting average (xBA) of .305 but an actual average of .279. Blackmon's xBA was .268; the actual was .250.
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"How about that?" said Blackmon, who will also compete in Monday's T-Mobile Home Run Derby in Miami, live on ESPN at 6 p.m. ET. "I knew I wasn't getting hits. I wouldn't say I was incredibly unlucky. I'm thankful for all the hits that I got."
Interestingly, breaks went Blackmon's way. His 22-degree launch angle on the home run was his third-lowest on a homer this season, and one of his singles was an infield dribbler that may have been an out had White Sox shortstop made a better throw.
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Blackmon could feel Arenado's misfortune.
"It seemed like maybe more than anyone in the offense right now, he was putting pretty good swings on balls and was just coming up empty," Blackmon said.
Rockies manager Bud Black said, "I learned long ago from George Brett that if you hit the ball hard, you're going to get hits. That holds true today."
But not to be rewarded still can drive one to distraction.
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Even with the documented misfortune, Black saw fatigue in Arenado -- whose two extra-base hits Friday matched his total over the Rockies' previous 15 games -- and sat him for Thursday afternoon's 6-3 loss to the Reds.
After the game, Arenado was seen walking with his bat toward Coors Field's indoor batting tunnel.
"I didn't want to hit," said Arenado, who at least had coaches willing to stay late. "I just found myself walking toward the cage.
"I really didn't. I was like, 'I swear I shouldn't do this, but I'm going to do this because I can't stop thinking about it.'"
On Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. MT, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game., MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit