Arenado keeps up torrid stretch with 2 homers
Rockies third baseman has streak of run, hit, RBI in seven games
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rockies' Nolan Arenado has strong statistics that can be used to debate his standing among third basemen in the Majors - he added two homers and three RBIs to the case during Sunday's 6-3 loss to the Giants. But Arenado seeks meaning over numbers.
Arenado pulled a 1-1 changeup from Giants star lefty Madison Bumgarner into the left-field seats with one on for a 2-0 first-inning lead. In the ninth, he went deep off Sergio Romo to increase his homer total to 24 and his RBIs to a Majors-leading 68.
His hit streak moved to 15 games, and he joined the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera as the only players in the last five years to have a seven-game streak of at least one hit, one run and one RBI.
But Arenado is more concerned about impact.
"Obviously, that first-inning number meant more than the last-inning homer," Arenado said. "It's all about winning. I hit two homers today but I can't really enjoy it because we lost. I'm thankful I had a good game today, but we lost, and the big picture is winning games. We didn't do that this series."
The Rockies arrived eight games off the pace in the National League West and in last place, but feeling a couple of weeks of hot baseball -- riding the bat of one of the sport's hottest hitters -- could make dreams of contending more realistic. They leave San Francisco nine games back, but still hoping for traction.
But at least they have a player worthy of game-wide discussion.
As of last week's All-Star balloting update, Arenado ranked fourth in online fan voting among National League third basemen with 2,380,227 votes. The leader was the Cardinals' Matt Carpenter (5,504,534), followed by the Reds' Todd Frazier (4,308,446) and Cubs rookie Kris Bryant (3,042,439). Unless there is a dramatic turnaround among fans, Arenado's best chance at an invitation rests with the player/manager/coach voting that is currently being conducted.
No matter what the vote count says, Arenado's performance can't be ignored. The hitting is torrid, and Arenado's defense is at the standard it was the past two years -- which ended with Rawlings Gold Glove Awards.
"He's definitely in the zone, on both sides of the ball," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He's a pretty special player."
Arenado just would rather it be a special time for the Rockies, who have lengthy streaks from Troy Tulowitzki (12-game hit and 28-game on-base streaks) and Charlie Blackmon (11-game hit streak, after sitting out Sunday), and .309 hitting from DJ LeMahieu. Still, the lengthy run of success has been elusive.