Rockies proud to keep Dodgers' party on ice
Colorado sweeps away division leaders in home finale
DENVER -- Nolan Arenado was one of the last Rockies to put away his equipment and join the Rockies on Sunday's postgame lap around Coors Field to toss goodies into the stands and celebrate as best they could a difficult season.
The 36-45 home record was nothing to cheer about, but Sunday was a happy occasion. Arenado hit his 41st homer and drove in a career-high five runs as the Rockies topped the Dodgers, 12-5. The Rockies completed a three-game sweep and left the Dodgers right where they were when they came to town -- looking to clinch the National League West.
"Today versus the Dodgers, we never gave up, we never gave in, we kept fighting, and it was nice to not see them celebrate here, that's for sure," Arenado said.
The sweep was the Rockies' first of the Dodgers since September 2007, when they swept two series on their way to the shocking run that eventually put Colorado in the World Series.
Putting off a party for the Dodgers, whose magic number to eliminate the Giants in the NL West remained at 2, brought some measure of happiness for the Rockies, who saw the Pirates celebrate during a four-game sweep at the start of the homestand. Before the Pirates' arrival, the Rockies went 5-5 on a three-city road trip to mark the first non-losing road trip of at least 10 games since 2009.
"We won three games against probably the division champions and made it tough for them, and that's all you can ask for," Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "It's important. There are fans in the stands, and we've got to play for them. They buy a ticket to watch a professional baseball team."
Several players said they hope the recent performance serves as a reflection on manager Walt Weiss. General manager Jeff Bridich and Weiss have said within the past week that they'll wait until the season is done to discuss next season, the end of Weiss' three-year contract. The lack of a decision has led to speculation about Weiss' future. The situation will hang in the air throughout the season-ending road trip to Arizona and San Francisco, and until a decision is announced.
Second baseman DJ LeMahieu said observers mistake Weiss' calm dugout demeanor for a lack of fire but that's because others can't see or hear his intensity.
"Whenever someone throws high and in or he feels they're not playing the game the right way, he's the first one to say something to the other team -- he's got our backs," LeMahieu said. "He's challenged us, no doubt, especially in the middle of the year.
"We didn't always respond the best at times, and that relates to our record. But he's definitely got that fire and we all feed off that."
Arenado said the record isn't as much a reflection on Weiss as it is on a team that simply needs to get better from within and continue to look for talent.
"We haven't been very good," Arenado said. "The blame doesn't go to him. He puts the best guys out there and we need to go perform. We weren't able to do that this year. Hopefully, we'll have some guys next year ready to play and give him a better chance to win."