Rockies Stat of the Day: Sept./Oct. 2021

October 3rd, 2021 is keeping track of a Stat of the Day for the Rockies this season, highlighting a unique, interesting or fun nugget from each game.

Oct. 3: D-backs 5, Rockies 4 -- Average a good place to start
The Rockies' .249 batting average was the lowest in club history. While there was improvement toward the end, even on the road, improving the offense with consistency must be a goal as they build for 2022.

Oct. 2: D-backs 11, Rockies 2 -- Fernández lights it up
Rookie right-hander Julian Fernández fired a pitch at 102.8 mph in the seventh inning. It was tied with a delivery from the Yankees' Aroldis Chapman for fourth-fastest in the Majors this year, and it was the Rockies' single-fastest pitch since pitch-tracking began in 2008. Pitches have been tracked by Statcast since 2015. In fact, Fernández, who has thrown 117 pitches since debuting last month, has the Rockies' five fastest pitches since pitch tracking began.

Oct. 1: Rockies 9, D-backs 7 -- Story joins the record books
If Trevor Story, who drove in the go-ahead run, is leaving in free agency, he's doing it in style. Story's stolen base on Friday night gave him 20 for the season, to go with 24 home runs. In doing so, Story became the seventh player all-time to accumulate 150 home runs and 100 steals over his first six seasons. He joined Willie Mays, Bobby Bonds, Darryl Strawberry, Andruw Jones, Ryan Braun and Mike Trout.

Sept. 29: Rockies 10, Nationals 5 -- Rockies' stark road splits
After Wednesday's win, the Rockies will finish the 2021 season with three games at National League West rival Arizona. Colorado is 30-43 against its division, but there is a stark divide between how it has done against the two postseason qualifiers and against the other two teams. The Rockies are 20-15 against the D-backs and Padres, but 10-27 against the first-place Giants and second-place Dodgers.

Sept. 28: Rockies 3, Nationals 1 -- Freeland dominates Nats
Kyle Freeland held the Nationals to one run on six scattered -- and mostly soft-contact -- hits over 6 2/3 innings, and that success is a habit against Washington. In six career starts against the Nationals (two at Coors Field), Freeland is 4-1 with a 1.83 ERA (34 1/3 IP, 7 ER).

Sept. 27: Nationals 5, Rockies 4 -- Rockies struggling at Coors
After a season-best nine-game home win streak, the Rockies are on home skids of 1-10 and 3-12. In the last 15 games they have been outscored 103-63, and starters have combined for a 7.49 ERA (69.2 IP, 58 ER).

Sept. 26: Giants 6, Rockies 2 -- Giants overstay welcome
The Rockies were swept by San Francisco at Coors Field for the second time this season (also Sept. 6-8). Prior to that, no team had ever swept the Rockies twice in the same season at Coors. The only other time the Rockies were swept at home twice in the same season by one team was in 1993, when the Braves accomplished the feat at Mile High Stadium.

Sept. 25: Giants 7, Rockies 2 -- Home not so sweet
The Rockies were 43-20 at Coors Field in 2021 as of Sept. 2. Since then, they are 3-11 at the corner of 20th and Blake Street following their second loss of the series to the Giants.

Sept. 24: Giants 7, Rockies 2 -- Blackmon joins Walker
Charlie Blackmon recorded his 13th assist of the season when the Rockies right fielder threw out Brandon Crawford at second base as Crawford was trying to stretch a single into a double to open the eighth inning. Blackmon is tied with Hall of Famer Larry Walker (1995, '99) for the fourth-most assists by a Rockies outfielder in a single season. The club record is held by Dante Bichette, who had 17 assists in '99.

Sept. 23: Dodgers 7, Rockies 5 -- Getting to Scherzer
Trevor Story, C.J. Cron and Sam Hilliard connected on three consecutive hits (two singles and an RBI double) against Dodgers starter Max Scherzer in the second inning. The last time a team had three consecutive hits against Scherzer was July 18, 2021 -- the Padres, when Scherzer with the Nationals.

Sept. 22: Rockies 10, Dodgers 5 -- Cron stays on fire
Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron doubled twice and finished with four hits. Cron has a .464/.525/.913 slash line with 10 doubles, seven home runs and 30 RBIs over his last 20 home games.

Sept. 21: Dodgers 5, Rockies 4 (10) -- Recent struggles at Coors
In the grand scheme, a 45-28 record at home isn't bad. But the Rockies have dropped five straight home games. It's their longest such skid since they lost six straight at Coors in 2019.

Sept. 19: Nationals 3, Rockies 0 -- Playing against NL West
The Rockies are fourth in the National League West but could play a huge role in how the race at the top ends. The Giants entered Sunday with a two-game lead over the Dodgers. In this week's final homestand of the season, totaling nine games, the Rockies face the Dodgers for three starting Tuesday and the Giants for three starting Friday. All this is happening at a time when Colorado is suddenly competitive against winning teams. Before July 10, the Rockies were 19-37 (.339) against teams with at least a .500 record. Since then, they are 21-21. Most recently, they've played better against the Dodgers (they won 2-of-3 at Dodger Stadium Aug. 27-29) than the Giants (they were swept at home Sept. 6-8).

Sept. 18: Rockies 6, Nationals 0 -- Third road shutout
Kyle Freeland's six strong innings, with seven strikeouts and three double-play grounders, began the Rockies' sixth shutout of the season -- their third on the road. All except for the one-hitter from Germán Márquez on July 29 were combined. Yency Almonte and Robert Stephenson pitched out of traffic in the seventh and eighth, and Daniel Bard threw a clean ninth. After a rough road start to the season, the Rockies have gone 16-17 away from Coors since the All-Star break and are 25-51 for the season. By the way, after threatening for much of the year to be the worst road team in franchise history, the surging '21 club has easily surpassed the 21-60 mark of 2014 on the road.

Sept. 17: Rockies 9, Nationals 8 -- Rodgers takes the wheel
A key to the Rockies' 6-1 performance this road trip -- the first one this season that the team will finish with a winning record -- has been the hitting of second baseman Brendan Rodgers, who knocked a two-run homer and drove in the winning run with a single. Rodgers is 8-for-26 (.308) with two home runs, and five RBIs during the trip.

Sept. 15: Rockies 3, Braves 2 (10) -- Successful road trip
Colorado improved to 5-1 on its current 10-game road trip, and with one more victory the Rockies will have their first winning road trip of the season. The only other non-losing trip came before the All-Star break, when they went 3-3 against Arizona and San Diego.

Sept. 14: Rockies 5, Braves 4 -- Rodgers the road warrior
Since the Rockies' inaugural season of 1993, road offense has been a problem. But Brendan Rodgers appears to have unlocked something. Of his 12 home runs, 10 have come on the road. His two-run homer on Tuesday was his seventh straight on the road. "I think someone needs to tell me the secret to hitting them at home, because I clearly hit more on the road, but [I'm] still trying to figure out how to hit them at home," Rodgers remarked. "But, like I've said, I've hit at sea level my whole life -- obviously not as nasty as these pitchers."

Sept. 12: Rockies 5, Phillies 4 -- Hampson's big day
Garrett Hampson hit two homers and drove in five runs -- a big day by any standards. Even more impressive, Hampson did all of that damage out of the No. 8 spot. He's the first Rockies player with multiple homers and five RBIs from that low in the batting order since Aug. 16, 2017, when Trevor Story had two homers and six RBIs from the No. 8 hole in a 17-2 win over the Braves.

Sept. 11: Phillies 6, Rockies 1 -- So the Story goes
Trevor Story's 441-foot homer was the second longest of his 61 career home runs away from Coors Field. His only longer homer on the road was a 449-foot shot off D-backs righty Taylor Clarke on Aug. 24, 2020, at Chase Field. That said, Story now has more homers on the road this season (11) than at home (10).

Sept. 10: Rockies 11, Phillies 2 -- Back-to-back ... again
After Ryan McMahon and Sam Hilliard hit back-to-back homers in the ninth inning one night earlier, Trevor Story and C.J. Cron hit back-to-back shots in the seventh inning of this one. It marked the first time that the Rockies hit back-to-back homers on consecutive nights since their final two games of the 2018 regular season -- which included the Game 163 tiebreaker against the Dodgers.

Each of those back-to-back instances involved Nolan Arenado and Story -- and they also came in the seventh and ninth innings, albeit the reverse order. Arenado and Story went back-to-back against Nationals reliever Austin Voth in the seventh inning on Sept. 30, then the duo did it again one day later in the ninth inning against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.

Sept. 9: Rockies 4, Phillies 3 -- Better late than never
With the Rockies down to their final out, Ryan McMahon came off the bench to turn a one-run deficit into a one-run lead with a two-run homer off Phillies closer Ian Kennedy. In doing so, McMahon became the first player in Rockies history to hit a go-ahead pinch-hit home run with the club down to its final out.

With McMahon's homer coming on an 0-2 pitch, it also marked the first time any Rockies player hit a go-ahead homer with the team down to its final strike since Charlie Blackmon did so on April 19, 2019 -- also against the Phillies. Blackmon hit a walk-off two-run shot in the bottom of the 12th to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 victory.

Sept. 8: Giants 7, Rockies 4 -- Gray records season-high 24 called strikes
Jon Gray covered the plate and caught several edges during his outing, and Giants hitters had the best seats in the house for it. With 24 called strikes on the afternoon, Gray set a season high. He also had a season-high 14 called strikes on his fastball, which helped him earn five caught-looking strikeouts.

Sept. 7: Giants 12, Rockies 3 -- Run differential woes
It's not how you start but how you finish, right? Well, that might not be true for the Rockies when they face the Giants. This season, Colorado has been outscored 44-5 in the first two innings against San Francisco, including 7-1 in the first two games of the current series. That minus-39 run differential in the first two innings matches what the Rockies' season-long run differential was against the Giants entering Tuesday.

Sept. 6: Giants 10, Rockies 5 -- Clash of Coloradans
Only 11 Coloradans have pitched in the Majors this season, and two of them were on the mound at Coors Field. Kyle Freeland, from Denver, faced Giants starter Kevin Gausman, from Aurora, in the first all-Colorado pitching matchup to take place in Denver. There have been eight other pitching matchups in AL/NL history between Colorado natives, as recently as last season (Gausman vs. Marco Gonzales), but they all happened out of state.

Sept. 5: Braves 9, Rockies 2 -- Rare low output
The Braves, led by starter Charlie Morton's stellar seven innings, held the Rockies to two hits -- the fewest in a home game this season. The last time Colorado managed so few hits in a home contest was Aug. 14, 2020, against Texas.

Sept. 4: Rockies 7, Braves 6 -- Blackmon in rare air
On Saturday, Charlie Blackmon tied Carlos González for the second-most games played in Rockies history at 1,247 (Todd Helton played in 1,000 more). More importantly, he homered for a third straight game. It's the sixth time in his career that he has homered in three consecutive contests. Even more impressive is the fact that Blackmon improved his homer total to 13 -- after managing just four homers before the All-Star break.

Sept. 3: Rockies 4, Braves 3 -- Estévez on a roll
Carlos Estévez earned his fourth save and extended his career-best scoreless streak to 14 games with a spotless ninth inning. Over his hot streak, which began on July 31, and has included a move to the closer role, Estévez has struck out 15 in 14 innings against 12 hits and five walks.

Sept. 2: Braves 6, Rockies 5 -- Bullpen getting work
Rockies relievers have had to eat 13 1/3 innings in the last two games. As a whole, seven runs doesn't sound so hot. But the performance had more ups than downs. Justin Lawrence yielded three runs on two hits and two walks in one-third of an inning in a 6-5 win at Texas on Sept. 1, and Yency Almonte gave up three runs -- two on Adam Duvall's fifth-inning, game-turning home run -- in this one against the Braves. But that means six relievers, none of whom had to pitch on consecutive days, ended up pitching scoreless ball. Righty Robert Stephenson on Sept. 1 and Lucas Gilbreath on Sept. 2 each hurled two scoreless frames. The "bullpen day" was somewhat expected with spot starter Chi Chi González going vs. the Braves. The Sept. 1 all-hands strategy was not planned. Lefty Kyle Freeland left with a left hip impingement after one batter of the second inning.

Sept. 1: Rockies 9, Rangers 5 -- Patience pays off
The Rockies' tendency to take big, wild swings has been a problem on the road, but they were patient on Wednesday, drawing eight walks. That's tied for the most Colorado has drawn in a game this season, matching the free passes of May 30 -- interestingly, in another road game, at Pittsburgh. While the Rangers' four errors (three by first baseman Nathaniel Lowe) keyed the Rockies' ninth-inning rally, walks drawn by pinch-hitter Elias Díaz and Connor Joe set the stage for Brendan Rodgers' go-ahead two-run double.