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Nolan Arenado continues impressive week in Colorado Rockies loss

David Martin Avatar
June 29, 2015

 

This is starting to get ridiculous.

Despite the Colorado Rockies 6-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday at AT&T Park, the story remains the emergence of Nolan Arenado as not just an All-Star, but as a superstar.

The third baseman stepped to the plate in the 1st inning with a runner on second base and one out. When Giants starter Madison Bumgarner tried to slip a slider past Arenado, the slugger made quick work of the pitch, sending it up and out of the park in left field. The blast gave was the seventh in his past seven games, and also gave him at least a hit, a run and an RBI in seven straight games. That hasn’t happened in Major League Baseball since Miguel Cabrera did it five years ago.

In the 9th inning, Arenado did it again, homering off of Sergio Romo to give him eight home runs in the past seven games.

The second home run of the day gave Arenado a league-leading 15 home runs on the road. Overall, Arenado now owns 24 home runs and 68 RBIs. With six games to go before the season’s mid-point, Arenado is on pace for one of the best offensive seasons in the history of the Rockies franchise, and that is saying something extremely impressive.

While Arenado sits in third place in the National League’s fan vote for the All-Star game, there is little doubt that he will be making a trip to Cincinnati around the middle of July. The fans might not make him the starter, but the players get to choose a few representatives, and the National League manager gets to choose the remaining players. Considering the fact that Arenado has absolutely destroyed the Giants in 2015 would suggest that Bruce Bochy might give a nod to the Rockies third baseman.

Every year there are players who get snubbed from the All-Star game. With every team required to be represented, it is inevitable that deserving players will be left out. However, players with the numbers that Arenado possesses don’t get snubbed. Players who get snubbed have 12 home runs and 45 RBIs. They might be great, but they aren’t superstar numbers like Arenado.

The game on Sunday was a loss, but very few honest Rockies fans would have thought that there was much of a chance for it to be any different when they saw the pitching matchup. With Kyle Kendrick starting for the Rockies against Bumgarner, who set his legacy in stone last October, Colorado had little chance. Even after Arenado gave the Rockies the early lead, Kendrick wasn’t about to be able to hold the Giants at bay.

Kendrick was good through the 5th inning, then the wheels came off in the 6th inning, when he gave up two home runs, a double and turned a one-run deficit into a three-run mountain that was insurmountable with Bumgarner on the mound. The two home runs were the 28th and 29th of the season off of Kendrick. Since 2004, the most home runs a Rockies pitcher has given up in a season was Shawn Estes, who gave up 40 blasts in ’04. Kendrick, if he keeps his job in the rotation for the entire season, will blow past that number shortly after the All-Star break.

The Rockies aren’t going to be contenders in 2015. Most people are well aware of that fact. To keep fans around, however, the team must show a reason why things might be different in the future. Arenado turning into a superstar is one of the reasons why Rockies fans can feel like tuning in every night isn’t a waste of time.

His performance, along with the resurgence of Carlos Gonzalez and the continued excellence of Troy Tulowitzki, gives Rockies fans plenty of reasons to be excited. If the club can find a way to get even decent pitching in the future, it will change the entire landscape of the franchise. With some dependable starting pitching, the Rockies might suddenly be a very good team.

Until the pitching gets stronger, the story might be about the individual accomplishment that came along with the Rockies loss.

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