Jorge De La Rosa’s journey to become a LoDo legend took more twists and turns than the Elitch Gardens’ Mind Eraser.
Signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of high school in Guadalajara, Mexico, the left-hander would flame out after 23 games as a professional before returning to his homeland to pitch for the Monterrey Sultanes of the Mexican League.
The Boston Red Sox would purchase his contract and following three successful minor league seasons, he would be dealt back to Arizona in a package of players for Curt Schilling.
But before continuing with the organization that gave him his first opportunity, the Diamondbacks traded him three days later in a three-team swap with the club that would christen him as a big leaguer in the coming the season, the Milwaukee Brewers.
After a trade to Kansas City and one more to Colorado, 27-year-old Jorge De La Rosa was finally home.
During nine seasons with the Rockies, he finished with the third-most wins-above-replacement (15.5), most wins (82), and highest winning-percentage for a starter (.585).
In 2009, De La Rosa began work on one of his finer seasons by striking out 12 Florida Marlins in a 3-1 loss.
His next start would be more of the same, as the 28-year-old struck out 10 times in seven innings in a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
His 22 strikeouts over two starts tied Darryl Kile’s franchise-leading mark set a decade earlier in 1998 and would later be toppled by Jon Gray’s 26 strikeouts in September of 2016.
Colorado split a doubleheader with the Chicago Cubs in 2017 as Antonio Senzatela defeated Jake Arrieta in game one and John Lackey gave Kyle Freeland the loss in the nightcap. All nine in the Rockies lineup recorded a base hit in the first game while Ian Desmond went 2-for-4 in both ends.
Joey Votto launched a walk-off homer against Boone Logan in Cincinnati, and Nolan Arenado’s 28-game hit streak is snapped, in addition to a 17-game road hitting streak, during a 4-3 loss to the Reds in 2014.
Mike Hampton hurled a complete game shutout, only the fourth in Rockies history, on this date in 2001 during a 6-0 victory over the reigning National League Champion New York Mets.
Losing In Style
Following a win in 22 straight games when Colorado’s starting pitcher registered a complete game, the Rockies lost to the Phillies 3-1 as Roger Bailey took the first complete game loss in franchise history in 1997. The 26-year-old gave up three runs in the fourth en route to the 105-pitch performance over eight innings at Veterans Stadium
A pair of back-to-back homer runs, all solo shots, was not enough in Colorado’s 12-5 loss to the San Francisco Giants. Andrés Galarraga and Charlie Hayes did it in the fourth off Bryan Hickerson, and Roberto Mejia and Howard Johnson team up against Rich Monteleone in the seventh.
End of an Era
Dale Murphy recorded his only double with the Rockies on this date in 1993. The long-time Atlanta centerfielder who won back-to-back NL MVP Awards in in 1982-83 struggled to keep his career afloat at 37-years-old. Before Larry Walker’s acceptance in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Murphy had been the only member of the organization in any capacity to remain on the BBWAA ballot for 15-consecutive years.
Twenty-one-year-old shortstop prospect Neifi Pérez executed an unassisted triple play for the Central Valley Rockies of the High-A California League in 1994, and Ben Petrick hit for the cycle in 1999 with the Carolina Mudcats of the Double-A Southern League.
On This Day In Baseball History
In 1871, the first Hispanic player in major league baseball, Esteban Enrique “Steve” Bellán, makes his debut for the Troy Haymakers of the National Association. Nicknamed “The Cuban Sylph”, Bellán would be inducted into the Fordham University Hall of Fame in the class of 1989-90.