Rockies’surging’ to a.500 record in the second half

In the first half of the 2023 season, the Colorado Rockies managed an abysmal 34-57 record, a winning percentage of .374. Somehow, through the first 22 games since the All-Star break, they find themselves with an 11-11 record or a winning percentage of .500. Making the feat even more impressive is the four-game losing streak they are enduring in these past 22 games, making them 11-7, barring that small streak. Everything has stayed the same since the first half. They got worse over the trade deadline as they traded multiple big leaguers for minor leagues that will not impact the MLB team in 2023. 

First vs. Second Half Rockies 

In the 81 games to start the year, opponents outscored the Rockies 540-393 and generally had their way with the team. That part is no different in these past 22 games, as the Rockies have been outscored 112-94. How are they doing it with such a drastic difference in runs with being .500?

The answer is simple. Several of their losses have been blowouts, while their wins are generally in their closer games. While the Rockies have improved record-wise over this span, their standings still need to. Entering the All-Star break, they were 18.0 games back of the NL West. Now they find themselves 21.5 games. 

Another exciting aspect adding to the weirdness of their current run is that they are not significant in any way they previously were not. While they are 5-3 in one-run games post-break, they were also 13-10 in the first half. 

Post-All-Star Break Games 

Starting the second half was a game against the New York Yankees at Coors Field. Austin Gomber went six strong innings in an eventual 7-2 Rockies win. Nothing spectacular, but certainly an impressive result regardless.

That five-run win tied for the most significant margin of victory the team has managed since the break, a feat they accomplished twice more. The first being against the Miami Marlins, a 6-1 win on July 21, with the second being a recent 9-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on August 4. 

Despite having multiple five-run wins, their losses have been far more drastic on numerous occasions. A July 29 bout against the Oakland Athletics saw them lose by eight, an August 2 against the San Diego Padres was a 10-run loss, and even more recently, the August 7 matchup with the Milwaukee Brewers was an 11-run loss. 

Rockies Key Contributors 

Several players have been playing well during this good stretch, but neither of the most significant vital bats has been that surprising. 

The two best batters left after the trade deadline are Ryan McMahon and Nolan Jones, with both players carrying the weight of the lineup recently. McMahon has posted a .811 OPS since the break, and Jones a .896 OPS, just above their season production levels. 

As for pitching, the aforementioned Gomber has easily been a highlight. In five starts, he has gone 30.0 innings to a 2.40 ERA while striking out 3.6 batters to each walk given up. Matt Koch has been leading the way for relievers. He’s posted a 2.19 ERA over 12.1 innings of work in the second half, impressive for a guy far from a household name. 

Seeing the Rockies play .500 ball is a treat, given their production over the past few years, but once they close out their current series against the Brewers, they have a tough road ahead

Next is a road series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, then a homestand featuring the struggling, but still good, Arizona Diamondbacks. It seems challenging, but the potentially surging Rockies might have the juice to keep the winning ways going, at least for a bit. 

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