Rockies batting average is tops in baseball, ERA still worst but improving

Apr 15, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (R) slides safely into third base as Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (L) waits for the throw during the second inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

With a 6-1 win over the red-hot Chicago Cubs on Friday and a command pitching performance from Chad Bettis (2-0, 2.95), the Colorado Rockies continued to climb the MLB rankings in batting average and dig their way out of the bottom of the league standings in ERA.

Bettis allowed just three hits over six innings, walking three and striking out four, but most importantly allowing no runs as the Rockies handed the Cubs only their second loss of the young season. Chad Qualls allowed Chicago’s only run in relief, but Boone Logan was perfect in the eighth and Justin Miller struck out the side in the ninth to secure Colorado’s sixth win. The 6-4 Rockies are a half-game behind Los Angeles for the NL West lead.

The combined effort by the pitching staff dropped Colorado’s team ERA below 7.00 for the first time since Opening Day. At 6.57, the Rockies’ team ERA is still the worst in baseball and nearly a full point behind Atlanta (5.59), who finally won its first game of the season on Friday.

While the Rockies have struggled on the mound in the first two weeks of the season, they’ve kept above .500 by slugging their way to 64 runs (fourth in MLB) with a .296 team batting average. Their combined batting average is the best in baseball. Colorado added 10 hits against the Cubs on Friday.

Colorado’s offensive outpouring has been led by Carlos Gonzalez, DJ LeMahieu, Gerardo Parra, Nolan Arenado and rookie shortstop Trevor Story.

Gonzalez is batting a team-high .390 (among regular starters) with 16 hits, three of them home runs. LeMahieu and Parra have a combined nine doubles and 16 RBIs and both are hitting above .300. Arenado leads the team in RBIs with 14 (after slugging his way to a career-high seven against San Francisco on Thursday), and Story leads all of baseball with seven home runs. As a team, Colorado is tied with Baltimore with 20 team home runs, also the best in baseball.

Colorado continues its three-game series on Saturday and Sunday in Chicago before heading to Cincinnati for three.

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