Rockies finish 2021 home slate with series win over Nationals

Sep 28, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story (27) celebrates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run against the Washington Nationals in the fifth inning at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies aren’t playing meaningful baseball on a grand scale, but that didn’t stop them from picking up a couple of emotional victories in their final home series of the season.

Facing the likely departure of one of their all-time greats, the Rockies pulled it together to take two of three from the Washington Nationals at Coors Field this week. The Rockies clinched the series victory with a 10-5 win on Wednesday afternoon in front of half a house at 20th and Blake. But even though attendance was somewhat sparse, the fans who were there showed their appreciation for Trevor Story, who may very have played his final home game as a Rockie.

Story, who was emotional during pre- and post-game interviews, took the field alone in a gesture from teammates–just about all of whom have spoken publicly about the quality of person they’re potentially losing from the organization–who wanted to see him soak up the deserved attention and applause from the home crowd. He proceeded to go 4-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored. Ryan McMahon, perhaps Story’s best friend on the team, added a three-run homer in the first inning to help the Rockies leave the fans with a good taste in their mouths heading into the offseason.

The Rockies were victorious on Tuesday as well, winning 3-1 behind a gutsy effort from Kyle Freeland, who allowed just one run in 6 2/3 innings despite issuing four walks. Story homered in the fifth inning to plate what was ultimately the game’s deciding run and, along with Elias Díaz, led the Rockies with two hits.

Germán Márquez closed the home portion of his season with a poor start in Game 1 of the series, allowing four runs on six hits in five innings in the Rockies’ 5-4 loss. Márquez’s ERA sits at 4.40, the second-highest mark of any full season in his career. A career-high walk rate hasn’t done him any favors. Díaz and C.J. Cron had two hits apiece in the losing effort.

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If this was it for Story, he made it count. The star shortstop went 7-for-11 with a homer, three walks, and just one strikeout during the three-game set. It hasn’t been one of his best seasons, but Story has propelled himself into above-average territory offensively, at least, by hitting .280/.356/.559 in 104 September plate appearances.

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Brendan Rodgers went just 1-for-8 during the series, and his home/road splits continue to be confounding, though in the opposite way from what we’re used to seeing from Rockies players. Rodgers’ home OPS dropped to .723, compared to a healthy .864 away from Coors Field. In 39 plate appearances on the final home stand, Rodgers hit just .216/.231/.351.

Up next

The Rockies close out the season starting Friday with a three-game road series against the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks. Colorado will send Jon Gray and Antonio Senzatela to the hill in the first two games but haven’t decided on a starter for the finale. That’s because, depending on the outcome of the Atlanta Braves’ and Philadelphia Phillies’ weekend contests, the Rockies could be playing a make-up game against the former if necessary. The Braves currently lead the Phillies by 4 1/2 games in the National League East with just five games left to play. The two teams face each other on Thursday.