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Colorado Rockies hot streak: A fluke or something larger?

The Colorado Rockies are MLB's hottest team. Are they for real or is this a fluke?

Colorado Rockies hot streak
Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies are the hottest team in baseball. They have won seven straight contests, they’re taking care of business at home and on the road, and they’ve swept two pretty good teams during this stretch. Yes, the Colorado Rockies and rolling.

After taking the final game in their series against the San Francisco Giants at home, Colorado welcomed the Texas Rangers to town and shut them down for three straight games, allowing a total of six runs in at altitude. This is the same Rangers team that hung a 10 spot against the Oakland A’s in one inning last Tuesday.

Then the Rockies traveled to San Diego to face the Padres, a team that had just taken two of three against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rockies swept them too, including an 8-0 walloping on Wednesday. San Diego scored a total of seven runs in the series. This is the first time that the Rockies have completed back-to-back series sweeps since May 27-June 2 of 2019.

So what is working for the Rockies, who’s standing out, and can they keep it going long enough to climb out of the basement in the West?

Related: Updated Colorado Rockies news and rumors

Jordan Beck leading resurgent Colorado Rockies lineup

Colorado Rockies rookie Jordan Beck
Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

During this run, 12 Rockies have recorded at least one plate appearance. Seven of those 12 are hitting above .300. Yes, these are all extremely small sample sizes, but it give you an idea of just how well the bats are performing during this run.

One name that didn’t make the list as a .300 hitter is Charlie Blackmon. The bearded one was part of that group before Wednesday’s 1-for-5 performance knocked him out of contention. But he has made his presence felt by driving in seven runs. Centerfielder Brenton Doyle has a .448 OBP over the past week and has a team-high eight runs scored.

The best single-game performance has to belong to the number nine hitter, Jordan Beck. The 23-year-old is Colorado’s No. 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, and was called up at the end of April. After struggling for his first week or so in the bigs, Beck has a hit in each of his last five games, including a 3-for-4 outburst against San Diego that included his first MLB home run and five runs batted in.

Related: MLB power rankings

Colorado Rockies pitchers braving the altitude

MLB: Mexico City Series-Houston Astros at Colorado Rockies
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies pitching staff as a whole ranks second in team ERA over this seven-game win streak with a cumulative 2.17 ERA. The Atlanta Braves are the only team ahead of them with a 1.42 team ERA over the last week, but they’re supposed to be at the top of the list. The Rockies typically rank near the bottom of the league in ERA. In fact, for the season, they still do, ranking last overall with a 5.03.

Yet, their starters have really turned a corner of late. Austin Gomber, who was a key piece of the Nolan Arenado deal with St. Louis back in 2021, has a 3.02 ERA on the season and in the month of May he has allowed just one earned run across 18.2 innings, good for a 0.48 ERA. He’s throwing his four-seamer a little less, his changeup a little more, and mixing in his slider and knuckle curve to keep hitters off-balance. His changeup is one of the best in baseball, ranking fourth in run value. If he keeps pitching like this, he could be an interesting trade target for teams in the race.

Another trade acquisition, Cal Quantrill, has also been pitching well during the streak. In two starts he’s gone 12 innings and allowed two earned runs. He too has a sub-1.00 ERA in three May starts, posting a 0.92 ERA. On the season he has a 3.66 ERA, which is a lot closer to the production he’d had with Cleveland in the three seasons before 2023.

The bullpen has produced a solid line, gathering a 1.93 ERA, but there are some factors under the hood that don’t bode well for this group moving forward. The first is that they have more walks (15) than strikeouts (11) in 18 2/3 innings. They also have a 1.50 WHIP, which means there will be traffic on the bases. The final ominous signal is that their FIP sits at 5.76, which means they could be getting a little lucky with their current results.

Related: A look back at our Colorado Rockies season preview

Opportunity for Colorado Rockies in San Francisco

Colorado Rockies
Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockies travel to San Francisco to take on the Giants over the weekend, and this presents a very interesting opportunity for Colorado. The Giants aren’t off to the start they were expecting, currently sitting at 20-25, four games ahead of the Rockies, and if the Rox continue on their hot streak, they could get a whole lot closer to San Francisco by the time the weekend is over.

While the bullpen has been over-performing of late, the Giants are not a good team when they get runners in scoring position. If you want to judge by runs batted in, they rank 24th with 113. That’s a bit of a loaded way to judge a team, because the number of opportunities play a role in how many runs are scored. So by batting average, they rank 22nd with a .234 average as a team. By OPS, they’re 26th with a .657.

The way that the Rockies are hitting the ball currently, they may be in good shape for this weekend series. That said, the one thing that can snap a hot streak is a day off, which the Rockies have on Thursday.

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