DENVER - As Nolan Arenado goes, the Colorado Rockies go. That's been the story of the 2017 season, as highlighted by the Rockies disappointing August—in which they went 12-15—and Arenado's down month.
While the Rockies positioning for a National League Wild Card spot diminished, so too did Arenado's performance as the once potential MVP posted a .265/.348/.549 slash-line with seven home runs and 20 RBI.
He actually did have a worse May than August but his August felt magnified mostly due to inconsistent play across the Rockies lineup who only scored 117 runs in the whole month. This, of course, was the lowest mark of the season as they averaged just five runs a game and when considering they poured on 17 in one contest they only averaged 4.5 in the other 22 games.
Looking at Arenado's OPS both overall and in high leverage situations backs the fact that the Rockies roll as Nolan rolls: "That makes sense, he hits third," Bud Black said when BSN Denver made him aware of the trend. "We have arguably the best leadoff hitter in the game in front of him and another guy hitting well over .300 with an OBP of .370. Earlier in the year the back end of our order was getting on base and our pitchers were moving guys. All the factors put him in a position to knock in runs and he's a very talented hitter so it's going to happen."
Arenado batted .225 on the recent nine game homestand.
"Lately, there has been a little bit of a struggle for Nolan both with hitting and with runners in scoring position. We're trying to right that process right now and Nolan can get back on track quickly," Black said.
Last night in L.A. Arenado hit massive three run-homer off of Clayton Kershaw which sparked the Rockies to a victory. This once again supports that Arenado needs to be the insanely good player that he can be in order for the Rockies to win.
If for whatever reason the Rockies miss the playoffs it will not be Arenado's fault in any way, but if his slump continues they very well may miss.
Arenado may have gotten back in the right spot. But with the long road trip against the Dodgers and D-Backs on the road, they're going to need the MVP-like Arenado and not the one that has shown up late this summer.
As Jack White once sung, "I guess you have to have a problem / If you want to invent a contraption... Well, you can't take the effect and make it the cause."