Charlie Blackmon will not go quietly into the night.
Even as the Colorado Rockies continue to sink in the standings — Monday’s 5-4 loss to the Nationals was Colorado’s eighth in its last nine games — Blackmon keeps on bashing home runs.
In the fourth inning Monday, Blackmon hit a two-out solo homer. The 384 shot to right marked his eighth round-tripper in his last seven games.
This recent hot stretch at the plate has vaulted the Rockies center fielder into some rare company. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the second player in major league history to collect at least 24 hits, including nine or more homers, in a 10-game span. The other man to do it? Jimmie Foxx in 1933.
This year, Blackmon is posting career-high numbers in batting average (.323), on-base percentage (.382) and slugging percentage (.541). His on-base plus slugging percentage — now up to .922 — is more than 100 points higher than his next-best mark of .803. Blackmon’s 21 home runs are also a career high, and there are still seven weeks left in the season.
The thin air at Coors Field isn’t inflating those stats either; a quick look at his home/road splits indicate he’s actually been better away from Denver.
- Home: 51 games, 68 hits, 10 HR, .319/.378/.516
- Away: 55 games, 71 hits, 11 HR, .326/.385/.564
“He’s just in the zone,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Monday. “He’s not missing pitches he gets to hit. He’s barreling them up hard, and they’re carrying over the fence. He’s got surprising power, and he’s adding on. He can hit the long ball a lot more than he did a few years ago.”
Injuries and bullpen issues have derailed the Rockies since that hot streak after the All-Star break. (Rookie shortstop Trevor Story and first baseman Mark Reynolds likely won’t play another game in 2016.) The Rockies, after climbing to within 3 ½ games of a National League Wild Card spot, are now 6 ½ games back.
But Blackmon, now in his sixth year with the Rockies, is doing everything he can to keep them competitive. It’s just a shame that he’s playing the best baseball of his career just as the Rockies’ playoff hopes seem to have dissipated entirely.