The Philadelphia Phillies return home for one of my favorite weekends of the year: Alumni Weekend.
They welcomed back one of the city’s favorite athletes Jim Thome when he was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame.
Thome is what changed everything around here for baseball fans. He was the first star who wanted to come play in our suffering city, and we will never be able to thank him enough for it.
Perhaps the team can as they brace themselves for the visiting Colorado Rockies. When they visited Colorado in July, the Phils split the four game set at delightful Coors Field. As Jake Thompson, Jerad Eickhoff, and “Your Guess is as Good as Mine” (likely Adam Morgan or David Buchanan) get set to toe the rubber at CBP this weekend, they have their work cut out for them.
As a team, the Rockies rank in the top three in a multitude of offensive categories, including runs, hits, total bases, and OPS. In those areas, they would rank first place in the National League.
Their offense has many names that pose a threat to a pitching staff with the likes of Nolan Arenado (last series’ subject of Opposition Roadblock), D.J. LeMahieu, ever young Mark Reynolds, budding superstar Trevor Story (who is injured and will not play in the series), and Charlie Blackmon.
However, Carlos Gonzalez, in his (hard to believe) ninth season still sits atop my worry list whenever the Phillies are matched up with the Rockies. CarGo was originally signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2002, and he would grow in the system until the D-Backs sent him to Oakland with a package of players for Dan Haren in 2007.
He only spent part of one season with Oakland’s big league club before he was sent to Colorado in return for Matt Holliday. Since being dealt to Colorado, he has played over 100 games in six different seasons. Gonzalez has never slashed worse than .271/.325/.510 and never put up less than 20 homers, and never knocked in or scored less than 70 runs.
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- Former Phillies starter Zach Eflin shares heartwarming goodbye message
CarGo has quite the collection of awards. His trophy case includes three All Star appearances, three Gold Glove Awards, and two Silver Slugger Awards.
This season, he is having his best season since 2010 when he was the NL Batting Champion. The 30-year-old has blasted 23 home runs in 415 at bats. He boasts a .323/.372/.569 line while providing his team with 79 RBIs. He has a chance to break his career high (117) in the final month and a half.
Since the calendar flipped to August, Gonzalez has missed four of the team’s ten games. He is no stranger to the disabled list, missing significant time for different reasons in four seasons since he came to the bigs.
In the games he has played in August, he is 9-21, with four doubles, two blasts, and 11 runs batted in. He is not exactly cold right now, which could spell trouble for the Phillies pitchers.
Opposition Roadblock Grades
My Pick: Corey Seager (6-12, one double, two home runs, two runs, three RBI, and two strikeouts)
My Grade: Seager had two hits in each game. He proved to Phillies fans why the organization wanted him in any deal for Hamels. He was a difference maker in every game, including the Phillies only win. His two homeruns set the pace for the first game of the series. My Grade: A.
Phillies Grade: Again, he had two hits in each of the three games. It is difficult to give a high-grade to the Phillies here. He really hit them hard all series, and made an impact on each of the three games. Phillies Grade: D.