Updated: And for their next act the Rockies . . .

Yes, there are 90 games remaining in the season. Yes, the Rockies are holding just a one-game lead on both the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks in the NL West. But already it has become one of those seasons to remember. And nothing underscored the improbability of what’s happening than the Rockies 7-5 victory against the Giants on Sunday afternoon.

Nolan Arenado
Mark Melancon

Want to start at the end? Well, Nolan Arenado delivered a three-run home run off Mark Melancon in the bottom of the ninth to cap a four-run Rockies rally. And it was Areanado’s first career hit in 8 at-bats against Melancon.

–It completed the first cycle in Arenado’s career. He tripled in the first, singled in the fourth, doubled in the sixth, and after striking out to end the seventh hit the home run to end the game.

Carlos Gonzalez

–It was the eighth cycle in Rockies history, the second that ended with a walk-off home run. Carlos Gonzalez unloaded in a 6-5 victory against the Cubs on July 31, 2010, becoming the first player in history to complete a cycle with a come-from-behind, walk-off home run, according to Elias News Bureau.

Areando also is fourth player in MLB history to end a cycle with a walk-off home run. Arenado is the 10th to complete a cycle with a game-ending hit of any kind, the fifth to do it with a home run.

Date Player Team Opponent
June 18, 2017 Noland Arenado Rockies Giants
July 31, 2010 Carlos Gonzalez Rockies Cubs
June 28, 1984 Dwight Evans Red Sox Mariners
Sept. 19, 1972 Cesar Tovar Twins Rangers
Sept. 14, 1961 Ken Boyer Cardinals Cubs

Note: George Brett had a game-ending home run when he hit for the cycle with the Royals on May 28, 1979, but it was his second home run of the game. Brett had already hit for a home run earlier in the game, completing the cycle.

Also Dwight Evans was the Rockies hitting coach in 1994, their second year of existence.

Cycles in Rockies history

Player Date Opp AB RBI
Dante Bichette 6/10/1998 Tex 6 5 GW single in 10th
Neifi Perez 7/25/1998 StL 4 1 HR 0-1 pitch 7th
Todd Helton 6/19/1999 Fla 4 1 Four plate appearances
Mike Lansing 6/18/2000 Ari 5 5 Hits 4 consecutive innings
Troy Tulowitzki 8/10/2009 ChC 5 7 1st MLB SS 5-for-5 7 RBI
Carlos Gonzalez 7/31/2010 ChC 4 2 30th walkoff HR for cycle
Michael Cuddyer 8/17/2014 Cin 5 3 3rd player cycle NL & AL*
Nolan Arenado 6/18/2017 SF 5 4 Walkoff HR 1st hit off Melancon

*-Bob Watson and John Olerud also hit for cycle in both leagues

–The Rockies swept a four-game series from the Giants for the first time. They had swept at least one four-game series against every other NL team — even the Astros twice before they moved to the AL.  As well as the Astros, the rockies have swept two four-game series against the Cardinals, Mets and Dodgers. They have swept three four-game series against the Nationals, including one when the team was still in Montreal.

The 23 times the Rockies have swept a four-game series, their team ERA and the batting average allowed:

Start Date Opp ERA AVG
8/9/1993 Dodgers 1.66 .219
9/14/1993 Astros 3.41 .324
7/14/1994 Cardinals 4.25 .250
7/6/1995 Expos 3.75 .254
6/13/1996 Phillies 3.00 .205
7/11/1996 Padres 5.35 .304
7/24/1997 Cubs 1.75 .248
9/7/1998 Marlins 6.25 .286
8/11/2000 Expos 2.75 .258
6/12/2006 Nationals 2.50 .234
9/7/2006 Nationals 6.00 .318
9/18/2007 Dodgers 4.50 2.88
7/17/2008 Pirates 2.25 .195
6/5/2009 Cardinals 2.25 .195
9/7/2009 Reds 2.00 .198
9/6/2010 Reds 3.75 .273
4/11/2011 Mets 4.25 .252
5/28/2012 Astros 5.35 .348
8/20/2012 Mets 1.25 .213
9/18/2014 Dbacks 3.25 .263
7/9/2015 Braves 2.75 .241
7/21/2016 Braves 2.75 .236
6/15/2017 Giants 5.50 .324

The Rockies have now beaten the Giants nine straight times, tying their longest-ever winning streak against a particular opponent. The Rockies won nine straight games against the Reds in 2008-2009 and against the Nationals in 2008-2009.

The Rockies swept the Giants in Colorado to improve to 46-26 (.639) over the weekend, but the D-Backs and Dodgers kept one game off Colorado’s tail, both teams improving to 44-26 (.629), with sweeps in Philadelphia and Cincinnati, respectively. This is the first time in the history of divisional play (that is, since 1969) that three teams in the same division had a .620-or-higher winning percentage on or after Fathers’ Day.

In addition to the four-game sweep, the Rockies swept three games from the Giants earlier this season at Coors Field. The Rockies have swept the Giants only `13 times in their 15 years of existence — four games once, three games 10 times and two games twice. And this is the first time they have swept two series in a season home or away.

1st Game of Series W L
May 9, 1995 3 0
July 15, 1996 3 0
July 10, 1998 3 0
May 12, 2000 3 0
May 24, 2002 3 0
July 9, 2003 2 0
May 25, 2007 3 0
Sept. 23, 2008 3 0
May 16, 2011 2 0
June 13, 2014 3 0
April 13, 2005 3 0
April 21, 2017 3 0
June  15, 2017 4 0

— The Rockies led 3-2 going into the ninth, but Jake McGee gave up three runs, including a two-run home run by Hunter Pence.  They, however, rallied in the bottom of the ninth and are now 43-0 when leading after eight innings.

 

DJ LeMahieu

— DJ LaMaheu was hitless until he singled in the seventh, and then he singled ahead of Arenado’s game-ending home run. Shouldn’t be a surprise. He has hit safely in 70 of 85 career games against the Giants, including 30 games with multiple hits — two hits 21 times, three hits seven and four hits twice. And he did reach base with a walk in eight of the 23 games in which he was held hitless.

His .343 career average against the Giants is the best among active players (minimum 150 plate appeaances), Ian Desmond is fourth,  and Arenado ranks seventh:

Player AVG
DJ LeMahieu, Rockies .341
Jon Jay, Cubs .329
Chris Iannetta, DBacks .325
Ian Desmond, Rockies .321
Neil Walker, Mets .321
Albert Pujols, Angels .320
Nolan Arenado, Rockies .320
Carlos Beltran, Astros .315
Jake Lamb, DBacks .311
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates .309
David Wright, Mets .308

And it is LeMahieu’s third highest average against a team:

vs Team AVG
Yankees .421
Nationals .363
Giants .343
Reds .340
Rangers .333
Padres .328
Marlins .322
Cubs .316
Indians .316
White Sox .308
Phillies .301
Cardinals .301
Dodgers .300
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