One year removed from playing Game 163 to crown a National League West champion, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies have drifted in vastly different directions.
The Dodgers are on the verge of clinching a seventh consecutive division title, while the Rockies are in last place in the NL West and nowhere near postseason contention. Colorado had a season-best eight-game winning streak from late May into early June but saw their season torpedo behind a rough July.
After the Rockies came out of a 16-10 month of May and hardly put a dent in the Dodgers’ division lead, Nolan Arenado joked they were unlikely to ever lose a game this season.
Now with the Rockies and Dodgers further distanced in the standings, Arenado heaped more praise on the NL favorites when comparing them to his own team, per Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post:
“We have a long ways to get to that level,” Arenado said. “We are not near that level. Last year we were there, we were playing well, and we still couldn’t get over that hump. This year we are far away. We have a lot of work to do and we need a lot of help.”
While Arenado believes the Dodgers are well ahead of the Rockies, teammate Tony Wolters did not agree with the sentiment:
“To be honest, if you go watch us against the top teams this year, we have played with them. Right now, we have some pieces of the puzzle missing, but guys are sticking with it. This time of adversity we are going through now is helping for the future.”
The Dodgers went 13-3 against the Rockies this season, with only four of the meetings decided by two runs or fewer. L.A. outscored Colorado 121-83 in their season series.
Beyond where both clubs are this year, the Dodgers continue to be trending toward a path of sustained success behind a wave of young talent. The outlook isn’t quite as optimistic for the Rockies, though they did manage to sign Arenado to an eight-year, $260 million contract extension this past February.
The deal caught some by surprise, due to Arenado being on track to become a free agent after the 2020 season. After signing the extension he said the agreement stemmed from a belief in the Rockies’ commitment to contending for a World Series.