Troy Tulowitzki's Mammoth September Has Rockies On A Roll

1)     .984

Ordinarily, when I write up these individual sections, they come out analytical. Here's something that's happening. Here's something that isn't happening. Here's why I think that is. Oftentimes I'll focus on a number and try to narrow down reasons that number is what it is, instead of being a different number.

But sometimes, numbers are just fun. Fun of their own accord, without any analysis. And one such number is Troy Tulowitzki's September slugging percentage.

Wednesday afternoon, in a win against the Padres, Tulowitzki went 3-5 with his tenth and 11th homers of the month. If that seems like a lot to you, it is. That's more than 11 teams, and tied with three more. Tulowitzki's been beating the crap out of the ball for the past two weeks, to the tune of an overall .984 slugging percentage and 1.393 OPS since the start of September.

That's already fun. This is more fun. Of the 117 players in baseball who have come to the plate at least 50 times this month, Tulowitzki's .984 slugging percentage is higher than 98 OPSes. The 19th-best September OPS is Mark Ellis, at 1.011. The 20th-best September OPS is Carlos Ruiz, at .981. Tulowitzki's slugging percentage would slide right in the middle.

Throw in Tulo's .409 OBP for the month and you've got the league leader in OPS by a pretty fair margin. And to add to the amazement, September's second-best OPS so far belongs to none other than Tulowitzki's teammate Carlos Gonzalez, at 1.261. Between them, those two players have collected 49 hits, 42 RBI, and 14 home runs. And they've done that hitting third and fourth in the order.

The Rockies have won 11 of 15 games in September to pull within striking distance of the playoffs, and when you look up and down their roster, there's little question as to how they've gotten where they are. Sure, Huston Street's been excellent. Sure, Ubaldo Jimenez has been solid. But this run has been built almost entirely off of Tulowitzki and Gonzalez, who have been carrying a team on their backs like few players ever have. Seven Rockies regulars have come to the plate at least 40 times this month. The next-best OPS among them, behind Gonzalez, is Eric Young's .738.

This is the Tulowitzki and Gonzalez show, and from the looks of things, the Rockies will go as far as two of their top stars can take them. Their two stars who contribute at the plate while capably manning critical defensive positions in the field. The only reason for fans to be concerned about either one of these players at this point is that they may end up stealing votes from one another on MVP ballots. Outside of that, they're performing like the best players in baseball at a most significant time.

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