Parra misses record but keeps rolling
As the Rockies teed off Wednesday en route to an 18-4 blowout victory over the San Diego Padres, Gerardo Parra continued his assault on the baseball as well, going 4-for-5 to improve his average to .556 (20-36) since returning from the disabled list July 7.
Parra fell just short of the club record for reaching base safely in consecutive plate appearances, having his streak snapped at 10 with a lineout to left to end the fifth inning. Only seven other Rockies have ever put together such a streak of 10 at-bats or more, with Eric Young owning the mark of 12 during the team’s inaugural season.
The veteran outfielder’s recent offensive domination raises the question about what the difference is between this season and last for Parra, when he hit a career-low .253 after signing a threeyear, $27.5 million contract as a free agent with Colorado.
“He’s seeing the ball well, he’s using the whole field and he’s not trying to do too much,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “The swing is short, the hands are working great and he’s swinging at strikes and taking balls. It’s the approach that all hitters try to get to, and it’s happening in the moment right now for him.”
Parra’s simplified approach at the plate is making him the toughest out in the Rockies lineup right now. He is barreling pitches up, as he did with his sharply hit first-inning single to left; and he’s hitting it where they ain’t, as he did with seeing-eye groundball singles to left in the third and to right in the seventh.
“He can hit the ball out of the ballpark, he can hit the ball in the gap, he can fight a base hit the other way and he can roll a ball through the right side,” Black said. “I saw that early in Arizona, and when he went to Milwaukee, he did the same thing. It was sort of an off year for him last year, but he’s making up for it this year.”
And with his body fully healthy from the strained quadriceps that sidelined him for more than a month, Parra, hitting .364, is on pace for his best offensive season.
“I feel healthy and the confidence is great, but what’s more important is helping the team win, because we need wins more than ever now,” Parra said. “So I’m just staying focused on playing hard, playing happy and not thinking too much. I’m just looking for my pitch in the zone every time up.”
Gerardo Parra’s streak of reaching base 10 consecutive times ranks tied for fourth in Rockies history. A look at those reaching base in 10 or more consecutive plate appearances: Player Season Eric Young 1993 Larry Walker 1998 Todd Helton 2000 Gerardo Parra 2017 Todd Helton 2001 DJ LeMahieu 2016 Brad Hawpe 2008
Larry Walker 2000 Reached 12