Even though they are 20 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West race, the Colorado Rockies currently hold the #1 spot for one of the two the N.L. wild cards.
The Rockies were not a pre-season pick to make the playoffs, but one aspect of their play that has impressed experts is their starting pitching, and specifically, the work of a trio of rookie hurlers. Rockies rookie pitchers have started 77 of Colorado’s 123 games this season.
Kyle Freeland, German Marquez and Antonio Senzatela have each won 10 games in their rookie campaigns (Freeland leads the group with 11 victories) and another rookie, Jeff Hoffman, has started 16 games for the club and has six wins.
The Rockies rookie trio is the first since the 2006 Florida Marlins to win 10 or more games in their first seasons. The Marlins had four rookie pitchers win 10 or more games in the ’06 season: Josh Johnson (12), Ricky Nolasco (11), Scott Olsen (12) and Anibal Sanchez (10).
Here’s a look at the number of rookie pitchers who won 10 or more games in a season for each club since 2000:
7: Rays, Rockies, Twins
6: A’s, Braves, Marlins, Orioles
4: Astros, Blue Jays, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Indians, Rangers, Tigers
3: Cardinals, Giants, Phillies, Yankees
2: Mets, Pirates, Red Sox, Royals
1: Cubs, Mariners, Nationals, Padres
0: Reds, White Sox
(From August 1 until the first regular season game against the Seattle Seahawks on September 10, we’ll give you a daily dose of Packers stats.)
In the Packers pre-season game versus the Redskins on August 19, the Aaron Rodgers-led first-team offense scored in the first quarter on their first possession. It was a 15-play, 75-yards drive with Rodgers completing a TD pass to Martellus Bennett for the TD. The Pack went on to take a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and won the game, 21-17.
Scoring in the first quarter has been an important part of the Packers game over the past decade. Last season, the Packers scored in the first quarter in 12 of the 16 regular season games, tied for second most in the NFL (the Patriots scored in the first quarter in 14 of their 16 games in 2016). Green Bay was 8-4 in those games (.667 winning percentage).
NFL teams that score in the first quarter were 195-127-2 last season (.605 winning percentage).
Since Rodgers took over as the starting QB (in the 2008 season), the Packers have scored in the first quarter in 104 games, tied for second most in the league (New England was first on the list with 108). The Pack was 71-32-1 (.688) in those games. The league average from 2008-16 when teams scored in the first quarter was .593.
In the last 30 games where the Packers scored in the first quarter, they are 22-8 (.733).