PHOENIX -- It was just one batter into Wednesday night's game against the Cubs at Coors Field, but it was the day after a frustrating 12-inning loss to the same team, and Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado was in no mood to hide the way he felt.
A throw came his way just after the Cubs' Chris Coghlan slid in with a triple that had trickled through the outfield. Arenado snatched the ball out of the air and stomped away, shaking his head. That's Arenado. Although he tries to control his emotions, and his way is not always the right way, maybe it's not the worst thing to show that he hasn't accepted loss after loss.
"It's frustrating," Arenado said. "It stinks to know we're playing for something but we're not playing in a playoff chase. But right now, that's not what we need to look at. We need to look at the bigger picture.
"We're in last place. Let's not end in last place. Let's do something to make us feel good. Let's go on a little run."
Arenado certainly has experienced the peaks and valleys of the season. He had a 28-game hit streak. He missed 37 games with a fractured left middle finger (and sat while the team won just 10 of those games and fell into last place). On July 25, he let his frustration get the best of him and didn't run out a ground ball -- an offense that led to a benching for the rest of the night. The next night, he went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs.
Often, Arenado is one of the few signs of life on the road, where the Rockies entered Friday with a Majors-worst 17-39 record. His .306 batting average away from Coors Field is the highest of any Rockies player who has appeared in 20 or more road games.
Yes, Arenado shows frustration. But he also unleashes exuberance with each hit and picks up the club with defense that should make him a favorite to earn a second straight Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
"When I get a hit, I get just as pumped up as I did early in April," Arenado said. "I always want to do my best and I always want to help this team out any way I can. I don't play only for myself. I want to win."
Manager Walt Weiss said he has talked to Arenado about channeling his emotions, but he sees it all as positive overall.
"The team can feed off that energy," Weiss said. "Nolan is loaded with energy. That's not a problem. He doesn't sit still. He plays with a lot of passion. It certainly can rub off on the rest of the club."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.