What Happened to the Colorado Rockies?
Colorado Rockies Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon Celebrate Photo Credit: Getty Images
With 60 games left in the regular season, the Colorado Rockies currently sit at 47-55 having gone 3-17 in their last 20 games.
This streak involves four sweeps by the Astros, Diamondbacks, Giants and the Nationals. Losses in every way, shape and form from 19-2 drubbing in the first part of a double header, to four-plus run leads blown in the ninth.
At the beginning of the season the Dodgers were supposed to be the only roster in the NL West with playoff firepower, and a ‘sure thing’ playoff spot was assumed by the fans. This obviously also assumes that the pitching wouldn’t drive off the face of a cliff and blow up in a fiery, carnage-filled, explosion.
Our ace pitcher and apparent future All-Star of the franchise, Colorado Native, Kyle Freeland started out terribly, so bad that he was sent down to Triple A to work on his stuff, and still hasn’t recovered. Freeland has a 7.0 ERA, and is 2-8 in his 15 starts. This is bad for a 26 year old that the team leaned heavily on in the wildcard game last season, and who was a 2018 CY Young candidate. Some more perspective on Freeland’s miserable 2019 season, last season in 33 starts, he gave up 17 HR, he’s given up 17 HR in 15 starts this season.
Pitching issues don’t stop there, German Marquez and Jon Gray, who both were supposed to round out the Rockies stellar starting rotation, have a 4.99 and 4.05 ERA respectively and only 19 quality starts among their 43 combined starts.
One would think that it couldn’t get much worse than the top three pitchers in the starting rotation all having bad years, right? Wrong. The bullpen has been equally terrible, and Wade Davis, the Rockies closer, has blown a handful ninth inning leads this season and has been anything but dependable. Davis has a 1-4 record, a 5.83 ERA, he’s walked 18 batters in 33 appearances and given up 20 runs on 30 hits as the closer.
The record wouldn’t be so terrible if the pitching and batting could get in sync, because Arenado, Blackmon and David Dahl are all batting around .300, and the offense has definitely won some games pitching wanted to lose.
However, it seems, when the bats are alive and the Rockies are scoring, the pitching is dormant and giving up 15 runs. But, the days the pitchers show up and have quality starts, the bats are dead, and it’s a 2-1 loss. This trend is not a recipe for success, and as we can see has the Rockies eight games under .500, in a severe tailspin, approaching the last third of the season.
What’s next for the Rockies? They have 60 more games to get it figured out. Pitching needs to achieve its potential. Bats need to wake up and stay awake. Bud Black needs to manage the game and understand that he’s on the hot seat, because this was supposed to be a contender roster. The young guys need to step up, the old guys (Veterans) need to show up. The good news is that the NL West is so bad, that the Rockies are only 4.5 games behind the Diamondbacks for second place. A good strong finish could still result in a playoff season, and in baseball, all you need to do is make the post season and anything can happen.