For the last week I have been in a peaceful and far off place where I have had minimal cell phone service and zero access to the Rockies with the exception of some highlight shows. Those highlights, as you all know, were for for the other team and at the Rockies’ expense. Anyhow, other than final scores and a couple glimpses at the box scores, I know very little about what has been happening with the boys in the purple pinstripes.
The last time I watched the Rockies on TV, they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers behind a masterful performance from the young Alex White. The last time I listened to the Rockies on the radio I was on the road from Fort Collins, CO to Lusk, WY as part of my longer trip to North Dakota. I was fortunate enough to hear every pitch of a 4-0 shutout of the Arizona Diamondbacks. They have not w0n a game since.
That brings me to today, when I finally had the chance to catch up on some of the details of this past week’s five game losing streak. It was a unique experience for me, trying to piece things together by reading our game recaps here on Rox Pile and browsing through the line scores. There might be some benefits to writing from this removed perspective. No matter how much I enjoy the day-to-day, nitty gritty following of the team, I think there might be something refreshing about trying to figure things out this way.
Here are my attempts at a couple insights, as gleaned from the information available on the internet and not much else:
1. The Rockies are going to really struggle if the starting pitching doesn’t improve
Just kidding. Not about the pitching, about the fact that I just figured that out now. Moving on…
2. As Dexter Fowler goes…
…So go the Rockies. I know this one is fairly obvious as well, but for my own part I have been pretty hard on Dexter and I insisted for a long time that he did not belong in the leadoff spot. I’m here now to admit, based both on what I saw during the winning streak and what I am reading now, that not only does he belong there, but how he plays there has a huge effect on the team’s success. In the series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks, he led off with a triple and scored in the 1st inning, seeming to set the tone for the game. In this five game losing streak he has gone, by my count, 2-for-15.
So when the Rockies start up tomorrow night, make sure you are settled in and paying attention by the time Dex does his lunges on the way to the plate in the bottom of the first inning. Then cheer hard for him, because his success or failure seems to really, really matter.
3. If the Rockies decide they want to load up for the future, then load up they can
This is true thanks in large part to the bullpen, which, if the stats are any indication, continues to be nails. Goodness knows that those are valuable pieces come trade deadline time. Keep Matt Belisle, keep Rex Brothers to be the closer of the future,
keep Esmil Rogers, and otherwise it seems that there will be room to be creative there. Marco Scutaro continues his slow and steady climb to useful trade piece, perhaps because he recognizes the opportunity to be rescued from the league’s cellar.
Now they just need to trick somebody into taking Jeremy Guthrie…
Looking at them now, the items listed above are predictable insights whether one watched every game or none of the games. After all, I think most people knew that the pitching was set up to be a problem. It has been clear for years that Dexter Fowler is a key player for this franchise. One unpredictable thing? These struggles in interleague play. Here’s hoping they can turn it around against the A’s in the next few games.