The Colorado Rockies won eight straight. Now they have lost three straight. They will try to right the ship against Tim Hudson and the Atlanta Braves this afternoon at Coors Field. Here’s what else is happening with the Rockies and around the rest of the league.
Coors Field is a wonderful place to homer an opponent into submission. For the first time this season, the Rockies know how it feels to be on the wrong end of clubbing bats.
Juan Francisco homered for two runs in the fourth and the Upton brothers, B.J. and Justin, hit consecutive solo shots in the fifth as the Braves completed a doubleheader sweep with a 10-2 victory Tuesday night to complete a freezing day that was icy for the home team.
We know very little after three weeks, other than that the Rockies have played the awful Padres and Brewers nine times (winning eight) and frozen the Mets out of town with three straight wins in Iditarod-caliber weather. But that doesn’t mean this can’t be a competitive team for the rest of the year. Tulowitzki, Gonzalez, and Dexter Fowler are crushing the ball. The rotation, so beat up last year, has been much improved this year, with scrap-heap find Jon Garland joining Chacin and de la Rosa in putting up zeros. As long as everyone stays healthy, there’s .500 potential here. And once you have .500 potential, you never know what can happen with a few breaks.
Then you see Chacin (and his 1.46 ERA)4 hit the DL with a lower back strain, see the schedule flip over to include the Braves, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Rays, Yankees, and Cardinals in a row, and wonder if we’ve already seen the high point of the Rockies’ season.
If someone told you in March that Carl Crawford was going to start on Opening Day and hit .338/.427/.492 over the first three weeks of the season, and that Adrian Gonzalez would look like his old self over the same span with a .385/.455/.554 line, you’d probably picture a Dodgers offense that was clicking. Thus far, however, Crawford, Gonzalez and catcher A.J. Ellis are the only parts of the Dodger attack that are.
Hanley Ramirez has been out with a thumb injury. Luis Cruz is 4-for-46 without an extra-base hit. Justin Sellers has been starting at shortstop and hitting .174/.283/.239. Andre Ethier is slugging .377. Most significantly, Matt Kemp has been awful, hitting just .235/.270/.294 with a 5:1 strikeout-to-walk rate and no home runs.