Clubhouse Culture, This is Your Cue


The Rockies have been on the edge of a full fledged disaster for the last week now. They enter San Francisco tonight with the evil Giants standing behind them, only so happy to be the ones to give them the final shove into panic mode.

Good teams are often praised for finding many different ways to win games. So it only makes sense that a bad team would find many different ways to lose games. If the current trend continues, that is where the Colorado Rockies find themselves. Here’s how Troy Tulowitzki put it:

“This was a tough series. We didn’t do much of anything right. On the days we hit, we didn’t pitch. On the days we pitched, we didn’t hit.”

The trend lately has been that each loss feels more brutal than the last one. Sunday was no exception. After being starved for offense on most of this California road trip, the offense got off to a fast start in the 1st inning with four straight hits off of Ted Lilly. This included an RBI knock for Michael Cuddyer from the clean-up spot, where he took over for the struggling Tulowitzki. After the Dodgers clawed their way back into the game for a couple innings, they trampled over Alex White and Matt Reynolds in a 6 run 5th inning. The Rockies, despite all the talk about veteran grit and a changed clubhouse culture, failed to punch back, and they eventually lost 11-5.

Like everything else with the Rockies offense, they need to show the same urgency when playing from behind that they did at home. Even after a shoddy 3-6 homestand, they assured us that this team will “always fight” and “never feels like it is out of a game.” It doesn’t feel like that resiliency carried over on the road, instead staying behind in Denver with the rest of the team’s offensive production.

Even noting the recent frustration with the bats, the burden still falls on the starting pitching. It’s not too late for the Rockies, and as I noted yesterday, they can still limit the damage on this trip. At the very least, the starting pitching needs to discover the difference between average and disastrous. In theory, a starter for the Rockies should be able to surrender a handful of runs and still be effective. It’s the meltdown outings, such as the one yesterday by White or the last two by Jamie Moyer or every start by Jhoulys Chacin before he got demoted, that they simply cannot afford. If they don’t stop, it might be the perfect storm as the offense struggles. As they try to keep themselves afloat, it seems that now is the time when the clubhouse culture should kick in and keep a losing streak from becoming a season killer.

The team plays a little bit of a funky schedule this week, with a 2 games series with the Giants followed by a 2 game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Seattle Mariners then come to town for an interleague series next weekend. So hey, at least their first interleague series is against a kind of bad team. Right? Look on the bright side.

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