Maybe the New York Mets are just teasing the Colorado Rockies. With these two teams linked in trade rumors for the last year or so, maybe the Mets just wanted to make sure the Rockies understood how much better their pitching staff truly is.
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Or maybe the Rockies just stink on the road. Specifically, the age-old problem of hitting away from Coors Field has reared its ugly head, again, as it will countless times in the future.
It seems useless to even try to understand it at this point. The bases loaded at-bat that Corey Dickerson took on Tuesday night appropriately illustrates the baffling nature of the whole situation. What Dickerson has shown this season, among other things, is an outstanding command of the strike zone to go along with quick hands to waste pitches when he is behind in the count.
When the Rockies needed somebody to hit the ball hard and put it in play, Dickerson felt like the man for the job.
Dickerson helplessly, and I do mean helplessly, waived at a pitch up around his eyes for strike three.
Try explaining that kind of terrible at-bat by citing the fact that he was away from the altitude in Colorado. Being away from Coors Field doesn’t much explain a lack of pitch recognition in a key spot, does it?
That’s what makes this problem all the more baffling for this team in general: yes, the altitude and the gigantic outfield in Colorado help the Rockies’ hitters at home. When they are away from those conditions, they hit fewer home runs and see fewer hits fall in the outfield. But does that explain all of the strikeouts and generally awful at-bats?
Coors Field has an outstanding batter’s eye as well, but I don’t exactly think that’s what people are referring to when they roll their eyes at the home-road splits for Rockies’ hitters.
Colorado hitters were held scoreless for the 18 innings straight in the final two games of their series at Citi Field against the Mets. On Tuesday it was outstanding rookie Jacob deGrom who dominated the Rockies. On Wednesday it was another top prospect in Rafael Montero. Both men will at least be mentioned if trade talks between these teams heat up.
Now the Rockies head to St. Louis, a place that has always been tough for Colorado’s lineups in the past. Adam Wainwright takes the hill Friday opposite Jorge De La Rosa in a game that the Cardinals badly need to win. Do we really imagine the story will be much different from the Rockies’ offense, especially against pitches like this one:
It might be more tough sledding for the offense as they continue to reinforce the stigma about Rockies’ hitters away from Coors Field.