Three Keys For The Colorado Rockies Tonight


Sep 26, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies second baseman Rafael Ynoa (43) reacts after being tagged out at home in the 7th inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies are mired in their first slump of the season: a four-game losing streak that has cut their record to 7-6. Will they ever win again?!

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I know, I know. You’re panicking about the season because it appears the Rockies may be in for a bust sooner than their typical May misfires.

It’s only April 21 and they’ve already dropped four in a row. A starter has already allowed nine runs while recording just six outs. And a closer has already been replaced. The team’s getting closer to the NL West cellar, and a 100-loss season seems almost imminent.

Just kidding, you panic-button pushing idiots – it’s April! 7-6 is above .500, and above .500 is good territory to be in, especially for a club that many picked to finish among the very worst in baseball. Settle down, Francis!

But, seriously, four-game losing streaks aren’t cool, even if it’s early in the year and the club has time to make up for it. The Rockies need to get over the hump tonight, and three things will help them do it.

Tyler Matzek

Obvious, right? It’s doubly important on this day, only because the bullpen had to get 21 outs Monday night, and it seems doubtful they’d be able to extend that deep again two nights in a row.

Matzek needs to come up big and help a pitching staff that’s been taxed by short starts and hurt by free passes.

Carlos Gonzalez

CarGo is cooooooooooold. Over the last seven days, he’s hitting a frigid .111/.158/.111 (2-for-18) with just one walk, no RBIs, no extra-base hits, and six strikeouts.

With Nolan Arenado and Corey Dickerson both out of the lineup tonight dealing with their respective issues (here, and here), the Rockies need CarGo’s bat to protect Troy Tulowitzki and be productive.

The Replacements

Like I mentioned, no Arenado or Dickerson tonight (and, possibly a few days longer with either or both sluggers). The onus is on Rafael Ynoa, Drew Stubbs, and Daniel Descalso (who’s not starting tonight) to be productive enough.

Nobody’s asking Ynoa and Stubbs to replicate Arenado and Dickerson’s production; we all know that won’t happen. But both players need to be productive enough in their own way (getting on base, playing good defense, and in Stubbs’ case putting the ball in play) to move things along at the bottom of the order and get the Rockies back to Charlie Blackmon.

So, tonight, watch Matzek, CarGo, Stubbs, and Ynoa. Those four are key to the Rockies’ success.

Or maybe they’re not, because the Rox will win a wild 14-11 game behind three home runs by Tulo and a six-RBI day form DJ LeMahieu. What the hell do I know?!

Also, related: LeMahieu is hitting sixth this evening. Obviously, that’s because Arenado and Dickerson are out, and the lineup thins out pretty quickly after Justin Morneau in the cleanup spot.

Nevertheless, DJ, you’ve been the hottest hitter on the team across the first 13 games. Congratulations on moving up to the six-hole! Hope you don’t stay there all year – if you did, that probably means a few guys would be missing with injuries – but your breakout offensive work is not going unnoticed!