Colorado Rockies Head East, Look to Stay Hot on Road
Certainly every road trip is important during the Major League Baseball season, but there’s a feeling that this upcoming nine-game swing away from Coors Field is especially important for the Colorado Rockies.
After yesterday’s off day, the Rockies square off against the St. Louis Cardinals for three games beginning on Tuesday night before heading to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates. Another off day on the following Monday gives the Rockies a chance to take a breath before their first interleague action of the season, meeting up with the Boston Red Sox at historic Fenway Park.
It will be the first time this season the Rockies will see the Cardinals and the only time the Red Sox will face Colorado this year. Pittsburgh took all three meetings from the Rockies at Coors Field in late April. A fourth home against the Pirates was postponed by inclement weather and has been rescheduled for June 9.
Colorado is 11-8 on the road this season but this will be just the second venture for the Rockies into the Eastern time zone in 2016. The Rockies dropped two of three games in Cincinnati in mid-April.
Throughout their history, the Eastern time zone has been a house of horrors for the Rockies as they’ve compiled a 270-431 record playing two hours ahead of Coors Field. Included in that mark is a 40-55 record at Pittsburgh and 3-5 record at Boston.
While St. Louis may not be in the Eastern time zone, Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss knows it’s important when playing ahead of your normal body clock to do everything you can to prepare and be ready.
“It is a factor,” Weiss said of the time change. “One of the things we’ve done, especially traveling East, is that we travel before the off day to try to get better acclimated. We’ll spend the off day in St. Louis. That helps a little bit. Whenever you lose time, it’s tough on anybody. But when you’re an athlete and when you’re so used to a routine and your body is used to a certain routine, it messes with that routine. There’s an adjustment to be made. Athletes adjust pretty well, but it can be a factor.”
While the time zone change has been a factor for the Rockies in the past, Weiss believes the current makeup of his team helps them counteract any travel issues.
“I think we’re better equipped than we have been previously. Not only offensively because a lot of the focus goes on the offense on the road but it all starts on the mound,” Weiss said. “I think we’re better equipped on the mound with our starting pitching and our bullpen the way they’re throwing right now. When that’s the case, it doesn’t take five or six runs to win a game. It takes a big hit or a timely hit. One nice inning can win you a game on the road. It starts on the mound but I think we’re better equipped offensively to deal with some of the challenges of playing away from here.
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“We’re multi-faceted this year, moreso than we have been. I thought we were pretty one-dimensional offensively in the past and I think we’re getting away from that.”
Can Colorado continue its winning ways on the road? We’ll find out, beginning Tuesday night in St. Louis.