Colorado Rockies: 3 Things We Learned on Sunday

May 27, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood (32) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
May 27, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood (32) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Rockies lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 10-3 on Sunday afternoon as staff ace Tyler Chatwood couldn’t gain command of his fastball.

In their quest to return to .500, the Colorado Rockies badly needed a win to avoid a series split and head towards the All-Star break on a high note. Starter Tyler Chatwood couldn’t deliver a quality start to bail out a stagnant offensive performance.

Lasting only five complete innings, Chatwood threw 93 total pitches while only managing to throw 55 of those for strikes. Walking three batters, it was clear that Chatwood was having trouble commanding his fastball movement as he was seemingly behind in the count all afternoon. On a day where the Philadelphia offense was rocking, there was little room for mistakes. Chatwood surrendered eight hits and four earned runs.

Phillies’ hitters Cameron Rupp and Maikel Franco terrorized Rockies pitchers all afternoon. The two hitters combined to mash out seven total hits, two home runs and seven runs batted in. The Rockies bullpen surrendered six earned runs on five hits.

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Offensively speaking, the Rox pounded out nine hits, but couldn’t get the timely ones. DJ LeMahieu, Charlie Blackmon, and Nick Hundley were the only Rockies to produce multiple hits as Hundley was the best of the bunch, producing two doubles on the afternoon.

All-Star worthy shortstop Trevor Story added a double of his own, setting a new record for extra base hits by a rookie in the first of half of the season. All-Star starting outfielder Carlos Gonzalez also added a home run late in the game.

So what did we learn from this game?

Tyler Chatwood can’t conquer Coors Field

Making his seventh start of the season at Coors Field, Tyler is now 3-5 with a 5.35 ERA. Currently leading the club with eight wins, Chatwood is obviously capable of better performances at home. On the road this season, Chatwood is 5-0 with a 1.30 ERA, which is good enough for third in Major League Baseball.

When Chatwood was brought to Colorado, the front office was supporting a theory that groundball pitchers would be successful at Coors. Chatwood ranks second in the Majors with a 58.8% ground ball rate, but seemingly can’t figure out Coors Field.

On a plus note, Chatwood ranks second among active Major League pitchers (90 PAs or more) with a .242 career batting average. At the plate, Chatwood got it done again on Sunday with an RBI single which put the good guys up early 1-0.

Jake McGee is having a rough freshman year with Colorado

Still trying to find his rhythm since returning from the disabled list, one-time closer Jake McGee struggled again on Sunday, surrendering a two-run homer to Rupp in the seventh inning. To cut McGee a little slack, Rupp owned Rockies’ pitching all afternoon. In conjunction,McGee’s bullpen compadres didn’t fair all that well either after he left the game.

If things don’t improve soon, Colorado will be selling at the deadline

Coming off of a horrible road trip, the Rockies had a chance to rebound at home against a losing team in the Philadelphia Phillies. In a four-game set, the Rox could only manage a series split, which simply isn’t good enough if they expect to contend in the second half. The Rockies have had a hard time beating teams they should beat all year long. The key to the second half will be to not only beat losing teams but to also improve at Coors Field as a whole.

As we now head into the All-Star break, make sure to turn into the All-Star festivities as your Colorado Rockies will be out in full force. Carlos Gonzalez (starting) and Nolan Arenado will represent the Rockies at the All-Star Game on Tuesday night, while Gonzalez will also be competing in the Home Run Derby on Monday night. On Sunday night in the Futures Game, top prospects David Dahl, Jeff Hoffman and Raimel Tapia will be showcasing why the Rockies have one of the top 10 farm systems in all of Major League Baseball.

Next: Rockies Countdown: The Top Five Third Basemen

The Rockies resume play on July 15 when all-time winningest Colorado pitcher Jorge De La Rosa will take on the offensively challenged Atlanta Braves. Once banished to the bullpen, Jorge has returned to form as he is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in his last three starts.