Colorado Rockies: More Random Thoughts on a Sunday

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Aug 13, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder David Dahl (26) reacts after being called out on strikes to end the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Rockies, 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 13, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder David Dahl (26) reacts after being called out on strikes to end the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Rockies, 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Colorado Rockies were just swept by the Philadelphia Phillies in Philadelphia. This dropped the Rockies to a record of 56-62, the first time they have been six games under .500 in nearly a month. Here are three random thoughts about this team as of today.

  1. The Rockies look like a beaten team:

The Colorado Rockies have slumped to a 4-9 record in August, and getting swept by the lowly Phillies is just about the final straw. Not only did they lose all three games, they were outscored 23-15 by a Phillies offense hitting just .249 (which ranks ninth in the National League) compared to the Rockies offense at .309 (best in the NL).

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It was a disappointing performance by the Rockies offense as a whole to only manage 15 runs when the Phillies pitching has a 6.03 ERA as a staff in August. The only Rockies who have had a good month of August so far has been outfielder David Dahl (tied the MLB record by hitting in his first 17 career games) and center fielder Charlie Blackmon (more on him in a moment).

Since the Rockies won the Dodgers series to begin August, they have dropped three consecutive series. In a matter of 10 days, the Rockies have gone from a momentum of contending for the second Wild Card berth to a team who is playing like they are ready for the season to be over.

Injuries have really hurt this team at a bad time. Losing shortstop Trevor Story and then Mark Reynolds has taken too much right-handed offense out of this lineup and usurped the offensive chemistry.

The Rockies now face the NL-leading Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs. Things could go from bad to worse.

2. Charlie Blackmon has the hot bat:

Who would have thought Blackmon would be pacing the Rockies offense in August. He is leading the majors with eight home runs, has 15 RBIs, and is hitting .448, with an OBP of .500 and an absurd OPS of 1.448.

Blackmon explained his power surge to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.

“I think my body is just feeling good,” Blackmon said. “I was really tired a few weeks ago. I’ve broken through and I’ve bounced back, and I feel strong.”

He matched current outfielder Carlos Gonzalez with a three-home run game in Friday night’s game (CarGo has two such games). He is happy for his teammate.

“It takes its toll on you to play center at Coors (Field), then run back to the dugout and hit leadoff,” Gonzalez said via Saunders. “And Charlie is a great player. And I always say to him that he’s a great hitter. I always tell him he could be a middle-of-the lineup guy. He’s shown that power.”

Blackmon’s five HRs are the most by a Rockie in a 3-game series in club history:

3. Rockies defense is below-par:

The Rockies have given up a total of seven errors over their last three games. As a team which prides itself on it’s defense, this is simply not good enough. And two of the four errors today were contributed by Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado.

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Whether it’s a lack of concentration or disdain about his performance at the plate (3-18 on the road trip), this is very non-Arenado-nesque and summed up perfectly this trip.

Perhaps the team is on empty, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post:

"When the Rockies commit four sloppy errors — two of them by Nolan Arenado — and starter Tyler Chatwood gets rocked on the road, chances are it’s a bad day.And Sunday was a very bad day for Colorado, a team that’s clearly running on empty right now."

The Rockies won’t throw in the towel, but the pitching which was so good coming out of the All-Star break, has really fallen away in August – they have a 6.00 team ERA (compared with 3.76 in July). Their best starters in Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson and Tyler Chatwood had a bad trip and were all having command issues.

This trio needs to find their form again back at home coming up this week against quality opposition in the Nationals and the Cubs for the Rockies to have a chance in these respective series.

Next: Colorado Rockies Lose Ugly, 7-6 to the Phillies on Sunday

All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and MLB.com unless otherwise indicated.

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