Despite Solid Start, Colorado Rockies Fans Should Remember Past Lessons
The Colorado Rockies have started the season 9-5. Let’s take a short recap of how they got there.
The Rockies began the season winning the series against the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1.
Their home opener was a three game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, which they won 2-1.
Then they hosted the San Diego Padres and had a chance to win their first three series of the season for the first time since Coors Field was established in 1995. However, they dropped two of three games to the Padres.
They then traveled to San Francisco and won a series against the Giants 3-1. It was the first time Colorado had ever won a four-game series in San Francisco.
It sounds great, right? Well, what if I told you that the beginning of the past two seasons have been very similar for the Rox? At this time last year, the Rockies were just one game worse at 8-6.
Let me remind you that the Rockies went on to finish the 2016 season 75-87 and third in the NL West. Let me (and others) also remind you there have been hot starts that have ended in disappointment in the past.
So why is there so much hype around this year’s team?
Well, to begin, there is always hype around the Rockies this time of year. Every season they seem to get out to a hot start before coming to a screeching halt due to injuries or just lack of performance.
Yet, for some reason, this year seems unique.
It might be the resurgence of the pitching staff. Although the starting rotation has looked a little shaky at times (allowing a 5.21 ERA), it’s the strength of the bullpen that is anchoring this team, only allowing a 2.20 ERA.
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The question mark is lying within the lineup. The Rockies have started the season ice-cold from the plate, hitting a combined .223 as a team.
Although this year’s Rockies had a similar start to last year’s, they have done it in completely opposite ways.
This season’s Rockies are winning games because of pitching, where as last season they were winning because they averaged 5.22 runs per game behind an explosive offense.
Maybe fans are excited because Rockies pitching is actually looking up for the first time in franchise history.
This is a fair assertion. However I am here to tell you to not get excited … yet.
First, it’s only 14 games into the season. There are still 148 games left, which means a lot of baseball has yet to be played.
Second, the hitting, which is the staple of the Rox, is non-existent. Most of their games have been close and/or low-scoring, which shows the strength of the pitching. However, it also highlights the absent offense.
We all expect the offense to eventually find itself and return to 2016 form, but it’s not something you can immediately count upon. This time last year, Blackmon, LeMahieu, and Gonzalez were all on their way to hitting in the .300s.
However this year, CarGo is hitting .192, Blackmon .232, and LeMahieu has steadily improved to a decent .280.
Third, the Rockies are prone to injuries. The Rox were the most injury ravaged-team before the season even started with David Dahl, Tom Murphy and Ian Desmond on the DL.
Also starting pitcher Jon Gray just went on the disabled list with a left foot stress fracture, suffered as he tried to field a ball against the Giants. It’s estimated he will be out for at least a month.
This is a big blow to the Rockies. However, tough injuries to overcome have become a part of Colorado’s season almost every year.
Believe me, I’m not trying to be overly negative. All I’m saying is don’t get too excited in April. Yes, baseball is back. Yes, the Rockies are winning games. And yes, they are leading the NL West by half a game.
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However, just wait until at least late July to start getting hyped about playoff chances.
Right now, the Rockies still have a long way to go. 148 games to be exact.