Boy, was I wrong. Wait a second, on second thought, I was right with my Colorado Rockies prediction.
On Thursday, before the start of the series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, I stated that a good start by Trevor Story would be the key to success for the Rockies to start the season off strong in Arizona. On further review, the lack of the success by Story was one of the main catalysts for the Rockies starting off on the wrong foot. Luckily, the Rockies scratched out a 2-1 win on Saturday night, thanks to two solo home runs by Charlie Blackmon to avoid the sweep.
After an excellent spring and a great track record against the D-Backs’ starting pitchers Patrick Corbin, Robbie Ray, and Zack Greinke, I felt that Story was poised to begin the season on a high note. That definitely was not the case.
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In the series, Story was atrocious at the plate. He was 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts, stranding seven men on base.
Strikeouts have been an issue throughout his young career. Last year, he led the National League in strikeouts with 191 in 503 at-bats. This was 11 more than second-place Wil Myers, who played in 10 more games and had 64 more at-bats than Story.
The strikeout epidemic in Arizona wasn’t limited to just Story. In the first three games of the 2018 season, the Rockies struck out a staggering 34 times. This is way too many unproductive outs for a team to be competitive.
I wouldn’t say it’s time to panic as Rockies fans. If this was a mid-season slump, this probably would have been a blip on the radar. However, given it’s the first series, it magnifies the issue.
Obviously Story shouldn’t shoulder all the blame. After all, the starting pitching was dreadful the first two games. However, if the Rockies are going to contend, Story will need to swing and miss a lot less.
If Story remains batting clean-up (he was dropped to seventh Saturday) with the three guys ahead of him (Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado), opportunities to drive in runs will be bountiful. Now Story must step up and produce.