Colorado Rockies: Comparing 2018’s first half to 2017
By Aaron Hurt
It’s 81 games down and 81 games to go. The Colorado Rockies have reached the midway point of the season, which means we are drawing closer to the All-Star break and, more importantly, the trade deadline.
As the Rockies continue to play their way out of playoff contention with the recent series loss to the San Francisco Giants, I thought it would be a good time to do one of my favorite exercises and compare this season to last through the first 81 games.
So let’s take a look back and do some comparing as I stack up the numbers from this season to the 2017 playoff-bound Rockies at the halfway mark of the season.
|Runs Per Game||5.06||4.72|
|RA Per Game||4.65||5.31|
|Vs NL WEST||25-19||13-19|
The biggest eye-popping stat is the reversal of the run differential between this season and last. The Rockies have gone from +33 runs to -48. Both pitching and hitting deserve some blame but since teams are scoring more than a half a run more a game, let’s start with the pitching.
The regression of the starting pitching staff, not including Kyle Freeland, has been a big factor in the Rockies struggles this season. The regression has been so bad that even Mr. Base on Balls himself, Tyler Chatwood, had a lower ERA (4.32) through 81 games last season than every starter except Freeland this season.
More from Colorado Rockies News
- A Colorado Rockies Thanksgiving
- Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the season
- Colorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers series
- Colorado Rockies: 3 things we appreciated from Tuesday in San Francisco
- What Bill Schmidt’s comments mean for the Colorado Rockies in 2023
The letdown by so-called “ace” Jon Gray has been the biggest surprise. As our Kevin Henry wrote yesterday, frustration and the lack of consistency is killing Gray and has led to his ERA to balloon to an unacceptable 5.77.
The bullpen issues have been talked about immensely so I won’t bore you with that but the ‘pen’s struggles does help explain why the Rockies are 11-9 in one-run games compared to 11-3 last season.
On the offensive side, Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu‘s lack of production at the top of the lineup has hindered this team compared to last season. Through 81 games last year, Blackmon’s and LeMahieu’s slash lines were .314/.369/.575 and .302/.360/.381, respectively, with a 106 combined runs scored and 95 RBI. Now they are sitting at .274/.350/.466 and .280/.332/.444 with a combined 101 runs scored and 65 RBI (this includes DJ’s Thursday afternoon heroics).
Obviously the slow start by Ian Desmond and poor production from the bench has also helped the in the offensive woes, but the bats have woken up lately as they have scored 90 runs in the last 15 games.
Next: You can't blame Jeff Bridich for the tough first half ... yet
Honestly, the Rockies are very lucky at this point be only three games under .500. With the flip-flop in run differential, the Rockies could easily be completely out of the playoff picture and it is not even July. Hopefully LeMahieu’s ninth-inning blast is exactly what the Rockies needed to energize them back into the playoff race.