Colorado Rockies morning after: A stinging feeling as the offseason begins
This is not how the Colorado Rockies wanted their season to end. The vision was a trip back to the World Series. The reality is that it ended two rounds before the grand prize.
Hoping to get a boost from returning home to Coors Field, the Colorado Rockies fell into a quick 1-0 hole in the first inning. Faced with the task of battling back throughout the game, the Rockies offense once again disappointed, leading to a 6-0 victory by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Homers early and late were enough for the Brewers to put the finishing touches on the series. The loss put an end to one of the most successful seasons in franchise history as the Rockies finished the regular season with a 91-72 record. It also made sure that Kyle Freeland wouldn’t get to pitch in the playoffs in his hometown. At least not this year.
Colorado’s offense, unfortunately, never showed up in the postseason. That’s the bad news. The good news is that any question about Colorado’s ability to pitch and its young pitchers not being able to perform under the bright lights was erased rather quickly.
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Whether it was Freeland gritting the Rockies to a Wild Card win at Wrigley Field or Tyler Anderson once again proving he belonged in the Colorado rotation in an impressive Game 2 performance in Milwaukee, Colorado showed the nation that this wasn’t your dad’s Rockies team. This was a team that could beat you because of pitching, not just by outscoring you.
Even German Marquez, who took the loss in Game 163 in Los Angeles and in yesterday’s Game 3 loss to the Brewers, looked solid in defeat. When he made mistakes (and he made very few), they were hit for home runs by Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Jesus Aguilar. With Colorado struggling at the plate, those mistakes were enough to make the difference.
Yesterday’s loss stings this morning. It’s strange to wake up without a day of Rockies baseball to discuss or anticipate. It’s also hard to think about yesterday possibly being the last game in Rockies uniform for Carlos Gonzalez or DJ LeMahieu.
This offseason will bring plenty of questions and speculation. It will also bring a lot of optimism for what’s to come for the franchise. As much as the Milwaukee sweep hurts, it’s not the end of anything except the 2018 season. Colorado will be back. Back in the race for the National League West crown and the postseason. With those pitchers mentioned above and an offense centered around Nolan Arenado (yes, he will be back), Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon, next season once again looks bright for the Rockies.
And let’s not forget that the Rockies went one step further in the postseason in 2018 than 2017. Building blocks for the future, Bud Black would say.
That’s the silver lining that will carry us through the offseason. This isn’t the end. It’s only the next step in a timeline that could lead to an even better 2019.