Believe it or not, the Major League Baseball season is already a quarter of the way complete. The Colorado Rockies have played 41 games with 121 more games before the beginning of the playoffs.
With that thought, it is that time again. For what has become one of my favorite exercises, we are at one of those points in the season where I get to look at how the Colorado Rockies have played compared to the previous season.
Typically I look at only the numbers from the previous season. However, after back-to-back playoff appearances, let’s see where the numbers stack up against the past two playoff teams at the quarter mark of the season.
Here is a look at the numbers…
2017 2018 2019
W/L 26-15 22-19 20-21
Games Back +2 3.5 6.5
Home 13-10 7-11 9-11
Away 13-5 15-8 11-10
Vs NL West 18-10 7-6 7-10
1 Run Games 9-0 7-4 5-6
RS/RA 199/184 165/185 212/216
It is simple to see why the Rockies are lagging behind their 2017 and 2018 counterparts. They are giving up almost a run more per game than last season. The pitching staff needs Kyle Freeland to bounce back to his 2018 version along with the back end of the rotation to step up. They also could use a couple of arms in the bullpen to bust out of their early funks.
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Offensively, the Rockies have scored more runs … but there is an underlying issue. The offense has become too feast or famine as they have averaged more than seven runs a game in wins but only three runs in losses. Most of this has to do with relying too heavily on Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, and Trevor Story to lead the way to victory. The supporting cast needs to contribute more on the days Arenado & Company aren’t producing.
It might be time to be honest with ourselves and say that the franchise’s first division title is almost out of the question and the only route to the playoffs is by the Wild Card. The Dodgers already have a sizable lead in the NL West and, as one of the top teams in baseball, it will take a huge effort to overtake them.
However, if there is a way to catch the Dodgers, it starts with the Rockies playing better within the division. They have 59 games remaining against the West and that must improve or they have zero shot at the division crown.
Considering that the Rockies were 3-12 record to begin the season, they should be thankful that they have worked their way back to within striking distance of .500. Remember, the 2018 Rockies, who won 91 games, were .500 after 86 games into the season. As long as this team can continue to stick around .500, they are one hot streak away from being right in the thick of a playoff race … but it also could go the other way and fall completely out of it.