As Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoose famously said in the 1988 classic Bull Durham, “I want to bring the heater. Announce my presence with authority!” Well, here is the Colorado Rockies’ chance.
After a much-needed day off to wipe the stink off that was blowing two huge leads in the last three games to the San Diego Padres, the Colorado Rockies head west to begin a nine-game road where they could possibly make a huge statement. The trip starts out on Tuesday against the red-hot Arizona Diamondbacks, then a series against the team with the National League’s best record, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and then concludes out in San Francisco against the NL West’s bottom-feeder, the Giants.
Sitting 10.5 games behind the Dodgers and tied with the Diamondbacks in the West, the Rockies have a chance to tell the entire league that they are legitimate contenders for the playoffs. More importantly, they have a chance to prove it to themselves because this trip is not going to be easy.
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Coming off a 4-3 homestand where they scored a total of 74 runs, the Rockies are going to see some extremely difficult starting pitching on the road. Some of the probable starters they are scheduled to face include, but are not limited to, Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, Hyun-jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda, Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner. Not only will the Rockies have to figure out how to hit on the road, where they are 12th in runs scored in the NL, they will have to do it against some of the best pitchers in all of baseball.
On the other side of the ledger, the Rockies have to figure out their pitching. As good as the offense was over the last week, the pitching was just as bad, giving up a total of 62 runs, including 44 to the Padres.
Maybe the day off will help, or perhaps a break from Coors Field, or even the elevated competition will get the pitching back on the rails. If not, the Rockies could find themselves farther back in the playoff race.
As demoralizing as the weekend was against the Padres, the Rockies have a prime opportunity to show the National League that they are playoff contender. Just don’t let Crash Davis tip the pitch.