SAN DIEGO — Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray looked right into the television camera after Colorado’s 9-3 loss to the San Diego Padres on Thursday night and had a simple message.
"“We’re all frustrated,” said the Colorado Rockies starter. “We should be in a different position than we are, and we know that. The rest of the year, we have to play with a chip on our shoulder. We have to be angry about that almost and really go out and prove something. I think that’s where our minds should be, especially at this point in the season.”"
And that’s where the Rockies are at this point of the campaign. After losing their third straight game and 17 of their last 22 road contests, Colorado sits at 52-63 and at the bottom of the National League West standings.
There is no postseason rah-rah talk. There is no thought of some incredible rally to reach Rocktober at this point. There is simply frustration and a lot of work to be done.
Two errors from Gold Glove contender Trevor Story and a head-scratching overthrow from Jairo Diaz were just part of a Rockies team that looked completely out of sorts at Petco Park on Thursday. When the defense was doing its part, the offense has going 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position. It’s the first time the Rockies logged three or fewer hits with 16 or more men in scoring position since August 27, 2016 at Washington.
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It didn’t matter whether I was walking into Bud Black‘s office or cutting through the clubhouse looking for interviews, it’s clear that this team knows the problems but can’t seem to find the solution all at once. Fixing those problems, at the moment, seems to be a taller task than one could have possibly prognosticated heading into the season.
I admit I didn’t think the Rockies were going to make the playoffs this season. Never, however, did I think we’d be sitting here in early August and already talking about what 2020 would hold.
What’s left for the Rockies this season is the role of spoiler with contests still against the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves (a single make-up game at Coors Field) and others battling for National League Wild Card spots. What’s left for the Rockies this season is to see if they can climb out of the bottom of the division. What’s left for the Rockies is to see what young players like Yonathan Daza (who had his first career multi-hit game on Thursday night) can bring to the team, this season and beyond.
There’s a lot of season left and a lot of objectives still to meet. However, to meet those objectives and find some semblance of meaning for the season’s last two months, the Rockies need to use that chip on their collective shoulders as Jon Gray said to their advantage.
That frustration in the clubhouse has to be turned into something positive … and soon. With 47 games left in the season, there are still a lot of things to be accomplished. And time is running out to find positives in a season where so much was expected.