The Colorado Rockies have reached the halfway point of the season and have some work to do to make the postseason.
Imagine watching your favorite football team. For the sake of this analogy, let’s say its the Denver Broncos. The Broncos come out firing on all cylinders with a couple of big plays that lead to quick scores to go along with some solid defensive play. They also grind out a long scoring drive where there is nothing the opposing team can do to stop them.
But then the quarter changes and what can go wrong goes wrong. They throw a pick-six, have a couple of three-and-outs, a drive-stalling miscue, and all of a sudden they are heading to the locker room at halftime with zero momentum. The score is tied but nonetheless, the second half feels like it will be an uphill battle.
That is what the first half of this 60-game season has felt like for the Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies got off to a blistering start winning a franchise-best 5 straight series to start the season. They ran their record up to an MLB leading 11-3 thanks to some fabulous starting pitching and some timely hitting, as well as an unbelievable hot streak at the plate by Charlie Blackmon.
Then everything seemed to go south. The pitching turned ineffective, Blackmon cooled off, and the clutch hits disappeared. When they did receive a good outing by the pitching staff, the offense didn’t show up to the ballpark and vice-versa losing 12 of the next 14 games.
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Now the Rockies head into the second half of the season with a 15-15 record after back-to-back victories at the Arizona Diamondbacks. Even though the future looks bleak, remember, the top two teams in each division plus the two with the best record of the remaining teams make the newly expanded playoffs. If the playoffs started today, the Rockies would in as the 7th seed.
There are quite a few adjustments to be made but first and foremost Nolan Arenado has to get back on track. He has been stuck in a season-long slump and has been pressing to get it turned around. After sitting out Sunday against the Dodgers, he has shown signs of breaking out. In the two games since, he is 3-for-7 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI and hitting him third in the lineup may be making a difference.
The trade deadline is less than a week away and recently I broke down a wish list for needs I would like to see the Rockies trade for. The chances that they make a significant move to bolster the roster is unlikely as there won’t be many sellers at the deadline, but that could be a way to make a much-needed adjustment.
Someone besides Arenado, Blackmon, and Trevor Story needs to produce. Much like last season, these three have been relied on for most of the offensive production and that needs to change. The return of David Dahl from the IL to his 2019 All-Star form and Ryan McMahon breaking out would be a good starting point.
It may not seem like it but the pitching staff hasn’t been all that bad. A 4.30 ERA for the starting pitchers is 13th best in the Majors. The problem is the clunker outings have become more frequent during their downfall. If they can cut down on these bad games, wins should follow.