Monday night, in front of a nationwide audience on ESPN, the Colorado Rockies offense laid an egg … again.
Here’s the problem though … it wasn’t just on Monday night when the Colorado Rockies bats have gone silent. Monday’s 6-0 blanking saw Colorado muster seven hits, including just one through the game’s first five innings.
A lack of offense been an unfortunate theme in recent days as the Rockies simply can’t seem to get multiple guys hitting at the same time for long stretches.
Charlie Blackmon started the season on fire while Nolan Arenado struggled at the plate. Now the tables have turned as Arenado seems to be finding his swing but Blackmon’s second-inning single on Monday night snapped an 0-for-12 skid he had endured against San Diego pitching.
But the biggest problem for the Rockies so far this season has been the offense outside of Arenado, Blackmon, and Trevor Story. Daniel Murphy went 2-for-4 on Monday for just his third multi-hit game in the past three weeks. Fellow veteran Matt Kemp is struggling, hitting less than .200 over his last seven games. Ryan McMahon’s strikeout issues continue, including four of them on Monday. Production out of the catching position continues to be among the lowest in Major League Baseball.
"“Collectively, we’re not very consistent right now,” Arenado said after Monday’s loss. “It’s frustrating.”"
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The Rockies traded for an outfielder (Kevin Pillar) with the nickname of Superman on Monday just before the trade deadline hit. However, it’s going to take more than just one hero to snap Colorado out of its collective funk at the plate. It’s going to take The Avengers.
You can make all of the Coors Field jokes you like, but this current installment of the Rockies doesn’t have the firepower at the moment to take advantage of its home field. Colorado is 3-9 in its last 12 home games, including dropping three of four to San Diego over a strange Friday night to Monday night homestand.
"“Guys realize that we’re scuffling a little bit with the bats, and a lot of times players will try to do a little too much, come out of their approach, and it works against them,” Colorado manager Bud Black said after Sunday’s loss."
As Thomas Harding pointed out in his MLB.com article on Monday night, Story entered Monday’s action with an OPS+ of 138. There are five members of the Padres who boast higher numbers. Perhaps it’s little wonder San Diego flexed its muscles at the plate often during their extended stay in Denver.
Check out this page from Baseball Savant. Those blue indicators mean the number is in the bottom 10 percent of the league. The red means it’s in the top 10 percent of the league. At the time of this writing, there was one red indicator and 18 blue ones for the Rockies.
Another nugget that shows just how desperate the offense is currently? In Colorado’s three losses during the San Diego series, the Rockies went 2-for-19 with runners in scoring position. It’s part of a wRC+ over the last two weeks that is the second-worst in all of Major League Baseball.
During that same span, Colorado is 27th in wOBA, 22nd in batting average, 24th in OBP, 26th in slugging, and has the 10th-worst strikeout rate. Oh, and they’re also the 10th-worst at swinging at pitches outside the strike zone.
No, it’s not good right now on a lot of levels on offense for the Rockies.
"“We gotta have one of those games when we bust loose,” Black said after Monday’s loss."
Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich is bringing Pillar in to help boost the offense, but it’s going to take more than that. It’s going to take a collective offensive reawakening … and Bridich is confident it can happen.
"“I think that offensively, there are some better days ahead,” he said. “We’ve scored a decent amount of runs — if you compare us across the league. But I think everybody knows, internally in particular, that there are, collectively, better days ahead, moving forward with this group.”"
That’s a bet that Bridich doubled down on at the deadline by only acquiring Pillar. It’s also a bet that has to start showing some results soon for the Rockies with 25 games left in the season.