The Colorado Rockies suffered their second straight shutout on Monday—this one at the hands of the Phillies 9-0 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Perhaps even more incredible is the fact that the Rockies offense still leads Major League Baseball in runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. The latter tidbit is probably a testament to just how dominant the team has been in the first two months of the season, because it appears the wheels are starting to come off of the Colorado bat-mobile.
The 9-0 whitewashing administered by the Phillies on Monday followed Sunday’s 7-0 thrashing by the Braves in Atlanta. In their last five games, in fact, the Rockies have scored only six runs. In the team’s last 7 road games, they have scored more than three runs only once.
Against the Phillies it was not as if Colorado did not have chances. The Rockies put a runner on base in each of the first seven innings, but went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. On their current road trip, the team is hitting only .195 with chances to drive in runs. Jhoulys Chacin, who is now 0-4 on the season, had allowed only 2 runs until a single by Chase Utley and two-run homer by Ryan Howard at the start of the sixth. It is not unreasonable for the Rockies pitchers to expect a bit of run-support, but on this day Chacin got none.
The Phillies started the scoring in the fourth inning when Howard singled in Chase Utley, then added one more in the fifth as Dominic Brown scored on an infield single by Ben Revere. The big damage was done in the seventh inning when Philadelphia scored five runs–the big blow coming via a 2-run homer by John Mayberry, Jr. The Mayberry pinch-hit dinger ended Rockies’ reliever Rex Brothers’ scoreless game streak at nine.
For the Rockies, the top of the order accounted for five of their seven total hits. Charlie Blackmon and Troy Tulowitzki were both 2 for 4, and Michael Cuddyer got a hit in 4 at-bats. Justin Morneau and Charlie Culberson got the other two hits for Colorado. None of the Rockies’ hits were for extra bases.
So the Colorado Rockies are slumping, and there is no Coors Field remedy in the near future. The team is 1-3 on their current nine-game road trip, with two more games in Philadelphia. They will get a much-needed day off Thursday, before heading to Cleveland for a three-game set against the Indians.
Injury-wise, Colorado is not in bad shape at all. Third-baseman Nolan Arenado, who broke his finger in Atlanta, will see a surgeon at the end of this week and there is no projected date for his return. He is the only position player who is on the injury report at this time. The Rockies are still without two starting pitchers, both on the 60-day DL. Brett Anderson had the pins removed from his fractured finger Monday with no date determined for his return. Tyler Chatwood suffered a right elbow strain in Arizona in late April and has begun throwing from 50 feet. He could possibly return in late July.
Commentary by Chuck Podhaisky
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the Colorado Rockies