After suffering through a mean 2-5 road trip, the Colorado Rockies are hoping their return to Coors Field to begin a six-game home stand will bring a rebirth to their offense. In those five losses away from home, the Rockies league-leading bats produced only seven total runs while their pitchers allowed no more than five runs in any of the games during the trip.
It has certainly been feast or famine for the Colorado lineup during the road trip, with the feasts occurring when the team needed them least. The Rockies piled up 9 and 11 runs in their two wins, while giving up only two runs in each. On average, the pitching staff gave up less than four runs per game in those seven contests and that should be enough for hitter a batting squad which leads the league, averaging almost 5.5 runs per contest.
A look at the numbers for some of the Rockies hitters illustrates how tough the road trip has been. Currently Colorado has eight regular players hitting over .300 for the season. In the past seven days, however, Nolan Arenado is leading the team at .261 over that period. Troy Tulowitzki, who leads the team at .391, has gone 4 for 17 over the past week with 2 RBI and seven strikeouts. Justin Morneau is also 4 for 17, which translates to a .235 average—85 points lower than his season average. Every other Rockies’ regular was at .200 or below for the period.
Slumps happen in every season, and the fact that the sudden power-outage happened on the road gives cause for some optimism in the Rockies clubhouse. On Friday night they begin a 7-day, 6-game home stand with the first of a three-game series against the Padres. The two teams they split a four-game series in April at San Diego. Interestingly enough, it was pitching that dominated that series, with the winning team never amassing more than five runs in any game.
Some of the pressure may be taken off of the offense due to the fact that the Rockies have their two hottest pitchers manning the mound on Friday and Saturday. Jorge De La Rosa will get the start for Colorado in the first game. De La Rosa was to have started against the Royals on Tuesday but was scratched because of some tightness in his lower back. He appears to be okay, and will try to build on his four-game winning streak. His last loss was on April 16 against the Padres in a game in which his pitched well, giving up just three runs in six innings of work. De La Rosa has given up just seven runs in his last four outings (24 innings).
On Saturday the Rockies will throw Jordan Lyles against the Padres. Lyles has been the pleasant surprise of the season so far, racking up a 5-0 record and leading the team with an ERA of 2.66. He has given up no more than two runs in his last five appearances and, Like De La Rosa, his last loss came at the hands of the Padres on the road in April.
Commentary by Chuck Podhaisky
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the Colorado Rockies