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Terrible road trip ends with another loss for Colorado Rockies

David Martin Avatar
June 17, 2015

 

It’s official, the Colorado Rockies are back to what they are used to on the road; losing.

On Tuesday in Houston, the Rockies got bad pitching, a four-inning, seven-run outing from Chris Rusin, and couldn’t complete a comeback when the bats went cold after a Carlos Gonzalez 5th inning home run.

The Rockies come home after a 1-5 road trip in which they overall looked terrible, laying several eggs in Miami, then struggling through a two-game set in Houston. The trip came on the heels of a 5-5 homestand that was much better for the team than the actual results.

The Rockies had just split a series with the Dodgers in which they were a pitch away from taking three-of-four, then they nearly swept the Cardinals, the National League’s best team to close out the series. Going on the road after an encouraging homestand gave the Rockies a chance to go on the road and continue doing what they had done throughout the early part of the season.

Instead they took a step back.

For the Rockies, there is only so much that the team can expect in 2015. While Chris Rusin had a few great outings for the team in his call-up, there is no getting around the fact that he is a castoff from the Cubs and really wasn’t sitting on top of anyone’s top prospect list. That doesn’t mean that he can’t be a strong contributor, but assuming that he is going to maintain an ERA below the mid-four range probably isn’t living in reality.

In addition to Rusin, Chad Bettis has been very good in his return to the starting rotation over the past four weeks. However, he too should have a huge learning curve. He isn’t going to go out and throw seven or eight innings and give up only a run or two every time he goes to the mound. He is going to have outings like he did in Houston where he gave up four 1st inning runs and gave the offense next to no chance of winning the game.

Kyle Kendrick has actually had some very good starts of late for the Rockies, but no one should be surprised if he has another terrible stretch like he did following his amazing Opening Day start in Milwaukee. David Hale fits the exact same description. The reality is, the Rockies are crossing their fingers four out of every five days.

The truly only dependable member of the Rockies starting rotation is Jorge De La Rosa. He is almost certainly going to give the Rockies offense a chance to win every time he takes the hill. However, he also can only pitch every five days.

This isn’t to say that the Rockies aren’t going to get some really good starts from the other four. In fact, the talent that those guys have shown should suggest that they get more good starts than bad ones. However, there are going to be a fair number of clunkers along the way.

The problem is, the clunkers that are inevitably going to be a part of the Rockies seasons can be significant momentum killers. Baseball is a game where confidence plays such a large role. When a team gets going, the confidence grows. However, if they can have two or three really good games, then go out and struggle and get blown out, they are going to struggle to gain any positive momentum.

This type of team is simply a bi-product of where the franchise is at. They are forced to lean on young pitchers that probably aren’t ready to be shouldering as much responsibility as the Rockies are forcing their young arms to take on.

The Rockies are still in decent shape. The goal for 2015 should be to win 81 games and be respectable. They are a good run away from being on pace to do just that. If their young pitchers can pitch beyond what their development suggests they should, the Rockies might just be good enough to win 81 games.

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