The Colorado Rockies dropped their first series of the season at Coors Field, falling to the Tampa Bay Rays in Sunday’s rubber match. The loss, combined with the San Francisco Giants winning their six consecutive game, has Colorado looking up at the Giants in the NL West.
Being critical of this team almost seems unreasonable. Preseason favorites to occupy the NL West cellar by most experts, Colorado boasts one of baseball’s best records. That said, the season has not been flawless and room for improvement certainly exists.
That improvement could come in the form of Rockies’ starting pitchers. Don’t get me wrong, it is understood that the entire Rockies pitching staff is out-producing their preseason projections. However, preseason is not the postseason, and the Blake Street gang has shown, to this point in the season, that they could have the talent to get to the postseason. To do so, they will need consistent solid starting pitchers.
The offense, despite missed opportunities that cost them in two games with the Rays, has produced with solid numbers this season. At least one Rockies slugger ranks in the top-five of every NL offensive stat category. Troy Tulowitzki and Michael Cuddyer are second and fifth respectively in both batting average and RBIs. Dexter Fowler sits at fourth in the NL with eight home runs.
The bullpen has been a more-than -leasant surprise for the Rockies in 2013. Colorado’s bull pen went over 34 innings without giving up an earned run until Matt Belisle surrendered three in the top of the tenth on Friday night.
The starting pitching has given up early runs recently. In fact, the best starting effort lately came in the form of Tyler Chatwood, who held the Los Angeles Dodgers scoreless through seven innings of work during the opening game of the series with L.A.
Chatwood, who made the evening seem more like a Little League game statistically (shutout plus three hits at the plate and three RBIs for Colorado) was sent down to the minors this weekend so Colorado could reactivate Jhoulys Chacin from the 15-day DL.
Colorado entered the season with little expectation from many. Following their play in the first month plus of the 2013 season, expectations have changed. Offense sells tickets, but pitching wins championships. The Rockies pitching staff has overachieved preseason projections, but can they continue with added consistency?
The Rockies have a powerful offense, and if that offense can be teamed with solid and reliable pitching, Colorado’s 20th season could certainly be memorable.