This 2014 season could be a long one for the Colorado Rockies. Although a mere four games into the 162-game schedule, it’s impossible to look past too many obvious factors.
Take the four game road series against the Miami Marlins. The Rockies were able to do the right things for the most part on offense; they generated runs, took advantage of runners in scoring position, and simply hit the ball with confidence, minus the first game against the tough Jose Fernandez.
Michael Cuddyer reminded us why he was the NL batting champ one season ago, Carlos Gonzalez showed the MLB why he is one of the best offensive outfielders in the game, and Justin Morneau showed Rockies fans there just may be life after Todd Helton.
The problem? Pitching.
I understand that pitching has always been an albatross for the Rockies, but this year seems different, even worse than we’ve grown accustomed to in previous seasons. Yes, ace Jhoulys Chacin and young gun Tyler Chatwood missed their respective starts as they landed on the DL, but somehow I doubt their presence would have changed the storyline in Miami. My doubts lie in the fact that the Rockies’ problems were at the hands of usually reliable veterans.
The first game highlight was a squabble between Opening Day starter Jorge De La Rosa and catcher Wilin Rosario. Prior to the “heated” discussion, De La Rosa had been throwing well against the Marlin’s lineup. Following the dispute, the game was blown wide open.
The Rockies proceeded to attempt to blow a big lead in Game 3, holding on by one in the final inning. In Game 4, they effectively blew their big lead when dependable Matt Belisle gave up four runs in the eighth.
Again, long time followers of the Rockies have grown accustomed to adventurous late inning pitching, but that is in the thin mile high air of Coors Field. This was Miami at sea level in a ball park known more as a pitcher’s park.
The Rockies will return to Coors Field this weekend for their home opener against NL West division foes the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Looking forward, Rockies games – if nothing more – will be entertaining. If you’re an MLB fan who likes offense, my recommendation for two teams to follow in 2014 – the Rockies, and whoever the Rockies are playing.