The Colorado Rockies‘ torrid start to the 2014 MLB season made it seem as though they were capable of legitimately contending for the NL West title, but their inability to win on the road has forced the team into an out-of-control nosedive. After dropping five straight games, including four road defeats, the Rockies have plummeted into third place in the division and below the .500 mark. They own a pitiful 12-21 record away from Coors Field, despite being one of the best offensive teams in all of baseball.
The Rockies’ glaring inefficiency on the road is a product of poor performances at the plate and mediocre pitching efforts. Colorado isn’t built to play tooth-and-nail baseball in the late innings. Their pitching staff simply isn’t talented enough for them to gain an edge on the road against teams with superior bullpens. The Rockies’ pitching staff is one of the worst in the league, ranking 26th overall with an ugly 4.23 ERA.
Colorado’s confusing inability to score runs on the road, especially in hitter-friendly ballparks, is the biggest reason for their struggles. As a team, the Rockies own a .239 batting average away from home. To compare, their .339 mark at Coors Field is the best home batting average among all teams. For whatever reason, the Rockies fail to produce rallies on the road, although their power numbers haven’t suffered as a result. Colorado has crushed 35 home runs on the road and a near-equivalent 40 home runs at home.
MVP candidate Troy Tulowitzki isn’t capable of righting the ship on his own. The dynamic shortstop owns a league-best .353 batting average with 15 home runs while driving in 38 runs. Like most of his team, Tulowitzki has been a seemingly different player away from the friendly confines of Coors Field. His ridiculous .519 home batting average is legitimately off the charts, but he owns a highly inefficient .234 mark on the road. The Rockies essentially have no chance of becoming successful on the road if their best offensive player continues to slump at low altitude.
It also doesn’t help that slugging outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has yet to find his stroke in 2014. Gonzalez has been terrible over the past two weeks, regardless of where the Rockies play, registering two hits in his previous 25 at-bats. If Gonzalez continues to slump while Tulowtzki remains a non-factor on the road, the Rockies are going to find themselves out of the NL West race by the All-Star Break.
They may be struggling on the road, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see them at home! Check out the Rockies’ schedule for 2014 and grab some tickets for an upcoming game at Coors Field!