Eye on the Rockies: At Home, Looking for a Revival After a 4-Week Fade
The Rockies finished up a 10-game trip back East on Sunday with a 3-2 loss at Cincinnati, leaving them with a 3-10 record during the visits to Yankee Stadium, Nationals Park and Great American Ballpark. They won one game in each city. Now, if they can somehow flash forward and get the next three days of July behind them. . .
The month of July has been a nightmare for the Rockies, who were a legitimate Wild Card factor four weeks ago -- even if the Dodgers were in control of the division race -- but now find themselves ahead of only the Pirates and Marlins among the 12 teams battling for one of the two Wild Card invites to the postseason.
How bad has the last four weeks been for the Rockies? Well, they have gone from being one of the top two wild-card teams to 13th in the 15 team battle. And they have gone from second-place to last-place in the NL West.
At the Plate
Yonder Alonso was released by the White Sox after struggling through the opening months of the season. The Rockies decided to take a shot at the left-handed bat, and so far, so good. After tuning up at Triple-A Albuquerque, Alonso joined the Rockies on the road last week, and went 6-for-12 in two starts, and three pinch-hit appearances. He had three doubles and a home run.
On the Mound
The Rockies lost five of the last eight games on their road trip, wasting solid efforts from the starting pitchers along the way. The starters were 2-3 with three no decisions -- the victims of a bullpen that couldn't hold leads. And they had a 3.20 ERA. Now comes the challenge -- a return to Coors Field for the next week.
With the Rockies off on Thursday and again on Aug. 5, they won't need a fifth starter again until Aug. 10 at San Diego. As a result, managre Bud Black will go with a four-man alignment for the next 10 games, dropping a fifth starter back into the rotation on Aug. 10 at San Diego.
That will help keep the prime four of Jon Gray, German Marquez, Kyle Freeland and Peter Lambert on a regular routine. And in the process, the Rockies can re-evaluate Chi Chi Gonzalez, Jeff Hoffman and Antonio Senzatela at Triple-A Albuquerque in determining a fifth starter.