Getting comfortable on the road

Patrick McDermott

Two weeks ago I wrote this article discussing how the transition away from altitude appeared to hurt Rockies pitchers until they could adjust. Today I look at the offense and see if, as a team, the Rockies road woes are magnified by the adjustment period of the first couple of games.

Two weeks ago I wrote this article discussing how the transition away from altitude appeared to hurt Rockies pitchers until they could adjust.  Today I look at the offense and see if, as a team, the Rockies road woes are magnified by the adjustment period of the first couple of games.

As a reminder to those who don't recall, when I discussed the pitchers I compared strikeout to walk ratio for the pitchers in the first two games of each road trip to the same ratio for the rest of the road trip.  I will use this same statistic for the hitters but I will also add a new one.  To try and get a better idea of the hitters ability I will also compare a ratios of hits+walks to strikeouts.  For your ease of reading the below table, a smaller K:BB ratio is better and a larger H+BB:K is better for the Rockies hitters.

Trip Record 1st 2 K:BB H+BB:K Record for rest K:BB H+BB:K
1 0-2 2.2 0.91 3-1 1.72 1.65
2 1-1 3.4 1.35 2-3 1.83 1.86
3 0-2 20.0 0.2 2-2 3.33 1.57
4 1-1 4.67 1.64 1-2 1.67 1.68
5 1-1 5.0 1.0 1-0 4.5 2.44
6 0-2 3.33 0.75 2-4 10.4 1.01
7 0-2 6.0 0.92 4-4 3.27 1.08
8 0-2 4.5 1.44 1-7 3.88 1.15
9 1-1 3.17 1.37 3-5 4.77 1.26
10 0-2 2.83 1 2-5 3.29 1.78
11 1-1 20 0.55 1-0 2 1.6

I put in bold the better number since it may be somewhat confusing.  As you can see, only three times out of eleven did they do better at walking vs striking out in the first two games of a road trip.  Also only twice out of eleven did they do better at getting on base in the first two games of a road trip.  This doesn't appear to correalate as much as the pitching numbers, but still shows a significant difference for the first couple of days on the road.

Without building the pressurized batting cage I mentioned in the previous article, is there anything the Rockies can do about this?  Other than taking extended batting  practice at the start of every road trip, I am not sure there is much of an answer.  I could also look at their first couple of games back at Coors Field to see if they have a similar problem but that has the added variable of the other team's pitcher having to adjust to altitude.  Not much that everyone didn't already know but I wanted to complete the research on the topic and share the information.

Links

More word on Michael Cuddyer's chances of hitting second in the batting order, which I think would be great if we have the write one, three, and four hitters around him.

A story from mlb.com about Josh Rutledge looking to take the next step in his development.

OFF-TOPIC.

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