Despite losing skid, the sky is not falling on the Rockies

Ed Zurga

Yes, the Rockies have lost three games in a row. No, it isn't any fun. However, a little losing skid is not the end of the world for this team by any means.

In a 162-game MLB season, every team is going to lose three in a row at some point. it's just inevitable. That the Rockies made it to mid-May without losing three straight should be seen as a good sign for the long-term prospects of the team this season.

Despite having lost three straight, and five of six, the Rockies sit in second place in the NL West at 23-19. While that record doesn't look all that impressive, it's still an 89-win pace, which would likely be good enough to have the Rockies in playoff contention if not actually in the postseason. The Reds took the second Wild Card spot in the National League last year with 90 wins, so 89 would definitely put the Rockies in the conversation.

The problem in the losses to the Reds and Royals was the offense, the Rockies scored just seven runs in the four games. The main issue being that they struck out a lot, with 49 Ks in the five games in Cincinnati and Kansas City. However, it's not like this team forgot how to hit or suddenly isn't talented anymore, they still lead the league in wRC+ at 116 and have the fifth-lowest K rate in baseball at 17.7%. The offense will be fine, especially when they return to Coors Field and get Michael Cuddyer and Wilin Rosario back in the lineup.

On the other hand, the Rockies pitchers allowed 16 runs in the four games, right at league average. In fact, if you include Colorado's win in the Cincinnati series, they actually have an even run differential in the five games. If you expand the sample to cover the entire road trip, the Rockies actually outscored their opponents, 27-25, despite going just 2-5.

It's not like the Rockies exactly had an easy draw in Cincinnati and Kansas City, either. Both teams had winning records last season and the Rockies caught the top of each of their rotations. Not just roughly the top, the Reds and Royals Opening Day starters, Johnny Cueto and James Shields, started the series openers. Meanwhile, three of the Rockies' top four starters, Jorge de la Rosa, Brett Anderson and Tyler Chatwood, didn't pitch in either series. Trying to beat other teams ones and twos with you fives, sixes and sevens doesn't tend to work well regardless of who you are.

The good news for the Rockies is they return to the friendly confines of Coors Field, where they are 13-5 this season, tomorrow to face two NL West foes in San Diego and San Francisco. They are also still in second place, just 3.5 games behind the division-leading Giants and can make up a chunk of that deficit when San Francisco comes to town next week.

As RhodeIslandRoxFan pointed out last week, May was always going to be a tough month for the Rockies, and it would be more about surviving it than thriving in it. What happens over the next week at Coors Field will go a long way toward determining if the Rockies can do that.

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