No matter how much I want to push how great the Colorado Rockies' lineup is and how it can win games on its own, the game has a way of reminding me what seems to be a timeless truth. Pitching wins games. In a game where whoever scores the most runs wins the game, limiting runs seems to be much more important than scoring them.
Someone in baseball decided that a starter going six innings and giving up three runs is a quality start. If the relievers then give up an additional run, the goal for a team should be to allow four or less runs if they want to win. The Rockies are something like 28-8 when they give up four runs or less this year. This puts them at 5-27 when they HAVE to score more than five runs. This team can score five runs fairly often, but when the team needs it, the offense is not always able to turn it on, in fact they are able to do so less than one in six times.
For a team that is first in almost every offensive category, this makes a strong point to me. It tells me, "hey stupid, pitching shows up regardless of the offense, but not vice versa." This fact has to be pounded into my brain every year as I like the offensive side of the game and want to see the Rockies out hit their opponents. Everyone likes tacos so seven runs are nice, but if we want wins, ERAs below 5 are more important.
Maybe the rest of you know this already and, if so, this article was not worth your time. If you are like me and like the purple pitching eaters that has been the Rockies offense for most of its existence, then maybe you and I can start rooting for the pitching a bit more.
Other than Nicasio's 13-10 loss to the Braves, the pitching this week has been much improved. The team cannot win every game when a starter pitches well, but their 4-2 record this week when the team had three strong starts, one start interrupted by injury, and one bad start show everything I talked about above.
Wilin Rosario has hit just .200/.250/.400 in the last week and was held out Saturday after taking a foul ball off his face mask. With only one extra base hit in his last fifteen at bats, Wilin is one of the few players not upping his game to account for the injuries to the rest of the roster. Maybe he can change that up this week.
Injuries continue to plague this team. Friday's game alone took two players out of the game (Troy Tulowitzki, Jorge De La Rosa) while a foul ball to the face(mask) kept the starting catcher out of the game Saturday. Luckily, all three players should not miss much more time but this will be a minor miracle for this team all by itself. Saturday's game included a collision between two backups who were in the game due to previous injuries. Time to start wrapping the team in bubble wrap and taking away their metal utensils at meals.