Last year the Rockies went to Florida and faced Dontrelle Willis, Josh Beckett and one of the Leiters. Predictably they lost the first two, scoring only once, but came back to win in the third game and finished that series with a 1-2 record and being outscored 14-9. This year they basically reveresed the scoring, coming out ahead 14-10 in sweeping the Marlins.
The first games we played at Turner Field last year were late in the year when we were resurgent and the Braves were just playing out the string and prepping to bow out early from the playoffs again. Still, thanks to a pounding taken from Tim Hudson and friends in game two of the three game set, the Rox were outscored 17-9 in the first pair. By comparison, this year's 7-4 deficit is somewhat more palatable.
Finally, a home split against the Reds diverges quite a bit from the three game sweep we laid on them last time they visited Coors, then we outscored Cincinnati 19-9, this year we went down 7-4.
Overall for the week then, in the same series last year, the Rockies were outscored by a combined score of 37-40 in 2005, whereas this year we were outscored 22-24. You might notice right away that though the run differentials are relatively even year over year, there's still something dramatically different. Hmmm, let me go back to my Sesame Street days and think for a second here. Oh, I see, one set of numbers is relatively small, and one is big. And by a fairly significant chunk, too. A forty percent lop is good for our pitchers, but what does that really say about our offense without Todd Helton?
That brings the year to date total of runs scored through twenty nine games in 2006 to 145-144 versus being outscored 137-172 for 2005 through twenty-eight games against the same teams in the same places. The difference amounts to a nearly 24% reduction in runs allowed over last year, with a meager 2% increase in scoring. Of course, now it's becoming clear to where we owe our success this year. Switching out of direct series comparisons for a moment last April we allowed over 25% more baserunners per nine innings, right around fifty percent more homeruns, and despite pitching forty-eight less innings, we gave up sixteen more walks. We had two saves and nine holds in April of last year, this year we had seven and twenty-one (in four more games- per game we could count on one of those stats every two games, this year we're going at a rate better than twice that). All of this is good, of course. Steady pitching will allow us to stay competitive over the next couple of years until the offensive machine we're building takes us to the next level.