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The Refiner's Fire

So you're frustrated after a six and eight start? What if I were to tell you that there could very well be worse frustrations before May? What if I told you that I don't really care if there are as long as we're within shouting distance? Let me show you something, my poor miserable friends:

  1. Brandon Webb .511/137
  2. Livan Hernandez .515/101
  3. Doug Davis .496/103
  4. Greg Maddux .621/136
  5. David Wells .607/109
  6. Jake Peavy .567/115
  7. Jason Schmidt .582/110
  8. Brett Tomko .527/95
  9. Brad Penny .547/105
  10. Brandon Webb .511/137
  11. Livan Hernandez .515/101
  12. Doug Davis .496/103
  13. Barry Zito .613/126
  14. Matt Cain .517/120
Average: .545/114

The first number is the career winning percentage of the starting pitchers that we've faced this year, the second is the career ERA+, a park adjusted stat that compares a pitcher's ERA to his league, found at Baseball Reference. Neither is the best indicator of a pitcher's abilities, and a couple of those names are no longer capable of living up to their career lines, yet a few like Peavy, Webb and Cain, might still be rising -scary as that prospect is. These stats do give you a general impression of the kind of gauntlet we've been through the first two weeks of the season. Look around, try and find another team in the MLB that has had a similarly stacked deck against them this year. I'm waiting...

I'll right, I'll save you the trouble and let you know that you're not going to find one. ESPN has noticed, ranking the Rockies as having the strongest opposition so far this year, and it's part of the reason that despite our 6-8 record we rank fourth in RPI. This is why I've said all along that the Rockies would start slow this season before picking up in May.

We still have two weeks of mild frustration left with the Mets and Atlanta closing out the month, and yet so many of you are cracking already. Look back at the schedule of the last few years and tell me that we've had as tough a go of it in any previous April. 2007 has a completely different story line to follow folks, and so far we're right on track. Any of your comparisons right now to past seasons ring hollow to me unless you take this into account. I don't know how anyone can say for sure yet that this is a bad team. Right now the one thing that we can say is that it's a slightly worse than mediocre team against the NL's top pitchers. I'm inclined to think that given our youth and talent that this will change by season's end.

No team goes through an entire season of facing pitchers like this stretch we've had, and while our schedule is likely to be worse than most with Boston and the Yankees also coming up, it will in the end even out. When we finally get to face the lesser lights of the league, look out.