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Past & Present: No California Love For Rockies

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Throughout 21 seasons of the team's existence, there has been one constant, struggling to perform in the Golden State.

Catcher Wilin Rosario consults with starting pitcher Jeff Francis in Wednesday's 10-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants, the teams 78th all-time at AT&T Park.
Catcher Wilin Rosario consults with starting pitcher Jeff Francis in Wednesday's 10-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants, the teams 78th all-time at AT&T Park.

Aside from Colorado, the one state in the union the Rockies have played in most in the history of the franchise is California.

To date, the Rockies have played 511 games in California against five different teams, three NL West foes (Dodgers, Padres, Giants) and two interleague opponents (Angels, A's), and have compiled a record of 204-307. That's 103 games under .500 and a .399 winning percentage, roughly a 65-win pace over a 162-game season. In 2,676 games in the other 49 states (and Canada), the Rockies are just 72 games under .500 with a .487 winning percentage that represents a 79-win pace over 162 games.

Essentially, the Rockies are 14 games worse over a full season in California than they are anywhere else. The Rockies performance in California is best looked at city-by-city and opponent-by-opponent.

Los Angeles:

For the purposes of this piece, we'll just deal with the Dodgers here and get to the Angels later. Through 2012, the Rockies have compiled a 60-98 record at Dodger Stadium, a .380 winning percentage. They actually started fairly well in LA, posting a 22-19 record in Chavez Ravine in their first seven seasons of existence. However, since 2000, the Rockies have put up just one winning season against the Dodgers in LA (a 5-4 mark in 2007) en route to a 38-79 (.325) mark in those thirteen seasons.

The Rockies best years in Los Angeles were 1997 and 1999, in which they were 4-2, and 1994 when they played just one series at the Dodgers, going 2-1. Their low-point at Dodger Stadium was in 2000 when they went 1-5. There was also a 2-8 mark in 2006. Also, the playoff-bound 2009 Rockies had a surprisingly bad 2-7 mark at the division-champion Dodgers.

San Diego:

The one California city in which the Rockies have found success is San Diego. They have posted an 81-80 record all-time on the road against the Padres. The club has fared even better since the opening of Petco Park in 2004, going 45-37 at the current home of the Padres. A win at Petco tomorrow would give the Rockies the same all-time winning percentage there as they have at Coors Field. They did not fare as well at old Jack Murphy Stadium (forget the corporate sponsor), but their 36-43 record there is still better that any other ballpark in the state save Petco.

The Rockies 3-6 record in 2012 was their first losing mark in San Diego since 2006. They posted a 28-17 record at Petco from 2007-2011, including a 7-2 performance there in 2010, their best ever in a single season. Their worst record in San Diego was a 1-6 mark at Jack Murphy in 1999.

San Francisco:

The City by the Bay has been a particular house of horrors for the Rockies, as they have compiled a 54-110 record over the years in the Giants home parks. Somewhat unbelievably, the Rockies were worse in their early years at Candlestick Park than they have been more recently at Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T Park. They won just 13 games in seven years at the 'Stick, losing 32, a .289 winning percentage. Things got somewhat better when the Giants moved into their new home on McCovey Cove; after this week's sweep by the Giants put the Rockies record at AT&T Park at 41-78 (.345)

The Rockies have posted only two winning seasons in San Francisco in franchise history, they came in back-to-back years with a 5-4 mark there in 2007 followed by a 6-3 record in 2008. On the other end of the scale, the inaugural season at what was then called Pac Bell Park was a harbinger of things to come there for the Rockies, who went 0-6 at the Giants' new home in 2000.


With the addition of interleague play in 1997 we found out that not even adding a DH can help the Rockies win in the Golden State. In franchise history, they have gone 10-18 in California against the state's two AL teams. They have played six series at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, compiling a 6-11 record, and have faced the A's in Oakland on four separate occasions, posting a 4-7 mark.

They have managed to sweep each AL team in California, taking a two-game set in Anaheim in 1997 and three games from Oakland in 2009. However, each of the teams has swept the Rockies twice in their home park, with the Angels sweeping three games from Colorado in 1998 and 2000 and the Rockies dropping three in Oakland both in 1999 and 2001.

Interestingly, success or failure in the state has not necessarily coincided with success or failure overall in a given season. The Rockies did post their first .500 season in California in 1995, going 10-10, and their first winning season there in 2007 with a 15-12 mark, but the playoff year of 2009 saw the Rockies go just 13-20 in the Golden State. Conversely, after 1995 the team did not reach the .500 mark again in California until a 14-14 record in the 2004 season, which was dismal overall, and they repeated their feat of a winning record with a 14-13 record in California in 2008, another season not well-remembered for great successes.

While beating your division rivals is certainly important, results seem to show that doing so on the road is not the end-all, be-all, and quite frankly isn't going to happen very often, with the exception of games in San Diego. The previous series against the Giants wasn't fun to watch for a Rockies fan, but the failure there in three games does not portend doom for the 2013 season.