The Colorado Rockies, before a few days ago, had arguably the most feared lineup in all of major league baseball. And maybe they still do, but the last two games have seen the Rockies tally 3 mostly meaningless hits except for the fact that those hits were the only thing standing between them and being no-hit in consecutive games. Jordan Freemyer asked the very pertinent question in yesterday's Rockpile, "is it time to press the panic button?" After watching the game yesterday afternoon, you feel like they have got to press some button.
So, is this offensive slump just that, a slump? Is it just the result of some amazing pitching? Both Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright were really dealing in these last two games. Miller looks like the real deal, and Wainwright has always been the kind of pitcher that gives fits to aggressive teams who try to get out of slumps by swinging more. Did he/they just catch the Rockies at the exact right time?
I remember thinking to myself early in the season that this lineup might be slump proof but I was clearly wrong. I'm not convinced though that this means a change of strategy is in order. It can be frustrating to watch all the free swinging when it isn't working, but the Fangraphs pages for some our most dominant hitters (Cargo, Tulo, Rosario) still show that they are generally effective when swinging early, although I did notice that the team as a whole seems to be seeing fewer fastballs lately.
Again maybe that's due to the pitchers on the hill. Maybe this is all circumstantial. Some good pitching on consecutive days while guys just happened to be mired in some slumps in early May is not baseball Armageddon. The worst thing about this offensive slump, in my opinion, is that it has wasted some pretty decent outings from the starting pitching and this is a team that needs to take advantage of as many of those as it can get.
As I said before, I'm not yet convinced a change of approach is needed overall but it would be nice for the team to be able to collectively realize that they can't win every game by hitting the ball over the fence. Some games, they're going to have to figure out how to get runs without being dominant because even when the pitching is great, it is highly unlikely to match-up with no-hitters and complete games.
Hopefully a three game series against the the Cubs is exactly what the doctor ordered to get the offense going again before the Giants and Diamondbacks come to Coors for some very important divisional games.
Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes about the Rockies wasting the good pitching they've been getting lately.
In case you missed it, Michael Cuddyer is likely headed to the DL which means that either Charlie Blackmon or Tyler Colvin should be called up soon. (I vote for Colvin but don't think there is necessarily a wrong move here)
Troy E. Renck writes that Roy Oswalt could be a shot in the arm for the Rockies rotation and looks at what kind of timing we should expect from his progress. (I know, I know, I'm doing a 5k today so one way or another I'm getting taking a lap.)
Matt Hunter, of The Harball Times, on TWTW (the will to win!) and the ongoing debate about how much stats really help you win baseball games.