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Wednesday Rockpile: Sad but true stats about the 2013 Rockies

Here's a few fun facts (and some annotation) for you about what has ailed the Rockies in 2013 - turning a .500 team into a squad that's 10 games below with 48 still to play.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Here's a few fun facts (and some annotation) for you about what has ailed the Rockies in 2013 - turning a .500 team into a squad that's 10 games below with 48 still to play. Charts are courtesy of Baseball-Reference. The first couple were pointed out by RhodeIslandRoxFan in yesterday's game wrap:

The Rockies are 0-26 this year on the road when the opponent scores first

Any streak this long is more than a little unlucky - you could also make the optimistic remark that the Rockies are 21-10 when they score first in road games. Either way, it's still a painful reminder that thus far, the Rockies have been unable to muster many comeback wins this year. If they trail after even the first inning, the Rockies are just 4-23 this year - and it doesn't get much better when they trail entering other innings:

Inning W L %
2 4 23 0.148
3 8 30 0.211
4 8 35 0.186
5 8 41 0.163
6 2 45 0.043
7 3 46 0.061
8 5 48 0.094
9 2 55 0.035

It's a sign that this team has been unable to get out from behind the 8 ball this season - it's also a sign that this team has fallen behind early at a very high clip. After all, the team has allowed more runs in the first inning (70, or 0.61 runs per inning) than they have in any other inning. The second inning provides the 3rd highest runs allowed total. Whatever the Rockies are doing in those late game situations down a run or two just isn't working.

Colorado has lost the last 14 games started by their 5th starter

The really sad thing about the 2013 Rockies is the quality they've received from Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa, and Tyler Chatwood this year - and how that stellar pitching has largely gone to waste because of Colorado's struggles in winning the other 40% of their games. The group of 5th starter losers has been varied (including Jeff Francis, Drew Pomeranz, Collin McHugh, Roy Oswalt, and Chad Bettis) but the final result has not - a Rockies loss.

The Rockies have had 23 games this year in which they've allowed exactly 3 runs (their most common runs allowed outcome in 2013) - and they're 11-12 in those games

Last year the Rockies only managed 17 such games all year - and if you're counting games in which less than 3 runs were allowed, the 2013 squad's 49 almost equal 2012's full season total of 51. The problem is that even when the pitching has been good, the team has struggled to win games.

Here's the Rockies' record this season by runs allowed:

Runs Games Wins Loss W-L%
0 4 4 0 1.000
1 11 10 1 .909
2 11 8 3 .727
3 23 11 12 .478
4 12 7 5 .583
5 19 6 13 .316
6 9 2 7 .222
7 6 1 5 .167
8 6 1 5 .167
9 6 2 4 .333
10 3 0 3 .000
11 4 0 4 .000

Allowing just 3 runs in a game should lead to a positive game output more often than not, but with this team that just hasn't been the case because the team has struggled to score runs. Which brings me to my next point...

The 2013 Rockies' most common runs scored outcome this year has been just 2 runs

It's already happened 21 times when the Rockies have scored exactly 2 runs - and as it did last night, it usually leads to a loss (5-16 on the year). If you include the 22 games where the team scored 0 or 1 runs, (none of which the Rockies have won), Colorado has scored 2 or fewer runs in a whopping 38% of its games this year!

The crazier thing might be that the team has managed to win 5 of those 43 games. The 2012 Rockies had only 48 such games all year, so this team's anemic offense rivals last year's catastrophe.

Here's the Rockies' record this season by runs scored:

Runs Games Wins Loss W-L%
0 9 0 9 .000
1 13 0 13 .000
2 21 5 16 .238
3 12 3 9 .250
4 11 6 5 .545
5 12 7 5 .583
6 6 4 2 .667
7 8 7 1 .875
8 8 6 2 .750
9 7 7 0 1.000
10 4 4 0 1.000
11 1 1 0 1.000
12 2 2 0 1.000

I've written frequently over the last couple of years about the value of scoring at least 4 runs in a game, saying that it gives the team a chance to win because a quality pitching performance will generally get the win.

As you can see, there's a clear demarcation point here - if the team hits that magic 4 runs scored marker, they're 47-24 on the year. If the Rockies provide cheap tacos for their hometown fans (as they have done 30 times this year), they're 27-3.

All of these facts demonstrate a couple of points:

  • Colorado's offense has failed to score an acceptable amount of runs in a large part of the games this year, tempering the success that could have been achieved given the starting pitching's improvement over 2012
  • The roster just isn't very good top to bottom if these results are so commonplace
Even after all that, it should be noted, this team will likely fall into the 75 win area I had predicted to start this season, meaning that very little of the end result has been unexpected. The unexpected part has been how the Rockies are going to get there despite a drastic improvement in their pitching year over year.

Los Links!

Patrick Saunders tries to explain the Rockies' inertia at the trade deadline. He also illustrates the possibility of Wilin Rosario moving to 1st base in the near future.

Carlos Gonzalez remains in limbo with respect to the DL on his finger injury.

Jon Sickels at Minor League Ball has his review of his pre-season top 20 Rockies prospects list. Some players have struggled (like Story, Dahl, Ortega) while others have excelled (like Arenado, Butler, Dickerson). Either way, it's an extremely fair take on Rockies prospects.