Following the weekend sweep at the hands of the Dodgers, fans in several corners of Rockiesland drew some harsh conclusions about the team, but as Bryan noted last night, it's pretty foolish to get riled up about struggles in Dodger Stadium, especially at this point of the season.
I don't know what people expected, but since it didn't seem obvious enough to some fans with angry reactions all around the internet yesterday, let's review what should be common knowledge at this point: The Dodgers, when healthy, are a vastly superior team to the Rockies. They have twice the rotation and nearly triple the payroll. Nobody should be surprised by the Dodger domination over the Rockies with the pitching match ups this weekend.
The only way the Rockies have a realistic chance to finish ahead of the Dodgers is if they suffer significant injuries in their rotation. The depth there is the one major flaw of that team. In fact, they're so thin in this department that this trip through the rotation they're actually using a four man rotation with today's off day.
If the Dodgers somehow suffer enough injuries that the combination of Ryu (already out with shoulder problems), Anderson (usually injured at some point), McCarthy, Kershaw, and Greinke somehow combine for less than 110 starts (just a general number, nothing exact), then you may be talking about a division that's up for grabs. However, if you get the Dodger team with the starting pitchers the Rockies saw this weekend combined with that lineup and dramatically improved defense up the middle from last season, then you're going to watch them disappear out the windshield.
The Dodgers and Giants, who the Rockies both visited on this last road trip, are actually an excellent example of how much fans tend to overrate the significance of small sample size baseball in October when looking at the following season. The Dodgers have already proved in each of the last two seasons they are the cream of the crop in this division, but since they haven't fared well in the post season since 1988, some people seem to forget that. This last road trip should be a nice reminder for any fans who forget who owns this division and has owned it since the summer of 2013.
This however doesn't mean the Rockies can't play enjoyable and competitive baseball this summer, but if they do, it's going to require domination at home. Tonight would be a great time for that to start as the team comes to Coors for its first extended home stand of the season, and on the mound making his 2015 season debut against the Padres is old Coors Field reliable in Jorge De La Rosa.
Richard Bergstrom over at Rockies Zingers talked with Coors Shield member DJ LeMahieu about, what else ... defense.
Rockies pitching coach Steve Foster is looking for positive signs early in the season. One of the things he and the Rockies want to focus on this season is taking some load off the bullpen. So far that's come with mixed results as the Rockies rank 13th in bullpen usage in MLB, although to be fair they probably rank closer to tenth since they've had two off days this season and many teams have only had one. Still, it's a step in the right direction from a team that's been in the top three in MLB in bullpen innings for each of the last three seasons.
Our own Ryan Freemyer wrote a detailed review of the Rockies' second week of the season on the View from the Rooftop site. So if you want to relive the highs of San Francisco and the lows of Los Angeles, Ryan's got you covered.
Joe Nguyen ran a simulation of the 2015 Rockies on MLB 15: The Show on PlayStation 4. The Rockies didn't make the playoffs, but did provide a season that would carry excitement past Labor Day for the first time since 2010.
Former Rockie Jeff Francis is still getting major league playing time. He was called up to the big club by Toronto yesterday and was needed immediately. He pitched well too, giving the Blue Jays 3.1 innings of scoreless mop up work, keeping them in a game that looked completely out of control after their starter Daniel Norris got bombed.
The Royals and A's had a rather ridiculous series over the weekend that involved batters getting plunked, hot tempers, ejections, and just general buffoonery. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see suspensions handed down on the Kansas City side since the folks on Park Avenue generally take notice when you throw heat near a guy's dome.